The Marvel universe is filled with superhero teams of different natures, from genius think-tanks like the Illuminati to families like the Fantastic Four. The MCU looks to be building toward several of these with the introduction of many child heroes pointing toward a Young Avengers team-up and new heroes stepping up to form the New Avengers.
Recent reports hinted at a Multiverse Illuminati assembling in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, something which was validated by the latest trailer. The Illuminati is a group of the smartest heroes who meet in secret to discuss strategy and develop plans to handle the gravest of threats.
Originally, this team included Tony Stark's Iron Man, Professor X, Doctor Strange, Inhuman leader Black Bolt, and Atlantean ruler Namor. The genius intelligence and varied expertise of the entire line-up made them perfectly equipped to prepare for anything from an out-of-control Hulk to superhero civil wars.
With past reports stating an Illuminati project being in development at Marvel Studios, a Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness producer hinted at the future of the team in the MCU.
Doctor Strange Producer Teases MCU Illuminati Future
During a recent interview with Empire, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness producer Richie Palmer teased the future of the Illuminati in the MCU.
When asked to comment on rumors of a Multiverse Illuminati appearing in the summer blockbuster, Palmer said that if the think-tank team is ever introduced, it "might be more MCU-driven" as opposed to "just replicating what’s in the comics:"
"I will say that I love the Illuminati. But if we ever introduce the Illuminati in the future, it might be more MCU-driven and have some more ties to our characters in the MCU, versus just replicating what’s in the comics.”
Who Will Join the MCU's Illuminati?
Patrick Stewart's Professor X popping up in the latest Multiverse of Madness trailer seemingly validated rumors and speculation of the Illuminati making an appearance. While Palmer is remaining tight-lipped regarding the Multiverse team-up, that's nothing new for a Marvel Studios blockbuster.
However, the producer's comments on how the Illuminati may be introduced down the line potentially suggest the Multiverse team in question may not be the iconic think-tank. The line-up and goals of the group may end up proving extremely similar to their comic counterpart, but there's a high chance they don't use the Illuminati name.
Palmer appears to be suggesting that should the Illuminati be introduced in the MCU's future, the line-up will be more closely based on the smartest and most powerful heroes in this universe, as opposed to simply adapting the comic team.
Going off the MCU's current key players, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Hulk, Sam Wilson's Captain America, and the apparent Black Panther-to-be Shuri are no-brainer inclusions. A case could also be made for Gemma Chan's Sersi joining the Illuminati to increase the Eternals' presence in the wider MCU.
But in the years to come, many more heroes will be joining the MCU, including the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. Once these characters have been introduced, it would only be fitting for Professor X and Mr. Fantastic to be recruited.
Reports circulated in previous years that Marvel Studios was developing an Illuminati movie or Disney+ series. With the MCU's current theatrical slate only going up to mid-2023, there's a high chance of new projects and release announcements at San Diego Comic-Con and Disney's D23 expo this year.
For now, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness looks set to offer a taste of what the Illuminati could look like in live-action when it hits theaters on May 6, 2022.