Marvel Studios had a slight wobble in 2021 with Black Widow and Eternals, but with the release of Shang-Chi, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and now Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness it seems they’re firmly back on track. The Sam Raimi-helmed sequel has been a box office smash on its opening weekend and has garnered majorly positive reviews.
One factor often singled out for praise is Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez. She’s at the core of the plot and present in most key scenes. The then 15-year-old Gomez managed to stand toe-to-toe with acting heavyweights like Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen. Marvel Studios clearly has big plans for her, though we may have to wait a while to find out what they are.
However, along with praise comes the inevitable haters. The inclusion of America Chavez in the film led to the film getting banned in Saudi Arabia because of the character’s LGBTQ+ roots in the comic books. In a chat with USA Today, Gomez shared that while she is sometimes affected by the negative comments her character has received, she prefers to stay strong and “move forward.”
“I’m all about positivity and creativity (but) sometimes I can’t ignore that completely. I’m grateful to have very supportive fans that are so much louder and more enthusiastic than haters. And it’s really important, since I do have a really big young following to show them that things happen and it’s better to stay strong and continue and move forward.”
In casting young actors, Kevin Feige has his eye on the future and the next generation of heroes. We’ve recently been introduced to Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop and Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, with Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams and Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel about to make their MCU debut soon.
Feige recently revealed that he and key Marvel creatives had planned out the next decade of MCU stories, so here’s hoping these characters play a big role going forward as the existing MCU heroes begin to retire.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now in theaters.