Having cut his teeth as a staff writer on Rick and Morty before spearheading the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s multiversal expansion with Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, there’s plenty of evidence on display to prove that Michael Waldron has a taste for the weird, wild, wonderful, and bizarre.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s solo sequel has been busting blocks all over the world, and while it hasn’t exactly set the critical sphere on fire, fans have been praising the wackiest, goriest, and most gruesome entry in the MCU to date, one that also heaped on spoonfuls of fan service by introducing the Illuminati.
Given that the group are introduced and established as the MCU’s multiversal overseers, you’d have thought Waldron’s influences would be similarly lofty. Instead, he name-dropped Will Forte’s MacGruber as an inspiration during an interview with The Playlist.
“It wasn’t a meta thing, I will say It was not me trying to make fun of the audience in the way that MacGruber does it when they introduced Chris Jericho or whoever it is and they blow them up in the car. It was more designed to show you how terrifying Wanda actually is. Like in Aliens when it’s, ‘Here come the space marines!’ and ‘We’re safe!’ and then they get massacred right at the top of the second act and now you know you’re f*cked. Hopefully, that’s the feeling.”
There were admittedly mixed responses to debuting a raft of heavy hitters and then immediately sacrificing them to a rampaging Scarlet Witch, but it’s exactly the sort of refreshing rug-pull we love to see from the MCU to avoid predictability setting in.