Is Everything Everywhere All at Once Marvel? Movies are facing something of a crossroads these days. Many fans are pondering how Hollywood will change in the age of streaming. And the divide between blockbusters movies — as epitomized by the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) — and smaller, more adult-oriented stories continues to grow. So it’s especially noteworthy when the two intersect in the way Everything Everywhere All At Once does with the MCU.
Is Everything Everywhere All at Once Marvel?
As a genre-bending take on the multiverse narrative, Everything Everywhere All at Once is crammed full of Easter eggs and pop culture references for observant viewers to discover. While Marvel and DC use the multiverse to connect previous versions of superheroes, Everything Everywhere All at Once is an original concept with more freedom to explore the possibilities of a multiverse.
In fact, Everything Everywhere All at Once took home 7 of its historic 11 Oscar nominations in 2023, including Best Picture, Best Achievement in Directing, and Best Original Screenplay. This is thanks in part to how the Everything Everywhere All At Once Easter eggs actually contribute to the overarching narrative.
True to its name, Everything Everywhere All At Once has a broad range of inspirations. Along with references to martial arts movies, there are nods to iconic science fiction films and TV shows, animation, video games, music, and even some meta-references to the cast members themselves.
With a relentless pace and chaotic action that crosses space and time, Everything Everywhere All at Once contains a lot of content to unpack. Repeat viewings can reveal hidden details unseen in the first watch, particularly for those with a broad knowledge of pop culture. Here is every Easter egg and reference in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ tackles the multiverse
The concept of the multiverse is nothing new. Science fiction stories have tackled it forever, but the idea of endless parallel universes co-existing certainly seems to be having a moment. Both the MCU and the competing DC Extended Universe are bringing in past iterations or their superhero characters thanks to the introduction of the multiverse into the movies. And Everything Everywhere All At Once takes its own distinctive approach to it too.
The movie follows Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) as she discovers she might be the only person who can save the multiverse of ultimate destruction. And directors Dan Kwan and Danil Scheinert — collectively known as “Daniels” — bring the same offbeat sensibility to their second movie that made their first, 2016’s Swiss Army Man, such a wild, divisive ride for fans and critics. But a shared interest in the multiverse isn’t the only connection to the MCU.
The movie features direct connections to Marvel movies
A veteran of the business going back to the mid-1980s, Yeoh herself ties Everything Everywhere All At Once to the MCU. The actor appears briefly in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Aleta Ogord and then has a larger role as Ying Nan in 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. How fitting that the Everything Everywhere All At Once actor be among the few stars to play more than one role in the MCU.
But easily the most surprising tie between Everything Everywhere All At Once and Marvel lies behind the scenes. While most fans might not know it, Joe and Anthony Russo are among the producers of the Daniels’ movie. The Russo brothers have a long-standing history with the MCU, having directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
Audiences will get more multiverse in theaters very soon
Just because Everything Everywhere All At Once shares story elements and talent with the MCU doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. The Marvel movies are designed to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. Meanwhile, the Daniels would likely be the first to admit their movie offers a much more specific tone and feel.
Nevertheless, fans of multiverse stories are in luck. Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promises to be Marvel’s wildest journey through parallel dimensions so far. Still, it’s not likely that Yeoh’s Evelyn Wang will make an appearance. But fans can at least imagine an MCU in the multiverse where she becomes a superhero.
Everything Everywhere Avoids All Of Marvel’s Multiverse Issues
For a movie that doesn’t hold back in its exploration of the multiverse, Everything Everywhere All At Once fully understands its multiverse and how it works. Its rules are clearly established early on in the film. Alpha Waymond, the version of Evelyn’s husband from the Alphaverse, explains that there’s a vast multiverse created by tiny decisions made by individuals over the course of their lifetime.
These decisions can lead to small differences or really big changes to their individual lives or even the world around them. The people in the Alphaverse can also travel throughout the multiverse by using Bluetooth-like headsets to launch their consciousness into another version of themselves, which also allows them to acquire that version’s skills, similar to Jet Li’s The One.
Despite these rules, Everything Everywhere All At Once’s multiverse also has few limitations on what the multiverse can be. There’s a universe where everyone has hotdog hands, and one where no life ever formed on Earth, so everyone is a rock. This movie easily avoids the confusion of Marvel’s multiverse by letting it be open to every possibility while still giving the characters clear rules on how it operates.
Why Everything Everywhere’s Multiverse Is Better Than Marvel’s
While Marvel is still trying to figure out exactly how the MCU multiverse works, the Everything Everywhere All At Once multiverse is well-constructed and works on a fundamental level. The origin of the universe jumping, the explanation for how it works, and even the “everything bagel” black hole are all explained well.
The villain, Jobu Tupaki, is a version of Evelyn’s daughter because Alpha Evelyn pushed her Joy too far while training her to universe jump. Evelyn is the only person who can defeat her because the Alpha version of her was the one to discover the multiverse and to create Jobu Tupaki. Though the Jobu Tupaki situation is also a metaphor for healing the relationship between a mother and a daughter, the conflict also helps to explain the way universe jumping works, especially because Jobu Tupaki is a being who can experience every timeline in every universe simultaneously.
This film’s multiverse is seamless, which makes it feel more grounded as if everything explained in the film is probable. It also doesn’t rely on magic or superpowers to explain how the multiverse works. Everything Everywhere All At Once is just a pure sci-fi movie for 2022 and does not try to be anything else.
Marvel could learn from Everything Everywhere All At Once when it comes to creating a clear, concise multiverse. Where Marvel’s multiverse has failed to be consistent between its series and movies, Everything Everywhere All At Once pretty much nails the multiverse concept. As a high-concept film, it could have been hard to follow, but instead, Evelyn’s multiversal adventure to save her daughter uses the multiverse better than any other multiverse movie has so far.
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