Doctor Strange 2 Writer Explains Why The Illuminati Didn’t Include One Rumored Hero

Namor in Marvel Comics' X-Force
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)


Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been truly wild so far, with plenty of mind-blowing twists occurring on the silver and small screens. The latest movie release Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was definitely no exception, with some moviegoers still reeling from the insane Illuminati sequences. And Doctor Strange 2’s writer recently explained why that team didn’t include one rumored hero.

About halfway through the action of Doctor Strange 2, he and America Chavez are captured and brought to the Illuminati facility on Earth-838. The highly anticipated team The Illuminati are introduced here, before trying (and failing) to stop Wanda’s rampage through the multiverse. But one long-rumored hero was noticeably missing: Namor The Submariner. Screenwriter Michael Waldron recently spoke to Variety about the wild events of the movie, where he was asked if Namor was ever considered for the team. As he put it, 

[We] talked about him, because he’s certainly an original member of the Illuminati. But I think Marvel has other plans for him in the MCU. And so he didn’t make his way in this particular movie.

Well, there you have it. It looks like Kevin Feige and company have plans for Namor’s eventual introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While those plans remain a mystery for the time being, they seemingly prevented the character from having a role in Doctor Strange’s multiversal sequel. Fingers crossed that we get some information from the studio sooner rather than later.

Michael Waldron’s comments help to show how methodical he and director Sam Raimi had to be about the inclusion of The Illuminati in Doctor Strange 2. The team’s inclusion was full of surprising faces, including ties to What If..? and both the X-Men and Fantastic Four. And it still remains to be seen how much this sequence ends up having an influence on the MCU as a whole.

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The Illuminati still managed to contain some wild cameos. Patrick Stewart returned as Professor X, while John Krasinski debuted as Fantastic Four hero Reed Richards. Inhumans actor Anson Mount also returned as Black Bolt, while we saw Captain Carter and Captain Marvel Maria Rambeau played by Hayley Atwell and Lashana Lynch respectively. Unfortunately the rumors about Namor turned out to be just that.

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange 2

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

In some ways it might be a relief that Namor wasn’t included in Doctor Strange 2, as audiences watched Scarlet Witch rip through them in some of the MCU’s most violence deaths ever. It remains to be seen if these variants on the characters will ever be seen again, although fans are definitely hoping to see more of Mr. Fantastic in particular.

Fans have been anxiously waiting for Namor to join the MCU for years, resulting in a number of fan theories and rumors circulating around the internet. Some are hoping he might have a role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but not much is actually known about Ryan Coogler’s upcoming sequel. 

Doctor Strange 2 is in theaters now. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.