The Marvel Cinematic Universe is entering a new era, one that will more than likely include multiple dimensions. Upcoming installments like WandaVision, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and even the untitled Spider-Man 3 all seem to pointing to a larger multiverse. And there are plenty of benefits to widening the scope of the cinematic franchise in this way. Not only could it shake things up for the fan-favorite heroes by providing them with even more threats, but it could also allow them to cross paths with Marvel characters from past films.
If we’ve learned one thing from comic books, it’s that a multiverse can encompass a number of alternate realities. And when it comes to the MCU, this particular multiverse can include the realities inhabited by characters of Marvel’s cinematic past. Not every character may be the most ideal for this imminent multiverse (not many people may be keen on seeing Ben Affleck’s Daredevil again). Still, there are plenty of heroes that could fit in well and play key roles, as opposed to just popping up on screen. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some potential characters for Marvel’s multiverse:
Silver Surfer (Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer)
As popular as the Silver Surfer is, it’s hard to believe we’ve only seen him grace the big screen once. That single time was in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Like his comic book counterpart, he served as the galactic herald of (a heavily altered) Galactus and would ultimately side with the Fantastic Four in ending his master’s reign of intergalactic carnage.
The character honestly didn’t get nearly as much development as he could have, but voice actor Laurence Fishburne was still a solid cast, and the character was left alive by the end of the film. There were rumors that Marvel Studios has plans for Silver Surfer at some, but there’s still hope for this original surfer. An MCU iteration of Galactus could very well become a Big Bad sometime in the future. But how interesting of a twist would it be if instead of introducing a new iteration of the Surfer, Marvel decides to revive the original by having the characters locate this one and seek out his help? It sounds a bit far-fetched, but it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility.
Fantastic Four (2005-2007 Film Franchise)
Fox’s original Fantastic Four franchise may not have been the strongest Marvel features to ever hit the big screen, but they still included a likable cast made up of Ioan Gruffud, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. Over the course of two movies, we saw the group go from being fledgling superheroes to an established brand. They also went on to tangle with Doctor Doom on multiple occasions (as well as that incredibly weird Galactus).
Marvel Studios has hinted that the First Family is indeed coming to the MCU at some point in the future, yet why not usher them in with a salute to the original team? It’s possible that, in their own dimension, the veteran team could also be looking into the theory of multiple dimensions, and they could actually end up stumbling upon the MCU.
When it comes to what takes them there, it could be anything from an interdimensional issue to a regular exploration mission. Afterwards, their visit would leave the heroes of the MCU wondering if such a team exists in their own world, leading to that eventual reveal later on. There are a multitude of ways to pull it off, but I do think it would be nice to revisit these characters and see where they are over a decade later. Plus, how cool would it be to see the MCU heroes react to Johnny Storm resembling Steve Rogers?
Deadpool (Deadpool Franchise)
This is a fairly obvious choice, but who doesn’t want to see the Merc With a Mouth rub shoulders with the Avengers or Spider-Man? The hilariously profane antihero carved out an interesting place for himself in Fox’s X-Men universe – even if most of his fellow mutants weren’t too keen on hanging out with him. So in the meantime, he occupied his time by taking down his own enemies and teaming up with heroes like Domino and the time-travelling Cable in the process.
Some kind of Deadpool project does appear to be in the works at Marvel, though it’s unclear what it may look like. Will it still be set in its own universe and Wade Wilson will just crossover into the MCU from time to time? Or will the film be retconned into the MCU proper? The former sounds like an easier option but, given the unpredictable and meta nature of Deadpool, there’s no telling how he’ll be added in.
What I do know is that his role doesn’t have to be super complex. On the one hand, he can team up with the MCU heroes and dish out his own brand of “justice” in the process. But on the other, I wouldn’t mind at all if he just makes jokes and questions the differences between their world and his own.
Professor X – Patrick Stewart (X-Men film series)
I think I know what just about all of you are thinking, and you’re right – Patrick Stewart’s Professor X was given an excellent send-off in 2017’s Logan. His role and subsequent death in James Mangold’s excellent film was a bittersweet end to his illustrious arc in the X-Men film franchise. Stewart himself has even shot down the possibility of a return, and for good reason. All of that being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing the character one more time.
