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Few recent updates in the behind-the-scenes world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been as exciting as confirmation that Sam Raimi has taken over directorial duties for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. If there was anything that could put a bigger smile on fans’ faces than the filmmaker’s return to comic book movies, it would be the potential for an appearance of his long time friend and collaborator, Bruce Campbell.
I should mention that at this time, there is no confirmation that Bruce Campbell will be cast opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in the magical Marvel movie. However, the man himself has been quite vocal that he wants dibs on a role, and everyone knows that no Sam Raimi project is complete without the legendary star of his Evil Dead franchise, and that is enough to keep my faith in this idea alive.
In anticipation, we're left to wonder what possible characters from the Marvel Universe (or, in this case, the Multiverse) may be blessed with that unmistakable chin. Five potential candidates for Sam Raimi to direct Bruce Campbell as in the Doctor Strange sequel come to mind.
When Bruce Campbell said he wanted in on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, he hinted at having a particular interest in playing a someone sinister, and BossLogic was clearly listening. In mid-April, the viral artist released via Instagram a piece that, quite convincingly, imagines the B-movie icon as Mister Sinister, born Nathaniel Essex in 19th-Century London, who lives up to his alias by using his Alpha-Level mutant abilities (which include everything from shape-shifting to telepathy to put the world in a lot of trouble.
Although Sinister is best known as a common adversary of the X-Men, he still bears the appearance and skill of someone who could give Doctor Strange a run for his money. This could be a great opportunity to connect the mutant heroes to the MCU, and could potentially give Campbell the chance for his most grimly earnest performance yet.
A being who is just as sinister is one who has gone by many names, among them the Lord of Dreams. His true name is simply, and aptly, Nightmare. Essentially the Freddy Krueger of the Marvel Universe, but with far better sense of fashion, this demonic entity with the ability to capture a sleeping person’s astral form into his own realm is of extra-dimensional origin.
Nightmare has been known as one of Doctor Strange’s greatest adversaries since first clashing with the Sorcerer Supreme in an issue of Marvel’s Strange Tales title in 1963. That should be enough to convince Sam Raimi to pit these two against each other in some capacity in his sequel, in addition to the potential for Bruce Campbell to put a fresh spin on the character that would allow him to utilize the charming, goofier side of his personality in his performance.
On the other hand, the Marvel Universe is not short on characters who are already a perfect match for Bruce Campbell’s comedic timing, and a pitch perfect example of that is Mojo, another frequent X-Men villain who can talk a mile a minute despite his tragically short attention span. As a result, he is quite obsessed with television, and the political structure of his own dimension is based on a ratings system of similar design, which reflects creator Ann Nocenti’s intention to write the character as a parody of network executives.
Given Bruce Campbell’s experience hosting the game show Last Fan Standing and the latest edition of Ripley’s Believe it Or Not, giving life to this heavy-set, partially mechanical competition monger would be effortless if Doctor Strange’s interdimensional journey were to take a slight detour into the “Mojoverse.”
While making Bruce Campbell a Marvel villain would be a dream come true, with Chiwetel Ejiofor reportedly reprising his role as Karl Mordo, who has a more sinister agenda in the sequel, it does not look likely that is role would end up being that big if cast. However, the actor made each of his brief, respective cameos in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (a wrestling host, a strict usher and a French restaurant maitre d’) among the more memorably hilarious moments of each installment, and he could easily do the same again as some other random person.
In fact, seeing him reprise one (or even all) of those cameos in a moment that sees Doctor Strange cross into the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man universe would be an Easter Egg on par with J.K. Simmons' surprise return as J. Jonah Jameson. However, the ultimate Easter Egg would see Campbell reprise his most famous character...
You primitive screwheads must be thinking, "How would it be possible for Bruce Campbell's "boomstick" wielding, chainsaw-handed, lovably dim-witted Deadite slayer to cross paths with Doctor Strange?" Well, as previously established, the title of this sequel hints at an adventure than spans multiple dimensions, which means a peek at the infinite amount of alternate realities existing concurrently within the original comic book source material is not out the question.
Plus, what if I told you that thanks to a crossover between Marvel Zombies and Dynamite Entertainment's comic book series adaptation of Army of Darkness (the third film of the Evil Dead franchise), Ashley "Ash" J. Williams himself exists in one of those realities? That's right, Sam Raimi's iconic horror franchise is sort of canon to the Marvel lexicon. Therefore, if Bruce Campbell chooses to bring his best-known character out of retirement, Doctor Strange could possibly come face to face with "the King."
What do you think? Do you see any of these characters as the perfect vessel for Bruce Campbell to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or have I dishonored “the King”? Well, Mr. Fancy Pants, why don’t you let us know your thoughts in the comments and be sure to check back for more updates on the Doctor Strange sequel, the whereabouts of our “groovy” B-movie hero and even more hypothetical casting scenarios here on CinemaBlend.