Doctor Strange 2 addressed a long-standing Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) theory that divides fans.
In the new film, Benedict Cumberbatch returns as the wizard for his second standalone film, this one titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness†
In the sequel, he encounters America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a superhero with the ability to travel across universes, filled with old and new Marvel characters.
*Following spoilers – you’ve been warned*
Strange travels through the multiverse with Chavez and they find themselves in a world where they are trapped by the Illuminati, a secret group made up of several recognizable faces.
Before coming face to face with the Illuminati, however, Strange discovers that a variant of his former lover Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) is at work there. It is this version of Palmer uttering a phrase that generates an excited response from viewers around the world.
Palmer tells Strange that the universe he traveled to is known as Earth-838. She then reveals that the world of the MCU is known as 616.
Marvel Comics readers have been trying to figure out if the MCU universe was Earth-616, which is considered the “main” universe. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio Previously Claimed It Was In Spider-Man: Far From Homebut some fans thought maybe the character was lying.
However, the confirmation in Doctor Strange 2 has divided comic readers, who believe there are many discrepancies with the way the world is translated on screen. Others felt that the movie universe should be numbered differently so that it could exist as another world within the multiverse that the movie characters might find their way into in a future movie.
Twitter user @KeyBrains wrote: “Doctor Strange is a really cool movie. BUT it’s really, absolutely, stupid – actually wrong, in fact – that they call the MCU universe the 616. That’s what has been spoken for! Wtf would literally any other designation work.”
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a free 30-day trial
Another comic book fanatic. @allsorrows, added: “This is so insignificant, but the MCU should NOT be referred to as 616. Like… the comic universe exists somewhere out there… so like… what’s up with that.”
But Twitter user @acscosplay leveled out: “People are actually mad that they called the main mcu timeline “earth-616″? 616 is Marvel’s main universe in the comics, so they just keep the number for the main universe in the movies. It creates no problems, it’s just a number.”
In addition to a series of surprising cameos during the film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has a post-credits scene that brings an Oscar winner into the fold.
The film is now in theaters. Read the independent‘s review here and find our interview with Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda Maximoff in the film, here.