‘Doctor Strange 2’ star explains how the MCU’s America Chavez is different from the comics

doctor strange 2
Image via Marvel Studios/Disney

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness isn’t just bringing back familiar faces like Stephen Strange and Scarlet Witch but is also paving the way for the franchise’s future by introducing a key new heroine. Namely, America Chavez, as played by Xochitl Gomez, who’ll be joining the eponymous magic-man and his pal Wong (Benedict Wong) as they take a trip through reality.

America’s MCU debut has been a long time coming, as she’s one of the most popular teen heroes in Marvel Comics. That said, as we’ve become used to by now, Marvel Studios will be tweaking the character somewhat for the screen. While speaking to Digital Spy, Gomez revealed the big change that Doctor Strange 2 made to America which sets her apart from her comics counterpart: she’s a few years younger.

As Gomez explained:

“The amazing thing about America in the MCU is that she’s 14, which is younger than any other version in the comics. So I think that Michael Waldron really had some freedom in introducing her in a new way. For me, looking into the comics, she’s younger and less experienced, so basically taking that confidence in her power and her ability and just developing it for this movie, which was fun. I enjoyed it.”

14 was also the age at which The Baby-Sitters Club actress landed the life-changing gig of joining the Marvel universe, although it appears that the decision to age America down came from screenwriter Michael Waldron first. It’s unclear why Waldron decided to shave a couple of years off Miss Chavez, although by the sounds of it, the move was made in order to give the character more room to grow in confidence in power, both in this film alone and in potential future appearances. Like a Young Avengers team-up project, for instance.

One important element of America’s personality has been retained from the comics, though: her sexuality. Kevin Feige has stressed that there was no way Marvel was going to erase America’s bisexuality in the MCU, even though Doctor Strange 2‘s LGBTQ+ references have got it censored and/or banned in some territories, in what Benedict Cumberbatch calls an “expected disappointment.”

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is out in theaters this weekend and is expected to bring home the big bucks.