Following her brief presence in the post-credits scene of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Charlize Theron makes a passing mention of her probable return as Clea in the MCU. Steven Strange faced out against Wanda Maximoff, who had been tempted by the Darkhold’s wickedness and had embraced her role as the Scarlett Witch, in Sam Raimi’s follow-up to Steven Strange’s initial MCU appearance.
Charlize Theron discussed her character, Clea, and what she knows about Marvel Studios’ plans for her during a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The actor expressed doubt regarding the purpose of her character and hoped that her part would be enhanced. She said:
“Let’s just say I have some work to do…I don’t quite know who she is yet, but I will,”. I hope [the cameo]’s not it, but we’ll see, yes… I think I know, I mean unless, I’m sure they can change their mind, depending on what I say on this show!
Theron had a brief appearance as Clea in the first post-credit scene of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness film, which was released in May 2022. Theron’s remarks highlight how the MCU has fundamentally altered its strategy for cameos in Phase 4. The introduction of new cameo characters throughout Phase 4 has been somewhat less future-focused and more focused on the now.
Previously, cameo characters were being introduced and instantly signed on for 4+ films at a time, clearly being set up for certain future editions. Although Kevin Feige orally confirmed that actors like Brett Goldstein and Harry Styles will return as the important characters Eros and Hercules, the contractual details for their upcoming appearances are far less clear.
Considering the impact this has had on Phase 4 thus far, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’s introduction of the Illuminati only to kill them off in the subsequent scene could likely be interpreted as either one of two things: first, Marvel is possibly testing the waters and assessing fan reactions to potential new heroes and cast members before fully committing to their recurring appearances. Second, and perhaps more worryingly, the careful and deliberate build-up shown in Phases 1 through 3 has been abandoned in favor of a greater indulgence in the notion that the multiverse can freely explore and retcon future storylines without having any significant or long-lasting effects on these characters.