WARNING: Major spoilers for Doctor Strange 2!
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron reacts to Spider-Man: Far From Home’s use of the term “Earth-616.” With a script by Loki creator Waldron, director Sam Raimi’s grand return to the superhero genre features many callbacks to marvel projects MCU and otherwise. The film also builds upon what was once considered a throwaway line in 2019’s Far From Home.
In Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) escape their Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and land in a seemingly Utopian universe where they are detained by the Illuminati. There, a variant of Dr. Christine Palmer, who specializes in multiverse research and analysis, explains Strange and America traveled to Earth-838 from the MCU’s Earth-616. In Far From Home, Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) claims to have followed an Elemental from Earth-833 to Earth-616 (Peter Parker’s reality). However, it’s revealed that Mysterio is not a navigator of the multiverse but rather a former disgruntled Stark employee. Nevertheless, Mysterio’s lie tracks in Multiverse of Madness, and fans are wondering why.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Multiverse of Madness scribe Waldron talked about the MCU’s Sacred Timeline/main Earth being designated 616. Giving absolutely nothing away and without stating a firm stance, Waldron teased that maybe Mysterio knew more than he let on. Read the full quote below:
“I guess it begs the question, What did Quentin know? He was a smart guy. Um, is it just a coincidence? That’s… I don’t know. But what’s your out?”
While the mention of Earth-616 in Far From Home could very well be a coincidence, Multiverse of Madness does give Waldron and audiences an out. Early on in the film, America tells Strange and Wong (Benedict Wong) that one’s dreams—even Wong’s clown nightmare—are visions of things happening to their variants throughout the multiverse. This is why Strange dreamed of Defender Strange and America at the beginning of the film. So, it’s entirely possible that a Mysterio throughout the multiverse knew about Earth-616, maybe that variant even had actual powers, and the late Quentin Beck’s dreams are what inspired Far From Home’s lies.
Far From Home wasn’t the only MCU film that referenced Earth-616. The term was written on a chalkboard by Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) in Thor: The Dark World. In the world of Marvel Comics, Earth-616 is considered the readers’ main timeline and fans have always assumed “Earth-616” was an inconsequential Easter egg in films like Far From Home or The Dark World. Ignoring the past joke that the MCU is Earth-19999 because Marvel Studios plans for the series of movies to run for thousands of years, Kevin Feige and company have confirmed the MCU multiverse was part of discussions early on. Even if the original plan wasn’t to make the MCU Earth-616, it is now and everything (basically) tracks in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Source: Rolling Stone
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