Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has finally arrived, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster currently playing in theaters. The film not only marks the franchise’s biggest foray into the storytelling tropes of the multiverse, but also the long-awaited return of director Sam Raimi to the world of comic book movies, following his work on Sony’s Spider-Man trilogy. Raimi has become a fan-favorite over the years for his very distinct work across multiple genres, as well as the various tropes and staples he puts into every project. One of those mainstays has been some sort of appearance from his friend and frequent collaborator Bruce Campbell, who has been heavily rumored to appear in Multiverse of Madness. So, is Bruce Campbell in Multiverse of Madness — and what role does he play? Spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness below! Only look if you want to know!
The film takes an action-packed adventure through the multiverse with Stephen Strange / Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), which at one point sees them falling in and out of various universes. Eventually, the pair end up in the reality dubbed Earth-838, which appears to be a more utopian, technologically-advanced world. America begins to eat a bowl of “pizza balls” (which are literally sphere-shaped pieces of pizza) from a street vendor, and remarks to Strange about how food is free in most of the universes she’s visited. This then draws the ire of the street vendor (played by Campbell), who introduces himself as the “Pizza Papa” and gets upset that they didn’t pay for the food. Strange outsmarts him by casting a spell that makes him repeatedly punch himself in the face — a spell that will apparently last for several weeks.
Audiences then see Campbell again in Multiverse of Madness‘ final post-credits scene, when the Pizza Papa finally stops punching himself in the face, leading him to look directly into the camera and exclaim “It’s over!”
This cameo comes after months of fans speculating about Campbell’s cameo in the film, a fire that was only fueled by Campbell frequently trolling fans by suggesting he could playing anything from an alternate Doctor Strange to Ash from the Evil Dead movies. Campbell also recently indicated that his appearance of the film could have very well been left on the cutting room floor, something that luckily was not the case.
“It’s hard with the Marvel movies, it’s hard to even lie because I could be caught out as a liar in my lie. If I told you I think I’m not in it, I could still wind up being in it,” Campbell previously said on the Radio Labyrinth podcast. “They make about 86 of these movies at the same time, so even Sam Raimi’s had to film additional material that was not in the original script. ‘Because now we’re going to put Captain Stinko in, and introduce him at the end because we’re going to spin him off here.’ So they’ve always had to add and subtract as they go.”
“Even if I were to have done a pivotal cameo — because I only do pivotal cameos, and I can explain if you see it — we won’t really know the answer until May,” Cambell added. “If I were [Doctor Strange actor] Benedict Cumberbatch, I would be worried that I would get cut out.”