Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness looks to be even bigger than Spider-Man: No Way Home in terms of cameos. One of the biggest surprises that has the fanbase speculating is the potential return of Sir Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier. Accompanying his all but confirmed reprisal are also rumors that Wolverine could make an appearance, either played by Hugh Jackman or perhaps a new actor. But if the Fox Universe of X-Men is set to make even a partial return, it would be a disservice not to include the franchise’s most crucial mutant: Magneto.
Whether played by Ian McKellan or Michael Fassbender, the Master of Magnetism has been around for nearly every X-Men film since 2000. What has helped drive the character forward is how his portrayal never leans completely to villainy. Instead, he’s a survivor of the Holocaust who fears that mutantkind could go down a similar path as hate and fear surrounding them mounts. His worries have even come true in the Sentinel-controlled future from X-Men: Days of Future Past. This concern drives him to take a more proactive approach rather than the bureaucratic one that Professor Xavier prefers.
The prequel series, in which Fassbender takes on the role, shows that Magneto has always had the potential to be a hero, and while he will flip sides from time to time, he always has mutantkind’s best interest at heart. In this, he and Xavier have always seen eye to eye. However, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness looks to present a version of the Professor that may be the worst of both worlds. While not confirmed, this Xavier is believed to be a part of a multiversal Illuminati, a collection of intelligent heroes trying to make the world a better place. If true, the Professor could be just as intelligent and well-intentioned as his other variants but as cold as Magneto was in his younger years. If so, he will need to have someone like Erik Lehnsherr to potentially put him on the right path before sentencing Doctor Strange and America Chavez to a terrible fate.
Magneto has been a driving force behind the films’ conflicts for nearly every entry in the Fox universe. However, something the comics have done but the movies never fully explored is the possibility of the roles being reversed. If Xavier does appear in Multiverse of Madness in a more antagonistic role, it would be an excellent opportunity for the films to explore this flipped dynamic. Furthermore, Magneto could have an even greater motivation to fight for what’s right with the addition of the Scarlet Witch.
The Scarlet Witch and her brother, Quicksilver, were raised by Magneto in the comics. While they believed he was their biological father, a retcon made it so that they were just his foster children. That said, the love he has for them is one of the most powerful bonds in the Marvel Universe. While they are from different cinematic universes, and it’s unlikely that any significant changes to her character would occur, Multiverse of Madness could still establish a connection between them. If their film bond is as strong as their comic bond, Magneto could easily fall into a paternal role, protecting Wanda and fending off any opposition Xavier and the Illuminati could muster.
There’s no doubt that Doctor Strange’s next adventure will be a mind trip for fans who have been watching these films since 2000. But if it’s true that Xavier is going to be in Multiverse of Madness, it would only feel right to include the franchise’s greatest friend and adversary, Magneto, to match whatever he could throw at the film’s heroes. Then, of course, there’s also the fact that mutants are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning that whatever is shown in this film will only help fan those flames even higher.
To see old faces potentially return, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives in theaters on May 6.
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