It’s been known for some time that Sam Raimi’s Multiverse of Madness went under extensive reshoots, which isn’t that unusual for a movie of its scale. With Marvel‘s shifting schedules, it has a huge knock-on effect to whatever comes next, and at one point Doctor Strange 2 was set to be released before Spider-Man: No Way Home. Therefore, the plot underwent several important changes.
Xochitl Gomez, who plays America Chavez in Multiverse of Madness has now said that test screenings influenced a major change in Stephen Strange’s arc and led to the opening battle against the golden monster who is trying to take America’s powers being significantly changed. The scene went from one where Defender Strange (one of the versions of Strange from the multiverse) saves America, to one where he betrays her.
Speaking to SlashFilm, Gomez said; “It changed lots of things. The main thing about Marvel is that they do test screenings so that they can get the movie to be what fans want, make them be what Marvel movies are. We did lots of changes for that reshoot, it was pretty insane.”
Gomez continued; “[It was] lots of work, but it was really fun and it was a challenge, but it was also really fun to do wirework again of the stuff that I already had done, to do it in a different style with different intentions and stuff. One main thing that got changed is that Defender Strange was actually saving me at the beginning and it was a turning point, that when he died it was me being heartbroken over the fact that someone who cared and was protecting me had passed away. Then, when we did reshoots it was this main drastic change that Defender Strange was actually betraying me and trying to take my power away from me.”
Gomez concluded; “[It gave me and Cumberbatch] a lot more to work with, but also it’s a completely different perspective on her and her trust issues because before it was this whole other thing. A little, simple thing like that can change so much.” The shift at the start made the ending of the film, in which Strange learns to trust in someone other than himself to defeat a foe have more impact.
If you still need to catch up on the current phase of the MCU before the shift into Phase 5, check out our guide to Phase 4.