The stage is officially set for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness following the massive events that took place at the conclusion of Marvel’s WandaVision.
Marvel boss Kevin Feige has long said that the two projects are closely linked and we will next see Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch alongside Doctor Strange in the hugely anticipated sequel.
Many expected Strange himself to put in a surprise appearance in the debut MCU Disney Plus TV show and it was a fair assumption given that the pair are set to team up. But while this did not happen, a post-credits scene did allude to their next meeting, as the Scarlet Witch focuses her efforts on mastering her mystic abilities.
Benedict Cumberbatch himself spoke about the non-cameo to Jake’s Takes, saying “That would’ve been fun… but, ah hell, you know. That’s all to come… It’s very exciting.’
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently shooting in London with Sam Raimi, director of the original Spider-Man trilogy, returning to helm the project.
Sure to have major ramifications for other upcoming Marvel movies, here’s everything we know so far about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
When is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness released in cinemas?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was originally scheduled for release in May 2021, but it has been moved twice along with the entire Marvel phase 4 slate due to coronavirus. Doctor Strange 2 is now set to release on 25th March 2022.
The plot of the movie will pick up directly after the events of Disney+ series WandaVision, which had initially been intended to air just a few months before the release of Doctor Strange 2.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has seen filming underway and it looks like it should be fine for its release next year.
In the meantime, why not take on a movie marathon and watch all the Marvel movies in order?
Doctor Strange 2 cast
Aside from the obvious return of Benedict Cumberbatch as the sorcerer supreme Doctor Strange, the big news from Comic-Con 2019 was that Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch will feature in the film.
Producer Kevin Feige revealed that her Disney+ streaming show WandaVision will link directly to the plot of Doctor Strange 2.
In February 2020, Variety claimed that Rachel McAdams (who plays Christine Palmer or Night Nurse) wouldn’t be reprising her role for the sequel, though it appears something changed because by December, Deadline was reporting that McAdams would appear in the sequel after all.
Benedict Wong will also be back as Wong, Strange’s most trusted friend and a fellow sorcerer who helps protect the universe from magical threats.
Chiwetel Ejiofor will likewise return as the now-villainous Mordo and recently expressed his excitement about working with iconic director Sam Raimi.
“I love Sam Raimi, so I’m very excited that he’s making the film, the second Doctor Strange,” he toldand other press. “To anything that he does, he just brings a wealth of imagination and passion.
“I think he has an incredible mind, and I think that he really is able to bring that mind into his storytelling in a really unique way. And it’s very very suited to the world that has been created in Doctor Strange.
He added: “I’m excited to see what he does with that world, and where he takes it.”
Meanwhile, Deadline reports that Baby-Sitters Club’ Star Xochitl Gomez has also joined the cast of the film as America Chavez AKA Miss America – the first Latin-American LGBTQ superhero to star in the MCU.
Is there a trailer for Doctor Strange 2?
Nope – at the current time, the trailer and any sneak peek pictures are hidden away in the dark dimension.
What is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness about?
According to a listing from Production Weekly, the plot will follow Dr. Stephen Strange as he continues his research on the Time Stone after the events of Avengers: Endgame, before an old friend turned enemy shows up, messing with the plan and causing him “to unleash an unspeakable evil”.
While he was still attached as director, Scott Derrickson had revealed that the sequel would play up “the gothic [and] the horror” of Doctor Strange’s world, and speaking at the New York Film Academy, Marvel’s Kevin Feige explained that while the film won’t be strictly horror, “it’ll be a big MCU film with scary sequences in it”.
“I mean, there are horrifying sequences in Raiders [of the Lost Ark] that I as a little kid would [cover my eyes] when their faces melted… It’s fun to be scared in that way, and not a horrific, torturous way, but a way that is legitimately scary,” he added.
Who is directing Doctor Strange 2?
Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson had initially been expected to return for this sequel, but dropped out of the project in January citing “creative differences”.
The dispute was reportedly over the film’s horror elements, with Derrickson keen to ramp up the scarier aspects of the multiverse, while producer Kevin Feige wished to keep it more family-friendly.
Marvel and I have mutually agreed to part ways on Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences. I am thankful for our collaboration and will remain on as EP.— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) January 10, 2020
That said, it’s notable that Derrickson was replaced by arguably one of the most famous horror movie directors working today, as Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi was confirmed as joining the film in April.
He’s no stranger to the superhero genre either, having directed the original Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, prompting fan suspicion that the former Spidey could web in for a cameo.
And he seems to be a great match with Cumberbatch saying to Collider: “There’s a bit more of, ‘So, what do you want to do?’ … It feels very creative. Scarily so, sometimes’.
Olsen also discussed her experience working with the legendary filmmaker to Collider, saying:
“I love Sam Raimi,” she began. “First off, he’s a lovely person and I really enjoy our playfulness together, just kind of allowing ourselves to discover new things and he’s a great energy. He’s a very specific filmmaker and loves playing with his camera… it’s been fun.”
And it is not just the director changing as whereas last time the score was handled by Michael Giacchino (Lost) but now Danny Elfman is stepping in. Elfman is no stranger to superhero themes as he worked on the 1989 Batman movie and teamed up with Raimi for the first two of his Spider-Man movies.
Who is the villain in Doctor Strange 2?
At this point, we’re not quite sure. The end of the first Doctor Strange certainly set up Mordo as the main antagonist for future films, as the post-credits scene saw him turn on Strange for meddling with natural law and claim the planet had “too many sorcerers”.
However, there could be a new baddie on the block: Nightmare. Ruler of the “Dream Dimension”, the supervillain has the power to suck psychic energies from the subconscious minds of dreaming beings.
“I really like the character of Nightmare and the concept that the Nightmare Realm is a dimension,” Derrickson told IGN when questioned on which villain he’d want to bring into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, before he had stepped aside.
“We decided not [to use Nightmare in the first Doctor Strange film] because that’s a bit of a complex idea: to try to introduce everything we do introduce, and introduce the idea of nightmares themselves as being a dimension.
“I hope somewhere down the line we do get to explore that because I think that’s a super cool concept.”
We can’t rule out the possibility that Scarlet Witch herself could be a villain of sorts, as she has lost control of her powers in the comic books before, causing all sorts of trouble for her fellow Avengers.
What is the Multiverse?
Within the Marvel comics, the multiverse is basically the popular science-fiction trope that infinite parallel universes exist containing radically or slightly different versions of the world we know.
The main Marvel comics universe is dubbed Universe 616, and occasionally visitors and villains from other universes cross over for hugely important stories, including the Spider-Verse miniseries (which inspired animated movie Into the Spider-Verse).
In Spider-Man: Far From Home the multiverse was mentioned onscreen for the first time when con artist Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) falsely claimed to be from a parallel world.
However, it’s been suggested that just because Beck lied doesn’t mean there isn’t a multiverse at all, with the fact that Skrull leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) took the backstory at face value suggesting that he may have been aware of the real multiverse.
If Doctor Strange does introduce the concept properly, it could allow for parallel versions of the characters we know and love, evil versions of heroes, heroic versions of villains and even some deceased Avengers coming back for a surprise cameo.
One of Marvel’s most popular alternate universes is titled Marvel Zombies, depicting a world where a terrible virus has transformed the Avengers into flesh-eating monsters.
Many fans have also posited that the introduction of the multiverse could be the perfect way for Marvel to introduce the X-Men franchise to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – so watch this space.