Long before the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, Marvel movies had to hold back on making direct connections to other films, but director Sam Raimi still snuck a reference to Doctor Strange into Spider-Man 2, having no idea he would eventually score the gig of directing a Doctor Strange film. When news about Raimi taking on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness first emerged, fans couldn't help but think the reference to Doctor Strange in the 2004 film somehow predicted his ultimate interest and involvement with the Sorceror Supreme, with Raimi recently confirming it was nothing more than a coincidence.
"I loved Doctor Strange as a kid, but he was always after Spider-Man and Batman for me, he was probably at number five for me of great comic book characters," Raimi shared during a press event in which ComicBook.com participated. "He was so original, but when we had that moment in Spider-Man 2 I had no idea that we would ever be making a Doctor Strange movie, so it was really funny to me that coincidentally that line was in the movie. I gotta say I wish we had the foresight to know that I was going to be involved in the project."
Despite Raimi dismissing this event as a coincidence, a series of unexpected events in the last few years in regards to superhero cinema could result in that Sony film becoming official canon.
Marvel sold off the rights to a number of their characters in the '90s to stave off bankruptcy, allowing studios like Fox and Sony to develop their own films featuring the characters. This meant that various different superhero universes ran parallel to one another without actually intersecting, up until Sony and Marvel Studios came to an agreement that allowed the Wall-Crawler to appear in Captain America: Civil War.
In 2018, the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduced the notion of there being multiple Spider-Men in multiple universes, justifying how Tom Holland could play Peter Parker in one universe while another saw Jake Johnson voicing Peter Parker, as Shameik Moore voiced Miles Morales, another universe's Spider-Man.
In last year's Spider-Man: Far From Home, J.K. Simmons reprised his role of J. Jonah Jameson from Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, hinting at a potential unification of all of these universes.
While it's unclear what the future could hold for the MCU and Spider-Man, we wouldn't rule out live-action Peter Parker actors Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield somehow uniting with Holland in an adventure that brings together all Spider-Man films under one umbrella, and with Doctor Strange set to explore a multiverse, Raimi might be the perfect person to bring these worlds together.
Raimi's new Quibi series 50 States of Fright is now available on the platform. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to hit theaters on November 5, 2021.
What do you think of Raimi's remarks? Let us know in the comments below!