Spider-Man: No Way Home has changed fan expectations for good, it seems: with the multiverse now broken wide-open, that film’s abundance of wide-ranging cameos setting a new precedent for the MCU, you’d think that anything can happen. Fan-service cameos have become all the more popular in recent Marvel titles, from No Way Home‘s myriad villains (and… more), to the likes of WandaVision‘s divisive Ralph Bohner. And that, in fact, seems to be the driving force behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘s previously reported reshoots, says The Hollywood Reporter.
As we previously reported, the Doctor Strange sequel has had significant re-shoots lasting six weeks, six days a week, within the last couple of months. THR reports that said shoots are expected to wrap in the next week, and were spurred by both No Way Home and the Disney+ Loki series, both of which deal extensively with the multiverse. Such a move feels both prescient and savvy with the wild box office success of No Way Home in mind: one suspects that Disney has stumbled upon a novel goldmine to dig in the nostalgic tendencies of comic book fans.
Rumors suggest that Bruce Campbell, for example, one of director Sam Raimi‘s frequent collaborators, could turn up as a variant of Spidey villain Mysterio, or even his character Ash from the Evil Dead series. As such, the studio decided to “have more fun with the multiverse,” one source told THR, and to include more cameos and character introductions in the sequel. Cue the wild, explosive cycle of fan speculation. It’s gonna be a helluva six-week wait, that’s for sure—can someone get Kang The Conqueror on the line?
Just how wild was No Way Home‘s success, you might ask? Pretty huge, to say the least: it made $253 million domestically in its opening weekend, the highest pandemic-era box office total by far. Sony is already popping the champagne. Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, said:
“This weekend’s historic Spider-Man: No Way Home results, from all over the world and in the face of many challenges, reaffirm the unmatched cultural impact that exclusive theatrical films can have when they are made and marketed with vision and resolve. All of us at Sony Pictures, are deeply grateful to the fabulous talent, both in front of and behind the camera, that produced such a landmark film. Thanks to their brilliant work, this Christmas everyone can enjoy the big screen gift of 2021’s mightiest Super Hero —your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6, 2022. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olson, and Xochitl Gomez.