Marvel Producer Explains Inconsistency Of MCU Multiverse Actors

Marvel Studios is moving forward at full speed with the Multiverse era of storytelling, especially with big-screen efforts like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This new endeavor opens the door for countless versions of beloved MCU characters to make their way into the broader narrative, though sometimes with some notable differences and inconsistencies.

This inconsistency was first seen in the last Spiderman Film that featured three versions of the web-slinger, played by different actors (Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire). But then, in the next film, Benedict Cumberbatch took on the responsibility of acting four various Stephen Strange Variants in his solo sequel; Elizabeth Olsen also portrayed more than one version of Wanda Maximoff.

As the multiverse becomes ever more relevant in the MCU’s ever-expanding future, viewers are no doubt curious as to why some variants look so similar and others don’t. Recently, one of the producers of Marvel Studios Phase 4 dug deep into this question and provided the best explanation he could find on the subject.

Why some MCU variants (but not all) are played by multiple actors


Speaking to Chris Hewitt on Empire’s Spoiler Special podcast, Marvel Producer Richie Palmer explored the inconsistencies between different variants of characters within the MCU.

Palmer was asked if there had been discussions about having a Doctor Strange who didn’t look like Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Chris Hewitt: “A lot of people have said that you have three different Peter Parkers with you No way home, and they all look different. And then you have every Doctor Strange, every Wanda that we see [in Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness]She looks like the actor who plays her in the MCU. Was there any discussion at some point about tackling that by maybe having a Strange that looked different than Benedict?”

Palmer acknowledged that these discussions went in different directions, noting that there are Lokis who look different in the Loki Disney+ Show along with the three Spider-Men. For Loki, Palmer explained that he looks different than his variants because he’s such a chaotic being, meaning it makes sense to have unique appearances for all different versions of the god of mischief:

“Yes and no. Not in any way. You know, I think that’s just the difference between… Because Loki too, there are different actors… The Lokis are different, the Spider-Men are different. We have a history of reasons that Michael [Waldron] and I can talk for an hour about why it makes sense for characters like Loki, who is a chaotic creature by nature. That’s always been Michael’s thing, Loki is pure chaos, so it makes sense for him, in the grand calculus of the multiverse, in the multiverse spectrum, that he would be someone who looks like different people.

Loki variants

He also shared his thoughts on why the three versions of Spider-Man look different, connecting them to the turn-of-the-century Spider-Verse comics:

“If you go to the Spider-Verse comics or even what was that in the early 2000s… That was the beginning of the idea of ​​just these other Spider characters in our universe or the multiverse, and it wasn’t. It wasn’t always Peters, it wasn’t always people who looked like Peters. I don’t know, I’ve looked at the comic and I think it actually makes sense to me as a comic fan why the Peters might look different.

To the Doctor Strange 2, Palmer and the team wanted to make sure that leads Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen got a chance to shine with each new take on their roles, rather than letting other people play Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch. As for other characters receiving this treatment, the producer admitted that it will be considered on a case-by-case basis:

“I think the truth is we had a two-hour film to tell the story and we have Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen who are literally two of the greatest actors of our time, let alone superhero films, and we were not I’d say if we were to enter any more of these universes like Paint Universe I think the further you go from… should we say the Sacred Timeline the further you go from 616, our base universe of the MCU, i think there’s room for even the bravest of characters like Steve Rogers to maybe not look like Chris Evans. I think there’s room the further away you get from the main timeline, from the main universe. But I think it depends on the character, it depends on the actor, it honestly depends on the medium in which we’re telling the story. So, all that, but I like this question.

The MCU multiverse takes a heavy toll

Doctor Strange variants

Now that Marvel Studios has access to so many incredible characters, both from outings past and for the future of the MCU, there could certainly be instances where heroes and villains look different than celebrity versions of themselves. Fans could potentially be Professor one day X by James McAvoy, Johnny Storm by Chris Evans or possibly even Wolverine by Hugh Jackman, all of which will look different than the Earth 616 versions that will be released later.

To the Doctor Strange 2‘s Variants, it became clear that Marvel wanted to give Cumberbatch and Olsen the best opportunity to show off their acting skills with multiple versions of their characters, which became a highlight of the film. Watching the Doctor Strange vs. Sinister Strange fight and seeing the Scarlet Witch kneel in front of another Wanda Maximoff made for some emotional moments, and that was largely thanks to the actors behind those iconic roles.

Despite some disagreements regarding what different versions of Marvel characters look like, the studio seems to have a good idea of ​​when to use which actor or role for each particular film. It’s still unknown when this will return, but with the multiverse making its presence felt in Phase 4, fans will be on the lookout for more of this madness.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness streaming now on Disney+ and available digitally and on Blu-ray.

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