Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness brought a new horror movie dimension to the MCU. Among the wild concepts and scares, Benedict Cumberbatch faces himself in a musical battle that’s one of the greatest in the franchise. Cumberbatch loved doing these scenes, in no small part because he wrote them himself.
“I absolutely loved it, and it sounds so egotistical – but there we go, that’s what actors are – but I loved doing the scenes with myself because of the challenge of it,” Cumberbatch tells Prestige. “And I got to write some of those scenes.”
He explains that the action movie was originally a bit lighter, but he wanted to go deeper. Sam Raimi, being the monster movie maestro that he is, was totally on-board, giving the pen to Cumberbatch to see what he could do. “Sam Raimi was so game for it and Michael Waldron really supported me to write it as well,” he recalls. “We turned what was a very small combat between the two into a sort of very bizarre and inventive battle in that moment. I really loved it.”
The finished scene, a highlight of the Marvel movie, is something that landed remarkably close to conceptual discussions before Raimi came on board. “It was how the original was pitched to me a long while back when Scott Derrickson was still working with us: Strange would meet versions of himself,” he states. “It was something I wanted to lean into.”
In Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange encounters variants of himself from across dimensions. The science fiction movie is deliberately mindbending, and you can tell Cumberbatch is having fun getting to take different angles on his MCU character.
Will we see more of that in Doctor Strange 3? Cumberbatch is open to it. “We could have gone even further, and maybe it will go into the future,” he adds. “Who knows what other versions we might need in the multiverse chapter of the MCU? But it was very enjoyable to play all the variants of myself.”