Doctor Strange 2 hit UK cinema screens in May 2022, has since been added to streaming service Disney+, and is available now on DVD and Blu-ray. And while that’s great for Marvel fans, it’s also of interest to Star Trek fans – because it features two surprise cameos from big Trek stars.
So if you still haven’t seen Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and don’t want the guest appearances spoiled, then look away now.
Spoilers for Doctor Strange 2 follow!
The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) instalment stars Patrick Stewart (who plays Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Picard) and Anson Mount, known for playing Christopher Pike in Star Trek: Discovery and Strange New Worlds!
Who does Patrick Stewart play in Doctor Strange 2?
Both Stewart and Mount play characters they’ve starred as before, although Stewart’s is certainly the better known.
Patrick Stewart returns as Professor Charles Xavier (sometimes called Professor X), a role he first played in 2000’s X-Men movie. He returned for numerous subsequent films in the franchise: the hugely-popular sequel X2 (2003); opposite his younger self played by James McAvoy in Days of Future Past (2014); and one seemingly-final time with Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman in Logan (2017.)
Stewart affirmed that the latter would be the last time he played the professor, but then surprised fans by coming back for Doctor Strange 2. (Okay, it wasn’t a massive shock: for some reason, Marvel teased his return in the trailer, and Stewart confirmed the cameo in a few interviews after that.)
Who is Marvel’s Professor Charles Xavier?
In the MCU movie, Xavier is part of the Illuminati, a cabal of individuals working behind the scenes on a parallel Earth. It’s part of the multiverse, a seemingly-unending realm of possibilities with different dimensions showing distorted versions of the people and situations. Think of the Mirror Universe as first seen in the Star Trek episode ‘Mirror, Mirror’ (1967) where the Federation is replaced by the evil Terran Empire.
In the comics (as on the big screen), Xavier is a powerful telepath and leader of the titular superhero group of mutants known as the X-Men, a team first created by the legendary Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1963.
Rather thrillingly, we even see a classic 1990s look for Xavier in Doctor Strange 2: he’s in his iconic yellow hoverchair, and his introduction is accompanied by a snippet of the theme tune from X-Men: The Animated Series (1992- 97.)
Who does Anson Mount play in Doctor Strange 2?
We only need look at another member of the Illuminati to find fellow Star Trek star, Anson Mount. In Doctor Strange 2, he plays Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans.
Mount has previously played the strong-but-silent type in the Inhumans (2017) TV show. And though he gave it his all, the series was critically panned and the team basically abandoned it. Indeed, Inhumans was jettisoned from the MCU, so it’s not even part of canon anymore.
Fortunately, Mount was a shining light in the programme, so MCU head honcho, Kevin Feige, welcomed him back for Doctor Strange 2. It’s sad, then, that we probably won’t see the Inhumans again for some time. Still, it’s possible we’ll catch up with a few members of the species in the recently-announced Avengers: Secret Wars, a multiversal smorgasbord due out in 2025.
Who is Marvel’s Black Bolt?
Blackagar Boltagon (no, really, that’s his name) is part of the Inhuman royal family, and ruler of Attilan, his race’s home. Inhomo supremis is a race of genetically-altered superbeings, each with a different power set. Black Bolt’s power is both amazing and tragic: his voice is a weapon. A single utterance can shatter mountains. Another of the Illuminati notes that “Black Bolt can destroy you with one whisper from his mouth.”
But of course, that also means that Black Bolt can’t talk. He is, effectively, mute because otherwise, he’ll cause major destruction. It’s ironic that his power is one that he also can’t use too often. Instead, his greatest power is diplomacy.
Black Bolt largely communicates via sign language; Anson Mount actually developed his own signs in order for his character to communicate with his on-screen wife, Medusa, played by Serinda Swan.
The Inhumans were also created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Fantastic Four #45 (1965) and became a much-loved, if niche, section of the Marvel Universe. While their mythos was mined for Agents of SHIELD (2013- 20), going forward, the MCU instead seems to be focused on mutantkind as a way of explaining superhuman abilities (and the prejudices and outsider status that accompanies them.)
How might Doctor Strange 2 affect Star Trek?
Anyone worried that Stewart and Mount’s appearances in Doctor Strange 2 might mean that they won’t have time to film Star Trek should rest easy: it’s unlikely either will appear in future Marvel movies anyway, and even more unlikely that shooting schedules will conflict with those of Trek.
Sadly, however, it looks like we’re saying goodbye to Stewart’s Trek character anyway: Picard is due to come to an end with the next season, already filmed and due out next year. Jean-Luc may turn up again at some point, but we doubt it.
The future still looks bright for Pike, however – or rather, for Mount, seeing as Pike’s future has already been revealed and it’s decidedly grim.
A second season of Strange New Worlds – which also stars Ethan Peck as a young Spock, Doctor Who’s Christina Chong as La’an Noonien-Singh, and Patrick Stewart’s fellow X-Men star, Rebecca Romijn as Number One – has already been commissioned. That should hit streaming service Paramount+ in 2023.
It’s rightly going down a storm, too, taking a more episodic approach than Discovery, and so harking back to the heady days of The Original Series. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Strange New Worlds clocking up numerous more seasons.
Anson Mount is nonetheless committed to both Trek and the MCU (although Black Bolt’s future in the latter is a matter of considerable uncertainty). There’s no reason he couldn’t juggle both.
Certainly, if we do see the Inhumans again, it’ll probably be in the aforementioned Secret Wars, a huge crossover event (at least, if the 2015 comic is anything to go by.) That’s likely to include current MCU heavy-hitters like the new Captain America, Thor, Captain Marvel, Black Panther (whoever that may be), Ant Man and the Wasp, Ms Marvel, the Hawkeyes, and more – alongside some parallel versions of heroes and villains.
Doctor Strange 2 has laid out the road map for the future, and it’s great to see that Anson Mount and Patrick Stewart have been a part of that.
Did you enjoy the Star Trek cameos in Doctor Strange 2? And which other Trek actors would you like to see in the MCU? Let us know in the comments below.
Star Trek Discovery hat– order now from the Lovarzi shop!