Peter Parker's fellow New Yorker Doctor Strange is the perfect MCU character to cameo in the as-yet-untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel. The first solo Spider-Man movie in the MCU, Spider-Man: Homecoming, featured Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark in a major role, acting as a mentor figure to Tom Holland's Peter Parker, and even giving Spider-Man a major upgrade. That character arc continued into this year's Avengers: Infinity War, and led to one of the movie's most heartbreaking moments.
There are two reasons Marvel added Iron Man to Homecoming. The first is that a major MCU cameo emphasized the difference between this latest iteration of Peter Parker and the two who had gone before. This new, youthful Spider-Man exists in the context of the MCU, is part of the "bigger universe" that Nick Fury referred to in the first Iron Man, and he can actually fight side-by-side with other Marvel heroes.
The second reason, however, is that it's generally believed this was part of Marvel's deal with Sony. Sony wanted this new Spider-Man film to have more star-power than any Spidey movie to date, and that meant including one of the MCU's biggest names. If that's the case, we'd be expecting the Homecoming sequel to operate under similar terms... which means another MCU hero should play a major role.
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Another MCU Cameo Is Expected In The Sequel
Robert Downey Jr. brought some serious star-power to Spider-Man: Homecoming, but it was reportedly a one-time-only deal. That makes sense; most viewers believe Tony Stark will pay the ultimate price to defeat Thanos in next year's Avengers 4. The Homecoming sequel is set "minutes after" Avengers 4, so - assuming viewers are correct - there's no way Stark could actually cameo in it. No doubt the impact of Stark's sacrifice would still be felt in the sequel, of course; Peter Parker idolizes Stark, and would grieve the passing of his mentor.
In June last year, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that another MCU character would appear in the Homecoming sequel instead. "Sony will get a to-be-determined Marvel character for Spider-Man 2," they reported, and compared the scale of the cameo to Downey's. Given Stark's significance to Homecoming's plot, this can be expected to be another team-up movie, with Holland's Spider-Man working alongside another Marvel hero. So far, attention has been focused on the possibility of Letitia Wright's Shuri - a breakout star from Black Panther - being the cameo. But, given the little we know of the Homecoming sequel to date, that doesn't seem terribly likely.
Filming on the sequel is expected to start in July, and this cameo is sure to leak. There's absolutely no way Marvel will be able to hide news of an A-list MCU actor being on set. So it's likely we'll hear more about the cameo over the course of the next few weeks.
What Do We Know About The Homecoming Sequel?
According to Kevin Feige, the Homecoming sequel is essentially the launchpad for the post-Phase 3 MCU. As he put it, "What better person to hold your hand and lead you into the next incarnation of the MCU, in a grounded, realistic manner, than Peter Parker?" Although Spider-Man will still spend some time in New York, the Homecoming sequel sees him swinging across the globe, with production actually kicking off in London. Feige has implied that won't be the only location the webhead visits, either.
Michael Keaton's Vulture is confirmed to return, but there are reports that the main villain will actually be Mysterio. Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to portray Spider-Man's would-be magical menace; no stranger to action films, at his best Gyllenhaal is able to portray a truly three-dimensional character, and the role of Mysterio would give him a real chance to shine. Whether Gyllenhaal actually gets the part or not, though, it looks as though Mysterio is coming to the MCU. There are unconfirmed rumors that this version of Mysterio is a thief who steals an important piece of Stark technology, a natural link back to Tony Stark, but it's really too soon to properly assess these rumors. So they should be taken with a serious pinch of salt.
Doctor Strange Should Be Spider-Man's New Mentor
Feige has confirmed that Marvel is looking at what he called "a five-movie storyline" for Tom Holland's Spider-Man. That's important to note, because it means there's going to be a narrative throughline between Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, one that leads through Avengers 4 and on to the Homecoming sequel. Given that's the case, we should be able to see hints of Spider-Man's important relationships in Infinity War.
