The Marvels Director Says Doctor Strange 2 Ruined The Franchise

By Zack Zagranis | Published

marvel horror
Benedict Cumberbatch as an undead version of a Doctor Strange variant in
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Self-described comic nerd Nia DaCosta doesn’t love it when the MCU deviates from the source material. As the director of the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, recently told Total Film, there was one particular liberty taken in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that really stressed her out. It has to do with how Sam Raimi’s sequel dealt with the concept of incursions.

In Doctor Strange 2, John Krasinski, playing Fantastic Four team leader Reed Richards, explains incursions—an incident where one universe begins to collide with another—as something that happens as a result of someone joyriding around the multiverse and changing a bunch of stuff. DaCosta said she found the explanation “very stressful,” because, well, that’s just not how it’s done in the comics.

The Marvels director Nia DaCosta expresses concern over how the concept of incursions were handled in Doctor Strange 2, because it deviates from the source material.

According to the source material, AKA Marvel Comics, incursions happen when a universe’s version of Molecule Man perishes, sending that universe on a collision course with the universe next to it.

Given that the MCU has yet to acknowledge the existence of not only Molecule Man but the Beyonders that created him as a purposeful way to end the multiverse, it makes sense that they would come up with a different explanation for the world-ending calamities even if it irks comic purists like The Marvels director Nia DaCosta.

“It definitely leads to plentiful opportunities for the future of the MCU, whatever the Avengers and Secret Wars teams may want to do with them.”

-Nia DaCosta on how The Marvels will impact the MCU

As if to preemptively stave off any internet trolls who might dub her a “fake geek girl”, DaCosta drops a few bits of obscure Marvel knowledge during her interview with Total Film. For example, when asked about the Kree war hammer brandished by Dar-Benn in the trailer for The Marvels, DaCosta takes the time to point out that the comic-accurate term for the hammer would be “Universal Weapon” before going on to address whether the hammer is the same one brandished by Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Zawe Ashton in The Marvels (2023)

The director’s message to eagle-eyed fans regarding any Easter eggs they might spot? “Just know that I am deeply devoted to the comics. And so, there’s always clues there.”

Could some of those clues exist to set up future Marvel plotlines? Nothing is explicitly revealed, but when The Marvels producer Mary Livanos describes the power of Kamala Khan’s bangle during the same interview, she mentions the upcoming Marvel project Avengers: Secret Wars. “It definitely leads to plentiful opportunities for the future of the MCU, whatever the Avengers and Secret Wars teams may want to do with them,” Livanos said about The Marvels.

The Beyonders And Molecule Man

Interestingly, the comic version of Secret Wars is heavily involved with both the Beyonders and Molecule Man, making it possible that Nia DaCosta might get her comic book accurate incursions after all. It would be easy to retcon the previous explanation as Reed Richards simply not knowing exactly what he’s talking about. Even the smartest man in the world makes mistakes sometimes.

On the other hand, the MCU put out a version of Civil War without the Superhuman Registration Act or Speedball/Penance—both crucial elements of the Civil War event in the comics. They had Tony Stark build Ultron instead of Hank Pym and turned the Planet Hulk storyline into a buddy comedy starring Thor, with the Hulk taking a mere supporting role. In other words, the MCU doesn’t hold any particular affinity for its source material, so who knows?

The Marvels opens in theaters on November 10.