Even by Marvel standards, there are a lot of cameos in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film’s long-awaited Illuminati segment is, for better or worse, essentially one long parade of high-profile cameos, and it’s not the only sequence where an iconic comic book character shows up.
However, while there are plenty of cameos that comic book readers will be delighted to see, the Doctor Strange sequel also contains a cameo that should make fans of director Sam Raimi happy. Said cameo is at the center of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ goofy but hilarious post-credits scene.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Doctor Strange 2’s post-credits scene, explained
After America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) and Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) make their first trip through the multiverse together, they end up in a seemingly utopian universe. However, America quickly earns the ire of a street vendor when she steals a bowl of their pizza balls after assuming the food is free.
What follows is a hilarious scene where the street vendor chews out both America and Strange, only for the sorcerer to cast a spell on the grumpy citizen that forces him to punch himself for, apparently, several weeks. The film’s post-credits scene later catches back up with the bruised, red-faced street vendor at the exact moment when the spell fades. Joyous, the vendor looks directly to the camera and says, “It’s over!”
Both scenes are funny on their own, but they’re made even better by the fact that the street vendor is played by none other than Bruce Campbell.
Doctor Strange 2’s Bruce Campbell cameo, explained
Bruce Campbell may not be familiar to MCU fans specifically, but he’s well-known to Sam Raimi acolytes. Campbell and Raimi are longtime friends and collaborators: After meeting in high school, the duo worked on multiple films together, with Campbell most notably playing Ash Williams, the charismatic lead in Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy.
Campbell has also appeared in a number of Raimi’s other films, including 1985’s Crimewave and 1990’s Darkman. Campbell also made three separate cameo appearances in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, perhaps most memorably as a strict theater usher in Spider-Man 2.
His turn as a street vendor who ends up on the wrong end of a practical joke by Doctor Strange therefore continues one long tradition of Raimi’s.
The Inverse Analysis — Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ post-credits scene sends the film out on an unexpectedly lighthearted note. It adds a bit of levity to the film as a whole, and also pays off a joke that’s set up early in Multiverse of Madness’ second act. Campbell’s fourth-wall-breaking remark that “it’s over” even doubles as a cheeky way of announcing to the audience that the superhero film has, indeed, come to an end.
Campbell’s two appearances also do a stellar job of making the MCU film feel like a legitimate part of Raimi’s pre-existing filmography. Fortunately, Campbell’s inclusion in the film is just one of many creative decisions Raimi makes throughout Multiverse of Madness that makes it feel like an addition to the MCU that only he could have directed.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters.