Even before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was officially announced to be happening, director Scott Derrickson repeatedly outlined his intentions to use Nightmare as the villain of the Sorcerer Supreme’s sequel. Although we still don’t know if that’s the case, and that’s despite the fact that Sam Raimi has wrapped shooting on the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster after he took over behind the camera.
There’ve been no shortage of rumors and speculation that it’s happening anyway, but plot details are being kept so tightly under wraps in regards to Multiverse of Madness that the only fresh face confirmed to be making their MCU debut in the movie so far is Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez, who pitches up alongside returnees Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams, Chiwitel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong.
However, the first episode of Loki on Disney Plus may have teased a potential introduction for the ruler of the Dream Dimension somewhere down the line. When Tom Hiddleston’s trickster says that the mere existence of the Time Variance Authority is a nightmare, Owen Wilson’s Mobius replies with: “That’s another department I’ll gladly help you burn down.”
While it could always just be a throwaway gag, this is the MCU we’re talking about, where even the most minor visual or narrative references often get paid off years down the line. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has long been heralded as the potential destination for Nightmare’s debut, too, and given the character’s history and backstory within Marvel Comics canon, it wouldn’t take much of a leap to connect the interdimensional terror to both the Master of the Mystical Arts and the TVA in some fashion, especially when Loki is said to have serious ramifications for the franchise at large.