The Marvel Cinematic Universe will enter a bold new era in Phase 4, introducing new heroes and new threats that will have to be faced. One of the most intriguing aspects of the MCU Phase 4 lineup has also been one of the most understated: namely the connective tissue between the upcoming WandaVision TV series on Disney+, and the upcoming sequel film Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness. The initial focus has been on how the two projects could adapt a Marvel Comics story arc for Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch, but a new rumor states that the major connection may be a particular Marvel villain!
Marvel scooper Charles Murphy claims to have inside sources that are telling him tha Marvel villain Nightmare will be revealed to be the true antagonist in the WandaVision series. This rumor is worth reporting as it aligns with quite a few prior rumors and/or details regarding both WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
- Nightmare was the villain that Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson originally teased for Doctor Strange 2, even though that casting has never been confirmed, the villain choice seemed to be in place.
- WandaVision's mysterious premise of Scarlet Witch and Vision living a retro domestic life, with kids, was always seen as setup for a bigger reveal. Wanda discovering that Nightmare was imprisoning her in a dream world would explain Marvel's teases that WandaVision will start out a sitcom, and end with some Marvel movie-level action and conflict.
- Many fans assumed that WandaVision's big reveal would be Scarlet Witch going through a similar breakdown that led to the "House of M" reality of Marvel Comics. It would make somewhat more sense if Nightmare manipulating Wanda with a family she always wanted - and then taking that joy away - would lead to Scarlet Witch having a superpowered breakdown.
- It would make sense, then, that Doctor Strange would need to step in, as an out-of-control Scarlet Witch would be a potential threat to all reality.
The real question that this rumor leaves on the table is whether Doctor Strange would be facing Nightmare and trying to help free Scarlett Witch during The Multiverse of Madness, or if a broken and out-of-control Wanda is the main antagonist of Doctor Strange 2 (assuming she destroys Nightmare in WandaVision's finale). Let's also not forget that Tom Hiddleston's Loki TV series is also feeding into the Doctor Strange sequel in some way, as well...
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.