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The Unexpected Way The Illuminati Made It Into Doctor Strange 2

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has been the talk of the town since its May 6, 2022, premiere for a handful of reasons. Director Sam Raimi's utilization of his horror roots continues to generate fan conversation, the emergence of Clea (Charlize Theron) in the first of two post-credits scenes has many excited for a potential "Doctor Strange 3," and, of course, seemingly no one has yet to get over the film's handful of surprising cameos. More specifically, viewers are still reeling over Earth-838's take on the famed Illuminati faction.

Upon hurdling through the multiverse, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) and Earth-616's Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) are detained by an alternate universe version of Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). After undergoing a few tests, Strange meets with the Illuminati, which consists of Mordo, Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Professor Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart), Captain Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), and Reed Richards (John Krasinski), to discuss what should become of him for his universe-hopping.

Sadly, before they can come to a verdict, Wanda "Scarlet Witch" Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) dreamwalks into their compound and brutally murders the entire Illuminati with ease. Still, their swift demise doesn't diminish how cool it was to see the group on the big screen for the first time — something that came to fruition in a rather unexpected way.

Adding the Illuminati was surprisingly easy

Compared to most other well-known Marvel Comics teams such as the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, the Illuminati hasn't existed for very long. First appearing in "New Avengers" #7 from 2005, the roster on the page consisted of Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Namor, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, and Professor Xavier, which the MCU obviously chose to shuffle around for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Regardless of the names included, though, featuring the Illuminati at the movies, in general, proved unexpectedly easy for screenwriter Michael Waldron.

"That scene wasn't even in my outline. I just wrote it in [the script], and they were like, 'This is cool. We should do it,'" Waldron told The Hollywood Reporter of the Illuminati's introduction in a May 11, 2022, interview, explaining that from that point on, conversations arose over who would be the best fit for this incarnation of the faction. Waldron adds that he would've never imagined that Marvel Studios would let him include the lineup that he did, yet he got the green light. "We never thought we'd get all of those people, but we did," he concludes.

Though a small part of the overall movie, the Illuminati and their horrific deaths were undeniable highlights of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Perhaps, someday the 616 timeline will build one of its own, and if it does, we can only hope they get to do a bit more on the silver screen.