Much of the discussion currently surrounding Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness relates to the role Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff might play in its cosmically oriented story. After the events of this year’s Disney+ series WandaVision, Wanda has been established as one of the most powerful beings in the MCU, not to mention a wild card willing to bend reality to suit her own emotional needs.
Seeing how Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange might react to Wanda’s growing power and recent interest in the multiverse is undoubtedly exciting – and could have massive implications for the MCU. But one recent rumor suggests Doctor Strange and Wanda won’t be the only characters with important roles to play in Multiverse of Madness.
The Leak — Shuma-Gorath is likely the central antagonist of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, according to The Illuminerdi. Reports started circulating earlier this month that the powerful Marvel Comics villain would appear in an unnamed, upcoming MCU title, and many fans anticipate that project will be the Doctor Strange sequel, given Gorath’s long comic-book history with the Sorcerer Supreme.
The site further posits that Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez (a.k.a. Ms. America) will play a primary role in the film as one target of Shuma-Gorath, who hopes to harness her powers to control the multiverse.
America Chavez and Shuma-Gorath — Before diving too far into the implications of these claims, it’s worth noting that Shuma-Gortah has not been confirmed to appear in Multiverse of Madness. The size of America Chavez’s role in the sequel, meanwhile, still remains a mystery.
But assuming the leaks are correct, this Doctor Strange sequel may end up even weirder than fans are expecting. In the comics, Shuma-Gorath was a giant, one-eyed green tentacle being, an ancient eldritch being who predates Earth and belongs to a race of deities known as the Great Old Ones. The otherworldly design of Dormammu in the first film can’t even come close to matching the surreal absurdity of Shuma-Gorath’s comic book appearance.
As for the character’s alleged obsession with America Chavez, it might make sense within the context of Multiverse of Madness for the Marvel villain to be targeting the MCU rookie. One of America’s powers in the comics was her ability to create and use portals, allowing her to traverse freely throughout the multiverse and into different realities.
With a power like that, it stands to reason any interdimensional being would seek out Chavez, especially one as eager to lord over the multiverse as Shuma-Gorath.
The Inverse Analysis — What this leak doesn’t explain is how Shuma-Gorath’s hunt for America Chavez plays into a continuation of Wanda Maximoff’s story. At the end of WandaVision, Wanda was seen with a grimoire called the Darkhold, a dangerous volume filled with dark magic, and heard the distant voices of her ostensibly erased sons, Billy and Tommy. How would that story tie into a grander conflict between Shuma-Gorath and America Chavez?
Again, it’s worth taking this story leak with a grain of salt. The plot of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness remains under wraps — and whether it will feature a cosmic entity like Shuma-Gorath is just one unanswered question of many.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released in theaters on March 25, 2022.