WandaVision leaks may confirm a mind-blowing Marvel Phase 4 theory
What does this mean for Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange 2?
WandaVision isn't just the first Marvel Studios story in over a year, it's also the setup for two major upcoming movies: Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. If you've been following along with recent leaks, that won't come as a surprise (all three stories appear to explore the multiverse concept), but now we have what might be our first confirmation that Spidey's next movie will connect directly with WandaVision too
What happened — WandaVision director Matt Shakman recently confirmed that was in contact with both Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 director Jon Watts and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi to make sure the new Disney+ series connects seamlessly to the two films. Speaking with Comicbook.com, Shakman said, “It's a relay race, this whole thing. And so you're passing the baton from one group of filmmakers to another and you want to make sure that handoff is, is effortless and perfect, right."
Shakman also noted that there’s a constant conversation amongst all the Marvel filmmakers (including those working on the studio’s other Disney+ shows), but his relay race comments seem particularly in line with some Marvel fans’ current WandaVision theories.
How WandaVision connects to Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange 2
It's looking increasingly likely that WandaVision, Spider-Man 3, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may make up a kind of informal MCU trilogy. All three projects seem to be dealing with the multiverse and alternate realities in their own ways, starting with WandaVision, which will follow its two titular heroes on a journey through the strange, sitcom-inspired realities they’ve found themselves in. That multiverse aspect will carry over into Spider-Man 3, as the film offers its own take on the Spider-Verse, with actors and characters from Sony’s previous live-action Spider-Man films (including Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire) reportedly appearing alongside Tom Holland. Meanwhile, the very title of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness confirms that it’ll be all about the multiverse.
It was also confirmed back in 2019 that Elizabeth Olsen will be reprising her role as Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange 2, creating a link between the film and WandaVision long before any footage or story details had been released from either project. Early leaks from WandaVision suggest Benedict Cumberbatch may have a cameo as Doctor Strange on Disney+ as well, which only further establishes a clear connection between the two. In case the Spider-Verse storyline wasn’t enough evidence to suggest that Spider-Man 3 will connect directly to WandaVision and Doctor Strange 2 either, it has also been confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch will be appearing as Strange in the next Spider-Man film.
Combined, all these casting confirmations and story clues have made it abundantly clear that WandaVision, Spider-Man 3, and Doctor Strange 2 are directly connected to each other. That has left fans to wonder one thing — what story is Marvel really going to be telling across these three projects?
House of M
We know that these three titles are, in some way, connected. What we don’t know yet, is just how intricately connected they are — if their stories are dependent on each other, or if they’re simply tied together by a common setting or plot point (i.e. the multiverse). For the sake of fun, and in the spirit of good faith speculation though, let’s just assume that WandaVision, Spider-Man 3, and Doctor Strange 2 do indeed tell one interconnected, complete story. What story could that be? What comic storyline deals heavily with alternate realities and could be hypothetically told across all three titles with these characters?
Yeah, we’re talking about House of M, which has already been referenced in some of the WandaVision footage and press materials.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, House of M is a 2005 comic book storyline in which Scarlet Witch goes mad, and as a result, completely alters reality. It’s one of the most well-known — and divisive — comics of the 2000s and has grown to reach iconic status in the years since its initial publication. Many Marvel fans have speculated that the alternate realities presented in WandaVision may have been created by Wanda herself a la House of M — a result of her mourning the death of Vision in Avengers: Infinity War.
But even if that’s not the case, it’s still entirely possible that WandaVision will still focus on Wanda struggling to accept the reality of her life after his death. The series could conceivably culminate with her accidentally splitting open the multiverse — as opposed to just altering reality as she did in House of M. That could lead into the Spider-Verse story in Spider-Man 3, allowing the previous live-action Spider-Men to cross over into the MCU. Doctor Strange’s presence in the film also means the events of Spider-Man 3 will no doubt set up Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The Inverse Analysis — Since Marvel keeps so many details close to the vest, it’s always difficult to know exactly what the studio is planning at any one time. However, the MCU has been laying down more and more breadcrumbs over the past year, all of which point towards WandaVision, Spider-Man 3, and Doctor Strange 2 being directly connected to each other. Whether they are actually the three parts of a new, informal trilogy from Marvel, and do indeed tell a House of M-inspired story as many fans have speculated, is hard to say right now. But it’s certainly looking more and more likely, at least.
Of course, as is always the case, it’s entirely possible this is just some giant, genius red herring created by Kevin Feige to keep Marvel fans oblivious to what the studio’s actual plans are. But for the sake of speculation, we’re going to go ahead and say that’s not the case. Not this time.
WandaVision premieres January 15th on Disney+.