‘Loki’ and ‘Doctor Strange 2’ writer explains the dangers of multiversal stories

doctor strange 2
Image via Marvel Studios

While undeniably ambitious and incredibly exciting, the notion of introducing the multiverse into an established franchise that’s already 14 years and over 30 projects deep is a massive gamble on the part of Marvel Studios, but Loki got things off to a fantastic start.

Things are set to be taken to the next level when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters in two weeks, but at least writer Michael Waldron has been heavily involved in both the Asgardian trickster’s solo series and the Sorcerer Supreme’s solo sequel to provide a sense of continuity.

That’s no guarantee that things are going to seamlessly tie together, though, with the scribe and producer revealing to GamesRadar that there’s an inherent danger that comes with using the multiverse as a storytelling device.

“The danger is you can expand your scope too wide, and you can actually reduce the stakes if you don’t make it personal as you go bigger and wider. But the opportunity in the multiverse is to have characters confront literal ‘What ifs?’ and alternate versions of themselves and perhaps others in their lives. It’s an interesting way to hold up a mirror to characters. In every way, it shapes the emotional heart of the story. It has to.

The multiverse isn’t just a MacGuffin where we’re like, ‘Okay, this is just a kitschy thing that we’re playing with in this movie.’ If you’re faced with alternate realities and with alternate versions of yourself that has to become the emotional heart, exploring who you might be if you were a different version of yourself, if you made other choices, the right choices or the wrong choices. It’s complex stuff, emotionally, and that’s exactly why it’s so thrilling and so great for a cast as dramatically talented as this one.”

Marvel already has a reputation for using the fake-out death too often, while many of the studio’s film and television efforts have come under fire for not possessing any real narrative or dramatic tension, making the multiverse the most delicate tonal tightrope the MCU has walked yet.