Doctor Strange 2 Scribe Michael Waldron Thought It Would Be Impossible To Land All Those Cameos

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

The Illuminati sequence in Sam Raimi's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" was downright bonkers, in which the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) straight-up annihilated some of the strongest beings in an alternate universe. The scenes in question elicited some mixed reactions, especially due to the way in which these powerful characters were set up only to be undercut in an abrupt and horrifying manner.

"Multiverse of Madness" writer Michael Waldron recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the translation of his script to the big screen, touching upon the Illuminati characters, and how "impossible" he thought it would be for the film to land them all:

"That [Illuminati] scene wasn't even in my outline. I just wrote it in [the script], and they were like, "This is cool. We should do it." And then it was a constant back and forth of figuring out who's the right mix of characters. Who makes sense to actually be in an alternate universe Illuminati? And who we ended up with felt like that was the impossible group. We never thought we'd get all of those people, but we did."

Seems like all the Illuminati characters in the scene — Baron Mordo, Captain Carter, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, Captain Marvel, and Professor Charles Xavier — might not have been locked in, in the first draft, but brainstormed as the scenes were shaped in the direction it eventually headed towards.

A get-together, a massacre

The original Illuminati members in the Marvel Comics are decidedly different from the ones in "Multiverse of Madness," with Iron Man founding the council and superheroes like Namor the Submariner and the King of Atlantis also being a part of it. While it was never the plan for an Iron Man variant (read: Tom Cruise) to show up as a part of the Illuminati, Raimi's film posits Earth-838's Doctor Strange as the founder of the organization. This works well for the most part, especially in terms of his tragic backstory of being pulled to the dark side and eventually redeeming himself.

However, the Illuminati members are powerful as a unit, a premise that is immediately dismantled with the arrival of Wanda, who carries out a full-blown massacre at the Illuminati stronghold (the Ultron sentinels are shown no mercy as well). THR also asked Waldron whether the massacre was always intended to play out since the penning of the script, and the writer affirmed that it was always supposed to play out this way:

"That [the massacre] was in the first draft. That was there. I liked how they came in and made the audience feel safe, and then Wanda becomes that much more frightening when she takes them out."

It WAS frightening to see Wanda take down Black Bolt in an instant (the "What mouth?" line still haunts me) and reduce Reed Richards, dubbed the smartest man in the world, to blue-tinted spaghetti. While Captain Carter and Captain Marvel fared better in their respective fights, their small victories were in vain and short-lived. Moreover, the way in which Wanda shuns out Charles Xavier's mind tactics — something he is terrifyingly proficient in — is genuinely unsettling to watch. So many heroes fell so soon: an enraged Wanda means utter catastrophe across the multiverse, and it shows.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is currently playing in theaters.