Charles Xavier may be dead in the main X-Men timeline, but the unpredictable nature of the multiverse could introduce audiences to a similar Professor X, one who exists in a slightly different universe. In all honesty, the role wouldn’t need to be too large, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness could be a prime place for him to appear. Imagine a weary Stephen Strange landing in a dimension in which he meet’s Xavier, and the two intellects have a meeting of the minds. Patrick Stewart’s warm presence as Professor X is missed, and seeing him one more time would be a real treat.
One of the disappointing aspects of Fox’s X-Men franchise coming to a close is that fans had to say goodbye to a number of cool characters, including Dafne Keen’s Laura a.k.a. X-23. The fan-favorite character made her long-awaited movie debut in Logan, and she did not disappoint. The young girl more than proved herself to be a formidable fighter, but she was also depicted as a sympathetic character in need of a family. By the end of the film, she would bury her dad and lead her band of young mutants to the Canadian border and, with Marvel’s multiverse, there’s still a chance to bring her back into the fold.
There were reportedly plans for X-23 before Disney acquired Fox, and even Logan director James Mangold had interest in a solo feature. Yet those plans fell through. If Marvel Studios were to revive Laura, they could wait to do so after the MCU’s X-Men are introduced. By this time, an older Laura could interact with the new lineup and potentially team up with them against one of their famous enemies. And of course, it would be great to see her play off the eventual new Wolverine, who will likely be shocked to learn he has a daughter from an alternate universe.
Spider-Man – Andrew Garfield (Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man franchise)
There’s been a lot of news and theories surrounding Sony’s Spider-Man universe and how it relates to the MCU. Most of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the craziness, but it would definitely be cool to see past web-slingers show up, including Andrew Garfield’s. His Peter Parker became known for his slight “edginess” and sharp wit, and this managed to strike a chord with a number of viewers. The character did battle with deadly villains during his two outings and, when we last saw him, he recommitted to his role as a superhero following the tragic death of Gwen Stacy.
This is definitely a character that would be interesting to revisit. One can only imagine what he’s been up to since we last saw him in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The obvious (and arguably best) place for him to appear would be in a Spider-Verse film alongside other Spider-People. In this capacity, he could serve as a mentor, especially to Tom Holland’s Spidey. Garfield’s version of the character was about to face off with a version of the Sinister Six before plans were scrapped. Maybe he did (off screen) and, if so, he can relate those experiences to Holland’s hero, who could end up battling them himself at some point.
Spider-Man – Tobey Maguire (Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy)
Well, if you have one veteran Spidey, you can’t help but have another, and most fans would certainly love to see Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man again. For a generation of young moviegoers (including myself), he was the actor who embodied the character and, while his successors have brought plenty of amazing things to the role, Maguire set the tone for what a cinematic Spidey could be. From his early tests of his powers to the powerful subway train rescue in Spider-Man 2, he’s still one of the best superheroes to ever grace the silver screen.
As is the case with Garfield’s wall-crawler, it’s interesting to think about what Peter has doing over decade after the events of Spider-Man 3. He’s likely older and wiser, but what else has changed in his world? He may have even tied the knot with Mary Jane. Whatever the case may be, his experience would be invaluable for both Holland and Garfield’s Spider-Men, and watching all of them team up in a Spider-Verse film would be a sight to behold.
Wolverine (X-Men franchise)
Of course, when talking about a potential Marvel Cinematic Multiverse, how can you not throw Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine into the discussion? Logan is one of the most recognizable film characters of all time, and he’s had one of the most complex journeys as well. We’ve seen his early years, his time with the X-Men, his exploits in Japan and his final moments over the course of 18 years. It’s hard to deny that his death was a beautiful stamp on his legacy but, as a fan, you can’t help but want to see at least one more appearance from him.
Hugh Jackman seems to be at peace with retirement, yet he did previously show interest in teaming up with the heroes of the MCU. The power of the multiverse could serve as a way to resurrect him, since this Logan could come from a continuity separate from Fox’s main one. Like X-23, any theoretical appearance may be best saved until Marvel Studios’ X-Men arrive. This would allow him to rub shoulders with the newer incarnations of the mutants. Most would also agree with me when I saw that watching two Wolverines come to blows would be mind-blowing.
But what past Marvel movie characters would you like to see show up in this potential multiverse? Be sure to let us know in the comments, and keep it tuned to CinemaBlend for more news from the MCU and from the world of movies and TV.