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Doctor Strange 2: Release date, cast and everything we know

Benedict Cumberbatch will be joined by Elizabeth Olsen in the upcoming Marvel sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

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The sequel to Doctor Strange should prove to be mind-bending. 

Marvel

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as mystical Marvel superhero Doctor Strange in the upcoming movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Here's everything we know so far about the planned 27th Marvel Cinematic Universe film, which was formally announced at Comic-Con 2019

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 WidowThor 4: Love and ThunderThe Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Then on the new Disney Plus streaming service we'll see Marvel TV shows The Falcon and Winter SoldierWandaVisionLoki, What If...?, Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight

Who's making it?

Scott Derrickson returns to direct his second Doctor Strange adventure. Though Derrickson co-wrote the 2016 Doctor Strange film with C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts, the sequel involves new writers who've yet to be officially named.

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When will Doctor Strange 2 be released? 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' release date is May 7, 2021. It's set to open in theaters worldwide around the same day.

Plot details

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. 

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Doctor Strange was first seen in Strange Tales #110 in July 1963. He was created by Stan Lee and visionary artist Steve Ditko, who supplied mind-bending psychedelic visuals for the new character's adventures.

Marvel

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.

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Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) in Avengers: Infinity War. 

Marvel Studios

"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

This article was originally published on Sept. 5 and will be updated as news rolls in.