Benedict Cumberbatch may have just let a pretty huge cat out of the bag. Since Doctor Strange is coming out soon, the actor has been doing quite a few interviews in order to promote the movie. Recently, an interview he did during a set visit was released, and he may have revealed that the secret Marvel super team the Illuminati could be coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Screenrant recently released a pretty in-depth interview with Benedict Cumberbatch from the set of Doctor Strange. During the interview, the actor was asked about the pressures of bringing such a big, important character into the larger fabric of the MCU. His response was anything but concise, but there was a pretty glaring clue in it. Here is what he had to say.
""I think playing any iconic role when you're stepping into big shoes, into the shadow of people who have come before you and you can't process that in a movie to movie basis ... I'm excited to see where the Illuminati and whatever else might happen, how that works, and where it ends up. So, yeah, I'm aware of his place within the comic pantheon of it all, the Marvelverse, but I don't email Kevin saying, "When are we doing next film?" I'm excited to see. I'm excited to see. And as you know, from all these previous incarnations, they play out in unexpected ways from the comic format and journey, so they manage to both fulfill that magical space of doing things that seem to please diehard fans and bring something new as well. So, I guess that'll be the centerpiece for this guy's journey."
Were it not for one word, that would have been a nice answer, but there wouldn't have been anything very noteworthy in there. However, he mentions "Illuminati" by name and is seeming to imply that is something that has been discussed. Given the name drop from Benedict Cumberbatch, some of what is going on in the MCU currently and the characters that make up the Illuminati, there is enough evidence to support the idea that they may be forming in a future Marvel movie. While the Illuminati may not have the name recognition that The Avengers have, they are a powerful group and a very important one at that.
For those who may not know, the Illuminati were formed in the comics (via a bit of retconning) shortly after the Kree-Skrull war. The group originally consisted of Stephen Strange, Iron Man, Namor, who is essentially Marvel's Aquaman, Reed Richards from Fantastic Four, Black Bolt from the Inhumans and Professor X from the X-Men. The group forms because Tony Stark realizes that between them, they had enough information to stop the Kree-Skrull war from happening. So, they decided to get together and exchange information from time to time, working behind the scenes in secret without the knowledge of the other Avengers or superheroes. Not only that, but the original Illuminati run had ties to Civil War, which just occurred in the MCU. Granted, at least a couple of the names in that lineup wouldn't be able to appear, but other characters like Black Panther have appeared over the years and could sub in.
While Doctor Strange hasn't even hit theaters yet, it is fairly clear that Kevin Feige has big plans with the character in the future of the MCU. He is an incredibly powerful character and he will be introducing the concept of magic into the Marvel Universe. It is likely he will have a fairly significant role in Avengers: Infinity War. He has already been confirmed to appear and assuming some leaked plot details we have heard are even somewhat true, he will be essential to the movie. Doctor Strange arrives in theaters on November 4 and if we're lucky, we'll get a clue as to whether or not the Illuminati or on the horizon.