The internet is still cleaning up after the multiple nerdgasms induced by the announcement that Sam Raimi is in talks to take over directorial duties on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but some who recovered quickly enough are now suggesting that his involvement was predicted as far back as Raimi’s own Spider-Man 2.
In the 2004 movie, after a lab accident results in Dr. Otto Octavius being driven slowly insane by the sentient AI of his robotic arms and robs a bank to fund further experimentation, J. Jonah Jameson demands a nickname for the new supervillain. After he declares Peter’s pitches of Doctor Octopus and Science Squid to be “crap,” his suggestion of Doctor Strange was stated to be “pretty good, but it’s taken!” And as ever, Twitter was on hand to react.
Coincidence? I think NOT. Sam Raimi foreshadowing his involvement in Doctor Strange 2 back in 2004’s Spider-Man 2. pic.twitter.com/p8WO2c51aS
— ????? (@itsjustanx) February 6, 2020
the doctor strange reference in spider-man 2 implies raimi's marvel universe has its own doctor strange, someone who'd probably know who peter is, someone who has been keeping an eye on him… pic.twitter.com/2VmihtP6jh
— jeremy. (@jeremylovesyall) February 6, 2020
He used the Time Stone to foresee this outcome, that's why he put that Doctor Strange reference in Spider-Man 2. It all makes sense now https://t.co/CWDvKt6mZZ
— Jojo Rabbit is now available to own on Digital (@Schaffrillas) February 6, 2020
If this happens, it will be amazing and it could maybe even be the thing that finally convinces MCU and Raimi fans to get along.
And it would also be called if the Doctor Strange Easter egg from Spider-Man 2 could be referenced as well. https://t.co/NxM9iDpt3t
— ArchitronOverlord (@ArchibaldTweets) February 6, 2020
The doctor strange reference in spider man 2 is now relevant again https://t.co/GTlv3FCTgt
— ? Ailey ?️⚧️ (@sakurailey) February 6, 2020
Doctor Strange was mention in Spider-man "2" now Sam Raimi is going to direct Doctor Strange "2" is that weird or what?
— Markus Jordan (@imaboyjaker) February 6, 2020
what if… Sam Raimi can bring all the live action versions of Spider-Man together through the Multiverse in Doctor Strange 2…. haha just kidding…unless…? pic.twitter.com/62V72PleAm
— Aniq ⎊ (@RaniqDesigns) February 6, 2020
— Downtime Disney (@DowntimeDisney) February 6, 2020
For our younger readers, please understand that this was in the days before every franchise existed in a shared universe, and references to other properties were just as fun Easter eggs for fans rather than being indicative of any future involvement of characters referenced.
It’s worth pointing out that Raimi’s Spider-Man was where the modern obsession with comic book movies was truly kickstarted, after X-Men sparked an interest in actually taking them seriously. His knowledge of the medium, along with his horror credentials from the Evil Dead trilogy and Drag Me to Hell, and fusion of the two with Darkman, should result in both aspects of Stephen Strange’s follow-up solo adventure being perfectly balanced.
If Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness does finally introduce the idea of parallel worlds, it’s entirely possible that Tobey Maguire’s webslinger will be a part of it, too. If so, it’ll be nothing more than a brief cameo, but enough to acknowledge the 16-year-old shout out and give vindication to the legions of fans waiting and hoping for the meta reference.