In the run-up to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel fans were convinced that it might revisit several character variations from the What If? animated series. It''s apparent that there were just too many crossovers for it to be coincidental. However, as screenwriter Michael Waldron has revealed that the similarity between the two projects was just one big coinkydink.
While penning the Doctor Strange 2s script, Waldron admitted that the film was still coming together at the time, but it was not intended as a follow-up to it. It just so happens, however, that the story he had written mirrored the one the What If? team had created for their Strange episode.
When I came on [the film,] the Doctor Strange episode of What If? was still in the animatic phase. This was particularly helpful to me as [executive producer] Ashley Bradley had focused on Strange and Christines'' relationship [in the episode, because I knew I wanted to focus on that as the basis of his emotional story.
What If?s Dark Strange and the evil Strange from Multiverse of Madness are distinct entities, according to Waldron. The two matching versions assist in the creation of Earth-616s Strange, the only one who remains a good guy, as he continues:
It did not necessarily affect the multiverse, but it represents one more cautionary tale of a time that Stephen Strange, somewhere in the multiverse, has gone bad and destroyed a universe. And I think that this weight, is every version of me fated to go bad and therefore, does that mean Im going to go bad?
As for Zombie Strange, Waldrons revealed elsewhere that his initial introduction came out of needing to tackle a plot point. However, the Captain Carter crossover is unlikely to be a surprise, so wed like to know if she was a Marvel concept that was deliberately planted in both productions. That appears feasible, given how she is already in her own comic book series.
What If Doctor Strange 2 is currently in theaters right now? Season 2 is in development.