Actor Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as mystical Marvel superhero Doctor Strange in the upcoming movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, now slated for release on March 25, 2022.
Evil Dead director Sam Raimi will direct. Raimi is also known for directing Sony's original Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire.
Former Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson revealed in January that he would not return as the upcoming movie's director due to "creative differences," but would stay on as an executive producer.
Here's everything else we know so far about the planned 27th Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
Can we just call it Doctor Strange 2 for short? Multiverse of Madness is part of Marvel's Phase 4 plans that include a range of movies and TV series. Coming to the big screen is Black Widow, Thor 4: Love and Thunder, The Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. On the new Disney Plus streaming service, we'll see Marvel TV shows The Falcon and Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, What If...?, Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight.
On Nov. 7, Marvel CEO Kevin Feige told Bloomberg News that fans will need a Disney Plus subscription, because events from all the new streaming shows will factor into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. According to Feige, Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch will have a key role in the movie and the Loki series starring Tom Hiddleston will tie in, too. "I'm not sure we've actually acknowledged that before," Feige said. "But it does."
Who's making it?
Spider-Man director Sam Raimi confirmed he is directing Doctor Strange 2 on April 14.
Scott Derrickson was originally slated to direct his second Doctor Strange adventure, but on Jan. 9 announced his departure as a director from the project. He will still serve as an executive producer. Though Derrickson co-wrote the 2016 Doctor Strange film with C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts, the sequel was written by writer Jade Halley Bartlett.
However, when Derrickson left as the director, the movie also got a new screenwriter on Feb. 7. Marvel's Loki series showrunner Michael Waldron is rewriting the Doctor Strange script. Waldron also wrote for Rick and Morty. This could mean that the new movie is taking more of a comedy angle, rather than its original horror premise.
When will Doctor Strange 2 be released?
Originally, the sequel to Doctor Strange was scheduled to begin production in May 2020, aiming for a May 2021 release date, but with temporary studio closures due to concerns of spreading coronavirus, that date was first moved to Nov. 5, 2021. It has since been moved back again to March 25, 2022.
At Comic-Con 2019, Derrickson revealed not only the long-winded title of the film, but also that it'll be "the first scary MCU movie." He promised "the gothic and the horror" elements that made Derrickson love Marvel's spooky Doctor Strange comics.
Originally created in 1963 by comic book greats Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, Doctor Strange is Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme. Considering that Doctor Strange's powers come from his mastery of mystic spells, and not from a mutant gene or weird biological accident like some other Marvel superheroes, dark magic could be an interesting plot device for the upcoming movie.
We know that Doctor Strange will be joined by Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen. To understand how Olsen's character gets there from the momentous events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, you'll need to watch the Disney Plus original WandaVision slated to air on the streaming service in spring 2021. The TV show will lead directly into Scarlet Witch's appearance in the Multiverse of Madness in May that year.
WandaVision will reunite Wanda with her love interest Vision, both of whom are/were members of the Avengers. But it's a bit different than the usual Marvel superhero story. Half the show will take place in a wacky sitcomlike home similar to The Dick Van Dyke Show, and the other half will feel like an MCU epic adventure, according to the showrunners, who spoke at last month's Disney D23 Expo.
Though there aren't any details yet about the plot of the Doctor Strange sequel or exactly how Wanda will fit in, that hasn't stopped fans from speculating. Since Spider-Man: Far From Home, we know about the idea of infinite parallel universes within the MCU, and there's a chance Wanda could end up as a threat to Doctor Strange.
"Wanda will discover a reality where Vision lived and Doctor Strange died but the Avengers still beat Thanos," Reddit user drkcty speculates, drawing on the character's comic book history, where she's often shifted from hero to villain. "She'll blame Vision's death on the Master of the Mystic Arts and go insane, which will bridge the realities and cause a rift which will leak into the Prime timeline (MCU)."
If Wanda is driven to extremes by grief, that might explain why she'll be living in a weird sitcomlike existence in a parallel universe with the very-much-alive Vision in WandaVision.
Meet the cast
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange
- Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
- Benedict Wong as Wong
How to watch every Marvel Cinematic Universe film in the right orderSee all photos
This article was originally published on Sept. 5, 2019 and will be updated as news rolls in.