Doctor Strange 2’s Illuminati World Had A Better Tony Stark
According to a Marvel producer, one of the parallel worlds in Doctor Strange 2 had a better, smarter version of Tony Stark.
Now that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming on Disney+, hopefully everyone has had to chance to see it multiple times and digest everything the multiverse threw at us (if you haven’t, spoilers will follow). It is now giving one of the film’s producers the freedom to talk about the movie a little more, and he is discussing the impact of the alternate universe featured in Doctor Strange 2, aka Earth-838, and the impact of its Tony Stark and his Ultron bots. As it turns out, the Tony Stark Marvel fans came to know may not have been the best version of Tony after all, according to The Direct.
As seen in the film, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the multiverse-jumping America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) travel from the Earth we know in the MCU (aka Earth-616) to Earth-838, where the Marvel heroes had a much different battle with Thanos and the Illuminati now calls the shots. Led by Baron Mordo as Sorcerer Supreme, Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic (John Krasinski) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart), The Illuminati have an army at their disposal to keep Wanda from acquiring the Book of Vishanti: the Ultron bots created by Tony Stark. While fans are still talking about all those awesome cameos (and gruesome deaths), producer Richie Palmer is shedding light on the backstory behind the Ultron bots, which didn’t get much of a storyline in Doctor Strange 2.
In an interview with the Empire Spoiler Special Podcast, Palmer revealed that the alternate-universe Tony Stark on Earth-838 in Doctor Strange 2 was able to do what “our Tony,” the Earth-616 Tony, could not: make the Ultron technology work. The presence of the Ultron bots serving the Illuminati is proof that Tony Stark’s plan could work all along. Earth-838 had a “suit of armor around the world” protecting it, without the pesky problem of Ultron becoming self-aware and deciding to kill humanity, as seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Palmer said in Doctor Strange 2, we see that Earth-838 “is a world where Ultron seemed to work the way Tony Stark intended him to work in Age of Ultron,” Palmer said. “Tony was trying to get the Avengers to retire in Age of Ultron…This is a world where Tony cracked Ultron, and it worked, and he went, ‘Hey, whoever wants to retire and go home, can.’ And then the Illuminati came to rise behind the scenes, pulling the strings, but, I think it’s just a little bit of a better world for whatever reason, and Wanda was able to go and have the life that she deserved.” So, the Tony Stark in 838 was more successful than the 616 Tony, even if he didn’t sacrifice himself to kill Thanos.
Richie Palmer has worked for Marvel Studios since 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he started off as an uncredited production assistant. He worked his way up the Marvel Studios hierarchy, eventually working production and development for Marvel films since Avengers: Infinity War and all of the Disney+ Marvel series. For Doctor Strange 2, he received his first producer’s credit, and is now free to shed light on the much-discussed alternate universe in the film. He didn’t address why the Tony Stark of Earth-838 was never seen, but we know from writer Michael Waldron that Tom Cruise was never a serious consideration to play Tony, despite consistent internet rumors.