Shortly after his starring role in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) with Tom Holland and Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch will return as the former Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, in his own sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
From director Sam Raimi and writer Michael Waldron, the sequel to Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange (2016) sees many familiar faces back in Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as new ones, and a merchandise collection has just ruined the debut of a brand-new character. Someone call the Time-Keepers!
Not only will Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness see the return of characters like Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Wong (Benedict Wong), Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), and Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), but, as per the official trailer, the sequel will also debut a number of Doctor Strange Variants.
Marvel fans have already got a glimpse of Defender Strange, Zombie Strange, and Sinister Strange; the latter will likely be the big bad of the MCU’s 28th feature film, despite comic book villain, Shuma-Gorath (renamed Gargantos), definitely appearing in the Marvel movie.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also sees the debut of newcomer Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez/ Miss America in the Multiversal adventure that looks set to deal with the fallout of Stephen Strange’s spell for Peter Parker (Holland) from Spider-Man: No Way Home. Oh, and at some point, somehow, legendary X-Men franchise actor Patrick Stewart (Professor Charles Xavier/Professor X) will appear in an undisclosed role.
A new merchandise reveal has ruined another character’s entry into the MCU. Via Doctor Strange 2 Updates (@DrStrangeUpdate), it can be seen that not only will Doctor Strange be getting Variants, but so too will the current Sorcerer Supreme, Wong.
Monogram International is releasing a new line of #DoctorStrange in the Multiverse of Madness keychain figures!
— Doctor Strange 2 Updates (@DrStrangeUpdate) April 3, 2022
Fans can see that along with characters like Defender Strange, Scarlet Witch, and Rintrah, a Wong Variant called Defender Wong is also part of the collection.
This is the first time Defender Wong has entered the list of Variants appearing in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Variants as a concept in the MCU were originally introduced in Michael Waldron and Kate Herron’s Loki with Tom Hiddleston last June, and it seems the onscreen Marvel Universe is seriously leaning into this facet of the Multiverse.
Wong has been a staple of the MCU ever since 2016’s Doctor Strange. The Mystic Arts sorcerer has appeared in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
It should also be noted that the Supreme Strange listed here is different from the Doctor Strange Supreme that appeared as the villain in Marvel’s animated series What If…?. The evil Doctor Strange eventually destroyed his universe after repeated attempts at bringing Christine Palmer back to life ended in disaster.
Speaking of Variants, like Spider-Man: No Way Home, the Doctor Strange sequel hints at multiple arrivals of Variant heroes throughout the Marvel film. From the trailer, fans have been teased with the debut of the Illuminati — which in Marvel Comics lore has included both Professor X and Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four — and possibly, Tony Stark/Superior Iron Man (hello, Tom Cruise!) and a version of Captain Marvel.
It is all speculation, of course, and fans won’t truly know until the Marvel Phase Four Doctor Strange film releases on May 6, 2022.
Who else will show up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the six series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight — on Disney+ anytime.