The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding to new frontiers with Phase 4 and it’s all coming together in Doctor Strange 2, officially titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The sequel movie is going to be taking plot lines from Loki, WandaVision, and Spider-Man: No Way Home to build a story that has the potential to be more massive than even Avengers: Endgame. No pressure, though.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by the legendary Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange 2 is easily the most highly-anticipated MCU movie of Phase 4. The film’s script has been written by Jade Bartlett and Loki writer Michael Waldron. Based on everything we’ve heard about the film, it looks like Doctor Strange 2 is going to set the stage for all the MCU projects to come. Read on for all the details that have been revealed so far including release dates, plot, characters, and more.
Is There a Doctor Strange 2 Trailer?
Marvel hasn’t released the trailer for Doctor Strange 2 yet, but fans can probably expect it to arrive by the end of 2021 or early 2022. Since the movie reportedly has ties to Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s likely that the trailer won’t be out until after that movie premieres in December 2021. Watch this space because we’ll be bringing you all the trailers and teasers as and when they become available.
When Is the Doctor Strange 2 Release Date?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently scheduled to premiere in the United States on March 25, 2022. The sequel was originally set for release on May 7, 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic derailed those plans, just as it did with most movie schedules. Doctor Strange 2 was pushed first to November 5, 2021, and then to its current date, with Eternals taking the November slot.
Who Is in the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Cast?
Besides Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange 2 will also see the return of Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, reprising their roles from 2016’s Doctor Strange. And apart from Doctor Strange, the sequel will have at least one more Avenger on board.
Elizabeth Olsen has already been confirmed for the movie and she’ll be joined by MCU newcomer Xochitl Gomez. Gomez is best known for her work in Netflix’s The Baby-Sitters Club. Besides these confirmed castings, there has been a report that Jett Klyne and Julian Hilliard, who played Wanda’s twin sons Billy and Tommy in WandaVision, were spotted on the movie’s set.
There have also been reports that Tom Hiddleston will appear in Doctor Strange 2 but this hasn’t been confirmed yet. Sam Raimi’s frequent collaborator and Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell has also teased that he might have a cameo in Doctor Strange 2. And considering the ties to Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s possible that either Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, or Andrew Garfield could appear in the movie. We’ll hopefully have a clearer picture as we get closer to the release date.
Who Are the Confirmed Characters in Doctor Strange 2?
It looks like Multiverse of Madness is going to have a massive cast of characters, comparable to an Avengers movie. Benedict Cumberbatch will of course be headlining the film as Doctor Stephen Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts and Sorcerer Supreme of Earth.
Benedict Wong will play Strange’s trusted friend Wong. Wong will also be having an appearance in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as revealed in the movie’s trailer. It’s currently unknown if that appearance is going to have an impact on the character going into Doctor Strange 2.
Rachel McAdams will be playing Dr. Christine Palmer. She’s an experienced emergency room surgeon who also happens to be a former colleague and lover of Strange’s.
Chiwetel Ejiofor will appear as Karl Mordo, who’s basically Strange’s arch-enemy. After the events of Doctor Strange, Mordo is on a mission to hunt down other sorcerers. We’ll have to wait and see how that brings him into conflict with Strange.
Elizabeth Olsen will play Wanda Maximoff / The Scarlet Witch. An Avenger and sorcerer of great power, Wanda will be continuing her story from WandaVision. The last we saw her, she was reading the magical book called the Darkhold and apparently trying to find her lost children Billy and Tommy. It’s possible that Wanda’s actions may be the key to Doctor Strange 2’s madness, and the question is whether she’s an ally or foe.
Xochitl Gomez will make her MCU debut in Doctor Strange 2 as America Chavez. In the comics, America is a young superhero whose abilities include the power to travel between dimensions, among other things. She’s been a member of the Young Avengers alongside Billy and Tommy in the comics and it looks like Marvel might be slowly building up to the team’s reveal in the MCU. In any case, you should keep an eye on this one because we expect big things from her.
When Is Doctor Strange 2 Filming?
Doctor Strange 2 began principal photography in November 2020 in London. Filming was scheduled to begin in May 2020 but it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The production was put on hold in January 2021 due to a surge in coronavirus cases in the UK. It picked up again in March and continued through April. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said on April 15 that the movie was in its final week of filming. Production then continued until April 17.
Benedict Wong has confirmed to Collider that the work on the movie is scheduled to wrap up by September, revealing that they’ll be going back for some additional photography as-is customary on every single MCU movie.
Who Is Making Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
Sam Raimi’s involvement as the director for Doctor Strange 2 was confirmed in April 2020. The movie was originally set to be directed by Scott Derrickson (who also directed the first movie). Derrickson reportedly wanted to take the movie in a very horror-oriented direction, but he eventually left the project citing creative differences with Marvel Studios.
At that point, Jade Bartlett had already been hired to write the screenplay in October 2019. Loki‘s head writer Michael Waldron was hired to write Doctor Strange 2 in February 2020. Once Waldron and Raimi were brought on board, they then came up with a new script from scratch. In June 2021, Waldron told Collider’s Steve Weintraub that the COVID shutdown helped him and Raimi figure out exactly what they wanted from the movie.
“At the time, that was February of last year, we were supposed to start shooting in May and it was an accelerated time table,” he said. “Obviously, COVID stopped that and they brought on Sam. Sam and I came on at the same time. The one benefit of the shutdown was Sam and I got to start from scratch and really figure out what we wanted the movie to be, and I got to spend a year making a movie with Sam Raimi. I was in London for the last four months on that movie.”
Waldron also told the Friends From Work podcast that the additional time allowed him and Bartlett to take things in a “slightly scarier direction”.
Besides Waldron, Raimi has also collaborated with a few key figures of the industry for this project. One of them is Danny Elfman, who is the composer for Doctor Strange 2. Elfman and Raimi have previously worked on Raimi’s first two Spider-Man movies, as well as the 1990 superhero noir movie Darkman. Elfman also previously worked in the MCU on the score for Avengers: Age of Ultron alongside Brian Tyler.
Another important member of the crew is cinematographer John Mathieson, who is Doctor Strange 2‘s director of photography. His previous credits include Gladiator, Logan, and X-Men: First Class, just to name a few.
The movie’s cast has offered a lot of praise for Raimi’s direction. Benedict Wong, for example, has talked about how the filmmaker encourages improvisation.
“I like throwing alts, and he likes them, so we just have a bit of a laugh,” he told Collider. “I just throw anything at the wall, and sometimes it will fall down and sometimes it’ll stick. It’s amazing, the creative process. As long as you’re not afraid to throw something at the wall, it might be right or it might be wrong, but we’re all just trying to make something here.”
Benedict Cumberbatch has also praised the collaborative spirit on set and he described the director as “an incredible force”. Elizabeth Olsen has also described Raimi during an episode of Collider Ladies Night as “an incredible person to work with”. Sounds pretty great, right?
When Does Doctor Strange 2 Take Place?
Doctor Strange 2 will be taking place after the events of WandaVision. So that places it sometime in the year 2023. The movie is also technically happening after Loki, even though that show takes place in an alternate timeline from the main MCU universe.
And considering Strange will be appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange 2 will probably be happening after the events of that film. There’s also the chance that there could be some overlap between the two movies. Now that the multiverse and time-travel are a thing in the MCU, pretty much everything is possible.
How Does Loki Season 1 Set Up Doctor Strange 2?
In the final episode of Loki Season 1, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia di Martino) come face to face with the Time Variance Authority’s real boss, the man called He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). He Who Remains is a variant of Kang the Conqueror, who is shaping up to be the next big bad of the MCU.
The whole reason He Who Remains created the TVA was because if left to its natural course, the multiverse will lead to a devastating war (a Secret War, perhaps?). This is mostly because pretty much every variant of Kang the Conqueror wants to conquer the multiverse (it’s in the name) so really, it’s all his fault to begin with.
During their meeting, He Who Remains offers to let Loki and Sylvie take over his position and ensure order, but Sylvie kills him anyway. With the death of the time dictator, there’s nothing left to stop the timeline from branching off, and in the final scenes of the season, this is exactly what happens. The multiverse starts getting out of control. So Loki directly sets up Doctor Strange 2 by showing the rebirth of the multiverse and revealing just how dangerous it is.
What Is the Doctor Strange 2 Plot?
Despite all the details that have been revealed about Doctor Strange 2, the actual plot of the movie is still a big mystery. There is an unofficial plot synopsis that’s been going around online but honestly, it raises more questions than it answers. This is what it says:
“After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Dr. Stephen Strange continues his research on the Time Stone. But an old friend-turned-enemy puts an end to his plans and causes Strange to unleash unspeakable evil.”
So if true, that confirms that Mordo (friend-turned-enemy) is going to cause some major problems for Strange. And to be fair, that much was already expected considering how Doctor Strange ended with Mordo turning on his fellow sorcerers. Alternatively, the “friend-turned-enemy” could be Wanda, even though she and Strange have barely had much on-screen interaction in the movies so she’s not exactly an “old friend.”
The “unspeakable evil” part is a bit more confusing. We’ve yet to find out who the big bad for Doctor Strange 2 is going to be. Clearly, it’s someone with ties to the multiverse. Could it be Mephisto? Kang the Conqueror? Perhaps even Scarlet Witch herself?
It’s unlikely that Kang will show up in Doctor Strange 2 considering he’s also supposed to be the main villain in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. That still leaves a lot of possibilities. After all, Strange has no shortage of enemies in the comics and any one of them could turn up in the movie.
Wanda’s path in the film is somewhat clearer. The way WandaVision ended, it was pretty clear that she wants to find her children. Yes, the kids were technically not real but she still loves them and wants them back. When Wanda was separated from her children in the comics, she had a total meltdown and broke reality. So there is the possibility that she might end up becoming the villain without even meaning to.
Elizabeth Olsen herself didn’t know what Wanda would be doing in Doctor Strange 2 until after she was done with WandaVision. And she has also revealed to Collider that the script has been constantly evolving even during filming.
“We always are changing, right?” Olsen said. “Because we’re always giving notes and they are very kind to welcome opinions and thoughts, and so it’s always an evolution even while you’re filming. We definitely have a script, but when I was told I would be in it, I had no idea what it was gonna be. I just knew I was gonna be in Doctor Strange 2. And it wasn’t only until before we even went back to finish WandaVision during the pandemic that I found out what I am doing in Doctor Strange 2. [Laughs] But it’s kind of nice to not know! You just kind of trust everyone and then you bring your experience of the character to it and people welcome changes once you become more involved.”
So much mystery! Thankfully, we will be seeing Strange before the sequel when he shows up in Spider-Man: No Way Home. With any luck, that appearance might give us some answers. Wherever the actual plot might take us, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promises to be a mind-blowing story of more-than-cosmic proportions and we can’t wait to see how it turns out.