But Spider-Man actually interacts with only two other heroes in Avengers: Infinity War - Iron Man and Doctor Strange. Infinity War doesn't just see Spider-Man visit his first alien world, it's also his first encounter with magic. No doubt that would impress him deeply - and, knowing magic is real, he's sure to be wrong-footed by a "master of illusions" who claims to be a magician. It would be entirely appropriate for Spider-Man to reach out to Doctor Strange for help.
Appropriate, but ironic. The reality is that Mysterio, unlike Strange, is no real sorcerer. Instead, he's always been viewed as a jealous, ambitious special effects guru with a desire to prove himself. No doubt Doctor Strange would be somewhat bemused to be called upon to help dealing with Mysterio, setting up a lot of humor and even more learning moments for Spider-Man. It's easy to imagine Mysterio pulling off a stunt, and a confused Strange observing, "Magic... doesn't work like that."
It's important to note that both Tom Holland Benedict Cumberbatch are keen for this particular team-up to happen. "I would really like that to be expanded to something really fantastic," Cumberbatch told Screen Rant. The two characters do have a brilliant dynamic, so it would be great to see Marvel develop that further.
Doctor Strange Is The Most Logical Cameo
The Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel will effectively launch the MCU's Phase 4. That means whoever cameos in this film will be set up to play a major role in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One possibility is Captain Marvel, who's set to make her MCU debut next year. But the other most likely possibilities are heroes whose sequels have already been confirmed - Black Panther or Doctor Strange.
But neither Captain Marvel nor Black Panther would make sense. Next year will already see a massive focus on Brie Larson's Captain Marvel; she'll star in a solo film next year, and then will return to play a major role in the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4. Meanwhile, there's simply no need to shine a spotlight on Black Panther. The character was introduced in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, and this year's solo film was an unprecedented success. It grossed just shy of $700 million in the domestic box office; even Avengers: Infinity War, which celebrates the ten-year anniversary of the MCU, is unlikely to beat it.
By a process of elimination, then, Doctor Strange is the most logical choice for the cameo. His sequel has been discussed since 2016, with Nightmare as the most likely villain, but has yet to be scheduled. Given Strange's major role in Infinity War, this is the perfect time to focus in on the future Sorcerer Supreme, and begin the build-up to Doctor Strange 2.
The Comic Book Precedent
The comics have always tended to use Doctor Strange as the go-to sorcerer for Earth's heroes. When Doctor Doom uses magic against the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards heads to the Sanctum Sanctorum; when the powers of the X-Men's Magik flare out of control, she approaches the Sorcerer Supreme for training. Spider-Man is no different, and the webhead has approached Strange for help with mystical threats on countless occasions. In the comics, the two heroes have a strong and entertaining dynamic. As recently as May's Doctor Strange #90, Spidey dropped by to check how Doctor Strange was doing after the latest mystical event. In a typically hilarious twist, it turned out he'd heard of Strange's latest magical ability - the power to enable communication with animals - and was actually curious to chat with a real spider.
But other team-ups have been rather more important. Take, for example, 1999's "Happy Birthday" arc, which celebrated the 500th issue of Amazing Spider-Man. This saw the Dread Dormammu trick Earth's heroes into helping him enter our dimension, and he was soon locked in battle with Doctor Strange. Events went catastrophically wrong, and Spider-Man was sent back in time, reliving moments from his personal history. He fought his way back to the present day, and successfully averted Dormammu's victory. That act opened a tear in the fabric of time, launching Spider-Man on an arc that would ultimately bring him face-to-face with Morlun.
And these aren't isolated examples. The truth is that, in the original comics, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange are close friends and allies. Although Spider-Man is a science-based hero, his adventures have faced him with numerous quasi-mystical threats, from interdimensional Wasps to the Wraith, from Morlun to Dormammu himself. He and Doctor Strange have worked together countless times, forging a close friendship, and each has willingly put their life on the line for the other. It would be great to see that reproduced on the big screen.
Given the little we know of the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, Doctor Strange would be the most logical cameo. This would allow Marvel to build up a relationship that's always been an entertaining one in the original comics, while opening new magic-based vistas for the wondrous wall-crawler. It would also benefit Doctor Strange, too, further increasing the character's profile for his own sequel.