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Doctor Strange 2 Almost Had A Post-Credits Scene Featuring A Fantastic Marvel Character

One of the most fascinating elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in its current state is the notion that iconic characters from Marvel lore can find themselves introduced on the big screen at any time. Ever since Phase 1, the long-running franchise has found ways to do this in organic ways. Often, this involves incorporating them into post-credits scenes that tee up future movies.

The 2022 release of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" was no different in that regard. The film follows a post "Avengers: Endgame" Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) on a journey through several realities to protect a young multiverse-traveler named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) from a mysterious and powerful force that is hunting her. As the story progresses, it is revealed that the force is, in fact, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who has embraced her role as the Scarlet Witch following the events of "WandaVision." The film was a hit, earning $955 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo) during its theatrical run in 2022.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has two post-credits scenes that cap off the story. One is a stinger that tees up the introduction of Clea (Charlize Theron) in a future film, and the other is a hilarious cap to the movie's Pizza Poppa (Bruce Campbell) subplot. However, it turns out that there were initially plans to include a post-credits scene in the film that would've teed up the first MCU appearance for a member of the Fantastic Four.

Michael Waldron almost included a Reed Richards post-credits scene

With the theatrical run of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" now in the rearview, new information has come to light about the development of the film. As it turns out, screenwriter Michael Waldron originally wanted to bring Reed Richards into the movie for a post-credits sequence in which the character reviews footage from the events of the film. During the sequence, the person watching the footage would display stretching powers — not unlike those possessed by Reed.

In fact, Waldron recently opened up about his initial plans to bring Reed Richards into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Discussing his plans to incorporate him into the sequel (via Empire), Waldron said, "I always wanted Reed Richards in this thing. In my very first draft, I wrote a tag just for the hell of it, of the events of the movie being recorded and reviewed by somebody in the Baxter Building, and a stretchy hand coming into frame to run it back. Reed is probably my favorite Marvel comics character, so I was always gunning to get him in here somewhere."

Based on the description of how the sequence would've played out, it is unclear if the scene would've revealed the actor playing Reed in the sequence. If that element were kept a secret, it would've allowed Marvel to quickly introduce the concept of Richards without casting anyone — similar to how Strange was mentioned in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" but not shown.

A more ill-fated version of Reed Richards still ended up in the movie

Michael Waldron's initial plans to bring Reed Richards into "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" did not pan out. However, the character did appear in the film, thus paving the way for more Fantastic Four adventures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Portrayed by John Krasinski in the movie, Reed shows up during the sequence in which Doctor Strange and America Chavez are taken prisoner at the Baxter Foundation.

Of course, things do not pan out well for this iteration of Reed, as he eventually finds himself face to face against The Scarlet Witch, who has dream walked into the body of this universe's Wanda Maximoff. Despite The Illuminati's attempts to keep Wanda at bay, she ultimately makes quick work of them — beginning with Reed, whom she dispatches by shredding like confetti when he attempts to confront her.

As of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," Reed Richards is the only Fantastic Four character to appear on the big screen in the proper Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, with a "Fantastic Four" film in development with director Matt Shakman in talks to direct (per THR), fans should expect to finally see a Reed from Earth-616 in the not-too-distant future. Whether or not Krasinski will portray that version of Reed remains to be seen, but many fans' fingers likely remain crossed that he does not meet the same gruesome demise as the one seen in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."