You don’t have to be a master of the mystic arts to know that something strange is happening to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Loki, WandaVision, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, we’ve seen that the Multiverse is out of whack and needs some help. I guess you could say it needs a doctor?
Thankfully we know just the physician, Doctor Stephen Strange, master of the mystic arts and sorcerer supreme, sworn to protect Earth from the perils of the multiverse. In his next solo outing, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the good doctor will be doing his best to try and fix the interdimensional craziness.
But what’s the Multiverse of Madness actually about? Who’s in it? And has it got a trailer yet? Well, to answer those questions, we’ve scoured the library of Kamar-Taj, risking the wrath of Wong in the process, to find answers to all the questions you might have about the next chapter in Doctor Strange’s story. So grab your best cape, steady your mind, and get ready to channel the energy of the multiverse. We’re going in…
Doctor Strange 2 release date: WHEN IS THE DOCTOR STRANGE 2 Out?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently scheduled for May 5, 2022 release. The film was initially set for release on May 7, 2021, but like many of Marvel Phase 4 movies, the sequel was delayed because of the ongoing global pandemic.
The film was first pushed to November 5, 2021, and then to its current March date after Sony Pictures moved Spider-Man: No Way Home to November 2021. The film wrapped shooting in April of this year, and reshoots were completed as of January 2022, leaving us all set for a mystical return to the big screen in May.
Doctor Strange 2 cast? Who’s in Doctor Strange 2?
The sorcerer supreme himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, is, of course, returning as Stephen Strange for the Multiverse of Madness. He won’t be the only Avenger appearing though, Elizabeth Olsen is set to play Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, in the film.
While there are no plans at the moment for a WandaVision sequel, Marvel producers have insisted that Doctor Strange 2 is the next chapter in Wanda’s story. Olsen herself admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that she didn’t really understand the plot of Doctor Strange 2 until two weeks before WandaVision wrapped. She joked: “I really wish that there was a plan that someone shared with me a little sooner.”
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Rachel McAdams and Benedict Wong are both returning as Christine Palmer and Wong, respectively as well. Chiwetel Ejiofor will also reprise the role of Mordo, who we last saw vowing to rid the world of sorcerors. It’s presumed he’ll be the film’s bad guy, but with the cast dipping in and out of the multiverse, we wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up as a secondary antagonist to someone like Kang or maybe even Nightmare, who’s been rumoured to appear in the movie.
Rounding out the cast is Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez. Chavez is a relatively new Marvel character – she first appeared in 2011- with the ability to travel the multiverse as well as enhanced strength and flight.
Behind the camera, the film’s initial director and writer, Scott Derrickson, stepped down in January 2020, citing creative differences. Loki screenwriter Michael Waldron was brought in to work on the script while veteran filmmaker Sam Raimi took over as director.
Benedict Cumberbatch recently told THR how he felt when he heard the news that Derrickson was leaving. “I was sad to hear about it, but that was not my decision. I completely respected the studio’s decision, and it was done very amicably. The grown-ups called and just talked me through it. And that was that.”
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Doctor Strange 2 is now undergoing significant reshoots. These are believed to be in order to shoot additional scenes that weren’t possible during principal photography due to Covid-19 restrictions. Benedict Cumberbatch recently told the Today Show he was excited to get started on the film again.
“Sam Raimi’s at the helm, so expect extraordinary things. And yeah, we’re making it even better,” he explained. “We’ve got some reshoots coming up in November and December, and it comes out in May. And I guess you’ll have to wait until then… That’s all you get.”
Doctor Strange 2 Plot: What is Doctor Strange 2 about?
Marvel Studios released the first official plot synopsis for Doctor Strange 2. It read: “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.”
We don’t know who the friend turned enemy is, but if we were to guess, it’s either going to be the Scarlet Witch or Baron Mordo. We imagine that Strange’s cut WandaVision cameo cleared some of this up, but as no information about what Doctor Strange was doing in Westview has been revealed, yet your guess is as good as ours.
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Thanks to an interview Bloomberg did with Kevin Feige, we know that the events of Loki have some bearing on the plot, which makes sense considering how that series essentially ended with the birth of the multiverse. Feige has also admitted that you need to have watched WandaVision and Loki truly appreciate what’s going on in the Multiverse of Madness. “These episodes will intersect with the movies in a very big way. It’s a totally new form of storytelling that we get to play with and explore,” he told Variety.
We also, thanks to Olsen and Waldron, know a little about the film’s tone. Both have independently said that Raimi has made the film “scary”. Waldron said that Raimi had used delayed filming to make tweaks movie and push things in a “scarier direction”. Olsen, meanwhile, told the New York Film Academy: “It’s a very scary movie. It’s like old Sam Raimi. They’re trying to create the scariest Marvel movie.”
“I mean, there are horrifying sequences in Raiders that I as a little kid would [cover my eyes] when their faces melted. Or Temple of Doom, of course, or Gremlins, or Poltergeist. These are the movies that invented the PG-13 rating, by the way,” Feige told the New York Film Academy. “They were PG, and then they were like, ‘We need another [rating].’ But that’s fun. It’s fun to be scared in that way, and not a horrific, torturous way, but a way that is legitimately scary”.
Disney have since released a second plot synopsis which confirms two major plot points about the movie. Firstly, Multiverse of Madness will include a journey through alternate realities. Secondly, in What If…? fashion, it will depict Doctor Strange travelling through alternate versions of the MCU.
The full synopsis reads: “In Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.”
We think it’s safe to say that Wanda and Wong will be among those “old” mystical allies, but could the synopsis also hint at an appearance by the Eternals, whose relationship with Doctor Strange has been alluded to before? And given Wong carted away Shang-Chi at the end of first own solo outing in 2021, could he, as the wielder of the Heart of the Dragon, be one of the “new” mystical allies described in the synopsis? It remains to be seen who the “mysterious new adversary” is, but the trailer has given us a few theories…
DOCTOR STRANGE 2 TRAILER: Does DOCTOR STRANGE 2 have a TRAILER?
Doctor Strange doesn’t just have a trailer. It has two trailers. The first was released as a post-credit sting on Spider-Man: No Way Home and features an evil version of the good doctor.
The second was released at the SuperBowl and teased us all with the return of one of our favourite X-Men characters, Professor Xavier.
Could there be more mutants hidden in the film? Former Cyclops James Marsden has denied as much, but he would say that, wouldn’t he. If you want to know more about Doctor Strange 2, check out our list of rumoured cameos from across the Multiverse of Madness.