This is an opinion piece with descriptive spoilers for multiple source materials, and especially Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness. Please proceed with caution!
Disney released a Marvel short series in August of 2011 called “What If?” and since then, I’ve been hoping for more of one specific universe. I had only recently started reading the The Marvel: Zombies comics (written by Robert Kirkman) before it was turned into an episode. To me, this is meant to be a violent, intricate, and seemingly-hopeless story, but it was bent and twisted into 25 short minutes of comedy with a side of zombie. While it was fun to watch, I don’t think it was done any justice.
I’m not sure if there would ever be a genuine movie adaptation or TV series, but now that I’ve seen Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness, I noticed quite a few links that I found fun to consider. I hope you do too!
- The addition of Sam Raimi
It’s important to remember that Raimi has a history with Marvel already. While Spiderman 1 and 2 were winners, he mentions in an interview with Collider that Spider Man 3 just wasn’t what he wanted it to be. He also said:
“I didn’t know that I could face it again because it was so awful, having been the director of Spider-Man 3. The Internet was getting revved up and people disliked that movie and they sure let me know about it. So, it was difficult to take back on.”
His resurgence in the Marvel Universe, as well as his well known portrayal of the Evil Dead franchise, makes Sam Raimi the perfect fit to keep testing Disney and Marvel’s limits. Marvel: Zombies may have been its own story from 2005-2006, but was later given a prequel, or retelling, of sorts. Marvel: Zombies Vs The Army of Darkness follows a lot of the same story and characters, this time is accompanied by Ash Williams.
Bruce Campbell even has a cameo in Multiverse of Madness! There were some fun references to Evil Dead, such as having to slap himself, as well as the post credits scene where he gives a familiar set of exclamatory final words. These worlds having history together would make Raimi quite literally the most knowledgeable and capable person to see a project like this forward.
- The introduction of Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic
John Krasinski successfully jumped from cable comedy to big screen horror/thriller. Now he is our official Mr. Fantastic, whose story can easily be one of the biggest plot points of Marvel: Zombies. The basics are covered in its own comic, but even more great parts come from the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics. Exploring those crossover stories can make you appreciate the series so much more, but it’s not crucial to enjoying the story itself.
Once Earth 615 has been completely devastated with the virus, Zombie-Mr. Fantastic tricks the Ultimate’s Mr. Fantastic into creating a multi-dimensional portal. While we’ve slowly been introduced to the multiverse in theaters, we finally get to explore more of it In Multiverse of Madness. Seeing America Chavez and Doctor Strange dimension-hopping could even become a plot device explaining how Zombie-Mr. Fantastic was inspired to bring a multi-dimensional portal into play.
- The Official X-men/Avengers crossover
Charles Xavier is introduced as a member of The Illuminati of Earth 838, alongside Mr. Fantastic. While Xavier doesn’t last long in Multiverse of Madness or Zombies, it creates a possible connection for Zombie-Mr. Fantastic and other Zombified X-men who work together to turn Cerebro into a machine that finds humans instead of Mutants.
This could also be an opportunity to elaborate on how the virus starts in the first place. We see Magneto become a savior to all those who remain, only to learn later on that he was the one to instigate this Apocalypse in the first place in an attempt to eradicate humans.
Magneto’s biggest mistake was not realizing it would affect mutants/supers as well. By now it’s too late, and he can only attone for the sins that destroyed his planet by saving what small amount of the living remains. Since Multiverse of Madness used a hero-to-villain arc with Scarlet Witch, it could potentially leave a great desire for a villain-to-hero arc that Magneto is capable of fulfilling in this scenario.
- Familiar Fights and Themes
Raimi brought an introduction of horror to the Multiverse of Madness, especially in the fight scene between The Illuminati and a dream-walking Scarlet Witch. The chilling and grotesque extermination of these characters were unexpected, but some were yet again familiar.
In “What If?” Zombie-Captain America is sliced in half by Bucky with the Captain’s shield. The exact same fate is met by Captain Carter in Multiverse of Madness. Could this be a coincidence? Or was Raimi taking directly from source material?
I have to add there is quite literally Zombie-Doctor Strange. Near the end of Multiverse of Madness, Strange dream-walks into a dead counterpart buried on his own earth. I’m going to be honest, I don’t understand how so much time passed for this dead Strange to be so decayed, but can you really say Zombie-Doctor Strange wasn’t one of your favorite parts?
Was there a reference I didn’t catch? Is there something you believe can be a great addition to a Zombies Movie? Let me know by commenting or hit me up on Twitter @OhThatJessUgh