The universe of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness just got a little bit bigger.
Deadline reports The Baby-Sitters Club star Xochitl Gomez will join the cast of the Doctor Strange sequel. She joins a cast that already includes, of course, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange, who was recently announced to be appearing in Spider-Man 3. Elizabeth Olsen was also confirmed to be appearing as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in a storyline that Marvel Studios says will tie into her upcoming Disney+ spinoff series with Paul Bettany, WandaVision. It’s also expected that Benedict Wong will return as Doctor Strange’s fellow Master of Mystic Arts and friend, Wong, as will Chiwetel Ejiofor as hero-turned-villain Baron Mordo.
As for the director, Scott Derrickson, who directed the first movie, was replaced by Sam Raimi after Derrickson announced he was stepping down from the sequel due to creative differences. Derrickson still remains on board as producer, however. Production will begin next May after Cumberbatch finishes up his shoot on the third Sony-Marvel Spider-Man movie, which was set to begin filming next March but recent reports indicate it’s to begin filming this month in New York.
It’s unclear what role Gomez will be playing, but, as is so often the case when Marvel casts a character from the comics, they get a bit squirrelly on divulging character details. That’s led a number of fans to speculate on social media that Gomez could be playing fan-favorite America Chavez.
If that’s the case, Marvel will be introducing a long-awaited and fascinating character into the mix. America Chavez is technically not Latinx by blood, having been born outside of space and time (you know – comics!) but is Latinx by culture, identity and values, making her the first queer, Latinx superhero in comics. As the superhero Miss America, America Chavez has plenty of the usual superhero powers: superhuman strength, durability, speed, occasional energy blasts and the power of flight. However, she also has one special ability that makes her an excellent candidate to show up in the world of Doctor Strange: the ability to literally kick open holes into other dimensions and realities. With Doctor Strange 2 dealing with the multiverse and the third Spider-Man movie hinting that there will be a shared cinematic multiverse between Marvel and Sony, it was only a matter of time before America Chavez showed up.
What’s interesting, however, is that if Gomez is playing Chavez, she will be a younger version of the character than in the comics as Gomez is only 14. We could see her grow up in the movies, or, depending on Marvel’s plans, it’s entirely possible she’ll be introduced in the second Doctor Strange movie and then get her own spinoff series on Disney+. With Marvel making it clear they plan for their characters to move back and forth between TV and movies, such as with the recently-cast Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, it gives them more flexibility on screens big and small.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on March 25, 2022. Spider-Man 3 hits theaters on December 17, 2021. And WandaVision debuts on Disney+ in December of this year.