Tony Stark Had A Major Impact On Earth-838, According To Doctor Strange 2 Producer

Tony Stark only lives in our memories now — in Earth-616, that is. Since the multiverse was broken open in "Loki," and messed with by Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," we can assume Stark exists in some of the others. That includes the universe of Earth-838.

As you probably know, in "Doctor Strange," America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) has the ability to travel between universes, and she takes Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) with her. When he's discovered in Earth-838, Strange is taken into custody and walked by Ultron bots in handcuffs to speak with the Illuminati (RIP). According to an interview "Doctor Strange" producer Richie Palmer did with Empire's "Spoiler Special" podcast (via The Direct), Tony Stark had a big influence on this version of Earth. Palmer said:

"... This is a world where Ultron seemed to work the way Tony Stark intended him to work in 'Age of Ultron.' 'A suit of armor around the world,' Tony was trying to get the Avengers to retire in 'Age of Ultron.' So imagine this is a Wanda that, around that time ... This is a world where Tony cracked Ultron, and it worked, and he went, 'Hey, whoever wants to retire and go home, can.' And then the Illuminati came to rise behind the scenes, pulling the strings, but, I think it's just a little bit of a better world for whatever reason, and Wanda was able to go and have the life that she deserved."

'A suit of armor around the world'

It makes you think about how things might have been different for other Avengers if Tony's creation had worked in Earth-616. Palmer also pointed out that Wanda from Earth-616 had "the most chaotic life out of all the Wandas in the Multiverse," and said this was one reason she was searching for a better version with her kids in it. It's pretty heartbreaking.

What he put forward about Earth-838's successful Ultron experiment is interesting, because, while they at least look orderly, I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be with a bunch of robots that look like that as law enforcement. Ultron in Earth-616 had a very different philosophy about existence and how the world should work than most humans might. Although we don't know how the AI think, I'm going to guess they're pretty hard to reason with, just as the Illuminati they protected were. 

You know, I had wondered if someone else came up with Ultron in this universe, like their version of Professor Hulk or something, but Palmer says, "This is a world where Tony cracked Ultron." I wonder what happened to him to keep him out of the Illuminati chamber. Maybe he and Pepper had their daughter and he retired, or maybe the extra chair was for him and he was sick that day. Writer Michael Waldron called the question of who the empty chair was for "an unanswerable question" in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Maybe we'll visit that universe again and find out.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is currently streaming on Disney+.