Doctor Strange 2 Producer Speaks Out on Iron Man's Return and the Illuminati Rumors

The full trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sent Marvel fans into a bit of a tailspin when it appeared to introduce Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It seemed to set up Xavier as the head of the fabled Illuminati, showing the corner of a bald man's head sitting on a stage along with other important figures. The involvement of some Ultron bots and unidentified characters flying around shooting beams from their hands led fans to believe this version of the Illuminati might include Tony Stark as well. 

While it may seem like a lot has been revealed, there's a good chance that hardly anything in the Doctor Strange trailer is as it seems. Producer Richie Palmer recently spoke to Empire to address what might actually be going on in that trailer.

"I'll quote the first X-Men movie and say, 'Are you sure you saw what you saw,'" Palmer said with a laugh. "There are infinite versions of these characters, and just because you may have heard something familiar doesn't mean it's someone you have seen before."

Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home explained the idea of Variants from different realities, meaning that there are endless different versions of every character we'll see in the MCU. While that was definitely Patrick Stewart speaking in the trailer, it may not be Professor X after all.

Palmer went on to cast a little doubt on the idea of the Illuminati appearing in Multiverse of Madness. According to the producer, the MCU version of that important group would likely include more existing MCU characters, rather than the traditional comics lineup.

"As you saw in Spider-Man: No Way Home, some rumors ended up being true, some did not," Palmer explained. "I would love to see Tony again, but some rumors are just rumors. I will say that I love the Illuminati. But if we ever introduce the Illuminati in the future, it might be more MCU-driven and have some more ties to our characters in the MCU, versus just replicating what's in the comics." 

Iron Man, Professor X, Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic, and Namor are all classic members of the Illuminati, but only one is alive and well in the MCU (at least that we've seen so far). 

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives in theaters on May 6th.