From Spider-Man to Physician Unusual: Why the multiverse is the film fantasy for our occasions

From Spider-Man to Doctor Strange: Why the multiverse is the movie fantasy for our times


The struggle between art and commerce has found a new battleground. This time the landscape is larger and more amorphous than ever before — bursting with creative potential but vulnerable to exploitation too. It’s a place where new art is born and old art is resurrected. It’s expanding, it’s proliferating and it’s coming to a screen near you.

Yes, we’re talking about the multiverse.

The multiverse has been gathering steam for some time, but in 2022 it asserted its dominance in the film industry, surfacing in indie movies and superhero blockbusters alike. In late July, Marvel Studios announced a five-year “Multiverse Saga” — comprising 16 films and multiple shows — bound together by the idea. Highly-disputed quantum physics theories rarely receive this kind of airtime.
For anyone in need of a refresher, the multiverse is the concept that multiple, perhaps infinite universes exist side by side, overlapping or linked and containing endless permutations of everything, including…