After tearing through realities in his debut and saving the Avengers with some time-travelling trickery, Doctor Strange is returning for a second solo movie.
Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch’s warrior warlock is set to return for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Sorcerer Supreme once again accompanied by his trusty levitating cape and sidekick Wong.
But when will it be released? What is the plot? Here’s everything you need to know…
When is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness released in cinemas?
The film was originally scheduled to be released in May 2021, but it has been moved twice along with the entire Marvel phase 4 slate due to Coronavirus, and is currently set to be released on March 22nd 2022.
Who is in the cast of Doctor Strange 2?
Aside from the obvious return of Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Strange, the big news from Comic-Con 2019 is that Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch will feature in the film, though quite how still remains a mystery. Feige suggested that the upcoming Disney+ TV show WandaVision, which will centre around her character, will lead her to darken Strange’s door.
In February 2020, it was reported by Variety that Rachel McAdams (who plays Christine Palmer/Night Nurse) wouldn’t be coming back for the sequel.
Benedict Wong (Wong), on the other hand, is set to feature.
Who is directing Doctor Strange 2?
Director Scott Derrickson, who was at the helm for the 2016 film, had originally been due to reprise the position for the sequel.
However, in January 2020 Derrickson announced that he would no longer be attached to the project, as a result of “creative differences.”
That came after a series of apparently contradictory comments about the film’s direction from Derrickson, who had promised “the first scary MCU film,” and Marvel chief Kevin Feige, who was quick to water down that promise.
In February 2020, it was reported that Sam Raimi was in talks with Marvel to helm the project. Raimi himself confirmed the news in April 2020.
Raimi is best known for directing the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, so this would mark his return to the superhero genre.
Who is the villain in Doctor Strange 2?
At this point, we’re not sure. But the end of the first Doctor Strange certainly set up Mordo as the main antagonist for future films. A post-credit scene saw the Master of the Mystic Arts apparently turn on Strange for meddling with natural law, claiming the Earth had “too many sorcerers”.
Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.
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 super cool concept.”
What is the plot of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
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, 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.
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 two Spider-Verse miniseries (which inspired 2018 animated movie Into the Spider-Verse) and the Exiles comic book, which featured a team of X-Men from different universes brought together to jump between worlds to take on dangerous missions.
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.
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…
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.