As Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) travels the multiverse to stop the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness he's captured and held in a scientific research facility on Earth-838.
It's there that he meets a variant of Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). She explains that she's a senior fellow at the Baxter Foundation. What is the Baxter Foundation's significance in the MCU?
The Baxter Foundation was originally mentioned in the 2015 Fantastic Four film. Although that film is not considered canon in the MCU (a Fantastic Four remake is in the works with Marvel as we speak), the 2015 version of the Fantastic Four film introduced an intriguing backstory for the foundation.
The foundation was founded by Franklin Storm, Sue Storm's father. It was meant to be a place for promising scientists to have the space to research and work on projects that could change the world.
Could the Baxter Foundation be key to introducing the Fantastic Four in the MCU?
Strange asks the 838 Christine how she ended up working at the Baxter Foundation's research facility. She explains that she volunteered — at 838 Strange's funeral. The same Christine variant also classified the version of Earth that our version of Strange hails from as Earth-616.
Could the Baxter Foundation be the key to introducing fans to the official Marvel version of the Fantastic Four? After all, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness does introduce us to 838-Reed Richards (John Krasinski), the leader of the Fantastic Four. However, the Scarlet Witch murders 838-Reed without a second thought.
Per SlashFilm, the Baxter Foundation didn't appear in the original Marvel comics. However, there was a Baxter Building. It acts as the Fantastic Four's headquarters (Captain America also used it as a home base on occasion!)
Could the Reed Richards of Earth-616 build his own Baxter Building or foundation? While we don't have the answer to that yet, we have recently learned that John may not reprise his role as Reed in Marvel's Fantastic Four.
We know, we know, his Reed can't exist in Earth-616! However, Doctor Strange 2's director Sam Raimi seemingly confirmed that someone new will play Reed Richards in the upcoming MCU Fantastic Four film.
Sam said during his Multiverse of Madness commentary (via Forbes) that, "It’s so funny that Kevin [Feige] cast John [Krasinski] because the fans had a dream of who the perfect Reed Richards would be. And because this is an alternate universe, I think Kevin said, ‘Let’s make that dream come true.’ I’ve always really enjoyed all of his performances."
So it appears as if the upcoming Fantastic Four film will have a newly re-cast Reed (purely speculation at this point of course). There's no word on whether or not the Baxter Foundation will play a role in the MCU, but we couldn't help but wonder — will there be ramifications for the devastation Wanda left in her wake at the scientific research facility on Earth-818? Hopefully the Baxter Foundation has a rock-solid insurance policy on the building.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently streaming on Disney Plus.