Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is one of the most highly anticipated films of the MCU Phase 4. The events of Loki and WandaVision and even rumors surrounding Spider-Man: No Way Home all seem to be indicated that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is headed to the Multiverse.
And, it’s all leading to the Doctor Strange (2016) sequel. And there is so much to catch up on before the next Marvel movie hits theaters on May 6, 2022.
What is the plot of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
Many Marvel fans have been asking themselves what awaits Steven Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme has only appeared in three Marvel Cinematic Universe films so far. And, two of those were Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). He spent most of Endgame snapped into dust by Thanos (Josh Brolin).
Besides Doctor Strange’s debut film and the Disney+ original series WandaVision, Marvel Studios has not shown us much of what magic looks like in the MCU so many may not know what to expect in the film. And it’s vital to catch up before the end of Phase 4 since Multiverse of Madness is going to launch Marvel into its next grand saga.
While the plot of Doctor Strange 2 has been kept secret by Marvel boss Kevin Feige, one synopsis did leak online and described the film as:
After the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’, Dr. Stephen Strange continues his research on the Time Stone. But an old friend turned enemy seeks to destroy every sorcerer on Earth, messing with Strange’s plan and also causing him to unleash an unspeakable evil.
Who is the villain in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
It is likely that Doctor Strange 2 will have multiple villains. That “old friend turned enemy” is a character most should remember from the first Doctor Strange movie – Baron Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). In the post-credit scene from Doctor Strange, Baron Mordo vowed to rid the world of sorcerers. He was angered after learning that the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) was corrupted by Dormammu.
But, there is definitely more to the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness plot than Mordo’s quest to destroy every sorcerer. The Sorcerer Supreme’s story is picking up where Loki and WandaVision left off as time branches off into alternate timelines creating the Marvel multiverse.
The trailer revealed Marvel fans can expect cameos from Marvel Studio’s first animated series What If…? including the evil Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange Supreme, and Zombie Doctor Strange. Rumors also suggest Captain Carter could show up and the Marvel movie was delayed to include more cameos.
Rumors about the unspeakable evil set to appear have named many options. One leading assumption focuses on Nightmare – a Marvel comics villain with the ability to enter the minds of people who are dreaming and rules over the Dream Dimension.
Another name that has been tossed around is the long-rumored, but never appearing, Mephisto. Mephisto is Marvel Comics equivalent of Satan and after he failed to show in WandaVision, fans have been joking that he could show up at any point even in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Just another way that superheroes and society interact through memes.
It could even be some of the stranger demons in the Marvel Universe like Shuma Gorath or Chthon who have deep connections to Wanda and her role as a Nexus being. Shuma Gorath was seen in the trailer but thanks to some copyright issues and toy leaks, we know he will be going by Gargantos.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Cast
So, who is returning in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Naturally, Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as Doctor Stephen Strange in Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). Some casting announcements were delayed after the loss of the original director Scott Derrickson.
The cast list also includes original Doctor Strange (2016) actors, Rachel McAdams as his love interest Doctor Christine Palmer, Benedict Wong as Wong, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo. Other notable confirmed cast members include Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and a new character to the MCU, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez).
Rumors about who might cameo in the film go as far as to include X-Men (2000) actor Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine. Sir Patrick Stewart was revealed as the leader of the mutants Charles Xavier/Professor X.
More characters are rumored like Wanda’s twin sons Billy / Wiccan (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy / Speed (Baylen Bielitz). Billy and Tommy are both Young Avengers like America Chaves and Julian Hilliard may have been spotted on the set of the new film shortly after the WandaVision finale premiered on Disney+.
There have also been rumors that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki might show up after unraveling the Sacred Timeline in his own Disney+ original series. Or maybe the Kid Loki variant of the trickster, another Young Avenger, could head to the big screen to cause some mischief.
Another casting call also hinted that Jericho Drumm/Brother Voodoo – who becomes Sorcerer Supreme after Stephen Strange — may also appear in the upcoming film. He could serve as a powerful ally for Doctor Strange whether he is going up against Mordo, Scarlet Witch, or some other demon.
How Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)
One big question that the leaked synopsis raises is how Doctor Strange can study the Time Stone after it was destroyed in Avengers: Endgame (2019) by Thanos (Josh Brolin). The Infinity Stone was retrieved by Bruce Banner/the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) during the Time Heist, but Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) returned it back to its rightful time.
Doctor Strange 2 takes place after all these events. But a character as arrogant as the Sorcerer Supreme may not have been willing to let one of his most powerful weapons go. Perhaps, he starts the Marvel movie trying to find a way to recover it. Or maybe steal one of the paperweights from the Time Variance Authority (TVA)?
Doctor Strange will also appear in the third Tom Holland Spider-Man film Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 21, 2021). No Way Home is poised to be the MCU’s version of the Spider-Verse with multiple versions of Peter Parker showing up. This includes the versions played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
Some speculation has Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness reaching the level of an Avengers-style cross-over. When dealing with the Marvel multiverse anything is possible.
What comic is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness based on?
Every Marvel movie pulls inspiration from Marvel Comics. The Marvel Cinematic Universe puts a unique spin on the classic stories and never adapts a comic book exactly as it was presented. Just look how different Captain America: Civil War (2016) is from the Marvel Comic Civil War.
Doctor Strange 2 will pull from many Doctor Strange comic books. There is not one story where the Sorcerer Supreme tackles the Marvel Multiverse head-on and since the villain is still unconfirmed it is hard to know the exact plot of the movie.
Doctor Strange Epic Collection: A Separate Reality could provide some clues. It is a series of stories centering around the demon Shuma Gorath. The Lovecraft-inspired monster has already been rumored to take on Marvel’s most powerful magic-user. Written from 1968-1974 with creators including Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, Stan Lee, and Barry Windsor-Smith, A Separate Reality takes Doctor Strange and Baron Mordo on an other-dimensional adventure.
As Wanda ended WandaVision studying the Darkhold, the powerful Spellbook is certain to pop up again in Doctor Strange 2. One of the most important stories that involve Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, and the Darkhold is 1971’s Avengers/Doctor Strange: Rise Of The Darkhold. This is a collected edition that jumps from series to series to follow the Darkhold through Marvel comics history.
Since Doctor Strange 2 will introduce America Chavez it is also pulling some inspiration from her first appearance in Vengeance (2011) by Joe Casey, Young Avengers (2013) by Kieron Gillen, and her first solo series America (2017) by Gabby Rivera.
Other comics that would be good to read include the Last Days of Magic (2017) by Chris Bachalo. This story finds all the Masters of Mystic Arts in the Marvel universe losing their magic after the Empirikul are released onto Earth. They are an army of robotic monsters from another dimension that worships Shuma Gorath.
The Empirikul are led by the Imperator/Bill the Die the Science Murder Guy. Perhaps Baron Mordo will try to trick Strange into releasing them to further his goal of erasing magic in the MCU.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness release info
There have been a few bumps in the production of Doctor Strange 2. In January 2020, the original director Scott Derrickson left the production over creative differences. Spider-Man director Sam Raimi eventually took over the project.
However, in early June, Doctor Strange screenwriter and Loki head writer Michael Waldron revealed that it had to start from scratch when he came onto the project in April 2020. Filming started in November 2020 in London but was stopped in January due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic pushed many movie release dates including Black Widow, a Marvel movie that was finished for over a year while fans waited for it to be safe to return to theaters. Even just recently the release date was pushed back again to May 6, 2022.
Production on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness resumed by March 2021 and concluded in mid-April in Somerset. Currently, the film is in post-production, and it is not clear when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will end production.
The Doctor Strange sequel is currently slated for release in the United States on May 6, 2022. It was originally scheduled for March 25 but recently Marvel and Disney pushed back much of their 2023 slate. It is not clear at this time if it will be released only in theaters or if it will also stream on Disney+ with Premier Access like many of the films released during the pandemic like Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) and Black Widow (2021).
The release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is still ways off so stayed tuned here for more news.