Is there a hell in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Is this to say that devils, God, Lucifer, and all the other things that come with it exist? All of these elements are present in Marvel Comics, but the MCU has been a little more ambiguous on the subject. Here’s what Michael Waldron, the writer of Doctor Strange 2, had to say about it, and subsequently about Mephisto:
An afterlife teased in many recent MCU movies and shows:
Though the story’s links to the MCU have been kept to a minimum, Moon Knight has stated directly that there are several afterlives and pantheon gods. Black Panther also makes it plain that Wakandan monarchs go to a distinct afterlife. Furthermore, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduces a unique twist when multiverse-traveling sorcerer Stephen Strange encounters the spirits of the damned after using his power in an unnatural way. This raises several debates concerning whether or not this refers to human spirits from hell. It has piqued viewers’ interest in what happens in the afterlife in the MCU. It also poses many questions about why the sinful ghosts are in charge of magical law enforcement in the movie.
What writer Michael Waldron said about it:
Michael Waldron, the scriptwriter for Multiverse of Madness, was questioned by Polygon about whether he’d just unleashed a plethora of religious concepts. “Those are all conversations we had,” Waldron laughs. “Nothing is in the movie by accident. [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige] is certainly aware of the implications of everything here, you know? They’re not spirits of the damned just for spirits of the damned’s sake”. Fans are especially interested in the MCU’s demons and hells since they’ve been hoping for actual Marvel Comics villains like Mephisto to emerge in the films or series.
However, according to Waldron, the spirits in Multiverse of Madness are drawn from the paranormal tradition shown in the film, which is centered on Wundagore Mountain and the Darkhold, a corrupted book of black magic copied from its walls. “We truly tried to root [the dead in this movie] in our own internal logic,” he says. “There’s the Darkhold, and if you use the Darkhold to possess your own corpse, there’s a separate layer of gatekeeping beyond all of this stuff that will come for you. And that’s who Stephen finally runs afoul of, so that was pretty fun to explore”.