Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the sequel to Doctor Strange (2016) and the 28th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film is directed by Sam Raimi, written by Michael Waldron, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. In the film, Strange and his allies travel into the multiverse to face a mysterious new adversary.
Following the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and the first season of Loki (2021), Dr. Stephen Strange, with the help of both old and new mystical allies, travels into the multiverse to face a mysterious new adversary.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness release Date:
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released on May 6, 2022. It was supposed to arrive on March 25 but was delayed due to six weeks’ worth of reshoots in late 2021 (per The Hollywood Reporter). Those reshoots have been completed, although director Sam Raimi has suggested that more improvements may be necessary if test screenings aren’t received well.
Released during Super Bowl LVI, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ official trailer revealed how surreal and mind-blowing it’ll be when it lands in theaters.
Opening with a monologue from Stephen Strange, who is plagued by the same dream every night after the events of No Way Home, it isn’t long before the teaser dives head-first into the film’s weird and mind-blogging elements.
We learn that there’ll be even more variants of Doctor Strange present in the movie, Wanda/Scarlet Witch will be the film’s main villain, and that the Multiverse of Madness will bring elements of Fox’s X-Men universe and What If…?, Marvel’s animated anthology TV show, into the MCU.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast:
There are seven confirmed cast members so far, with another all-but-confirmed (just not officially by Marvel) based on the latest trailer:
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange/Sinister Strange/Defender Strange/Zombie Strange
- Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Karl Mordo/Master Mordo
- Benedict Wong as Wong
- Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer
- Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Nicodemus West
- Patrick Stewart as Professor X
Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as Doctor Stephen Strange from the superhero’s first solo movie, as well as appearances in other MCU films. However, he’ll also be playing three variants of Strange. Those incarnations include Sinister Strange, according to Marvel.com, who may or may not be the same one we saw in What If…?. We also learn about two more variants called Defender Strange and Zombie Strange, but we’ll talk about these in more detail in our plot section below.
Elizabeth Olsen co-stars as Wanda/Scarlet Witch and, as speculated by some fans, she’ll be the main villain of the film. Judging by the official trailer, we’ll see a few variants of Wanda, too, including Zombie Scarlet Witch.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo a former Master of the Mystic Arts and mentor-turned-enemy of Strange, who is hunting other sorcerers.
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Benedict Wong as Wong the Sorcerer Supreme and Strange’s mentor and friend tasked with protecting Kamar-Taj’s most valuable relics and books
Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez a teenager with the ability to travel between dimensions by punching open doorways. Marvel Studios production and development manager Richie Palmer stated that Chavez’s powers are “maddening” to Strange and Wong given they have never encountered anyone with those abilities and it is their job to protect the dimensional barriers. Gomez said that “everything is going completely wrong” for Chavez in the film as she is “running away from her uniqueness until she learns to embrace it”
Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer an emergency surgeon who was a colleague and lover of Strange. The film explores Strange’s decision at the end of Doctor Strange (2016) to protect the New York Sanctum and not be with Palmer, despite still having feelings for her and possibly regretting that decision.
Finally, Patrick Stewart is returning as Professor X. We know he’ll appear in the film as we hear him speaking to Cumberbatch’s Strange around the 1:15 mark in the second trailer. Marvel hasn’t confirmed his involvement yet, but the trailer has already verified this.
Also appearing in the film are the creature Gargantos, designed after Shuma-Gorath, and Rintrah, a minotaur-Esque being from R’Vaal who is a student at Kamar-Taj.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness plot: what’s it about?
Here’s the official synopsis, courtesy of a press release sent out alongside the movie’s official trailer: “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.”
Given the footage that we’ve seen so far, that adversary is Wanda/Scarlet Witch. She’s in possession of the Darkhold, wants to be reunited with Billy and Tommy, and appears to go on a killing spree (based on her blood-splattered face in the latest trailer). She even says to Strange at one point “When you break the rules, you become a hero. When I do it, I become the enemy. How is that fair?”. How much more proof do we need than that?
WandaVision villain Agatha Harkness hinted that the Scarlet Witch would “destroy the world”, which may be a warning that Wanda will be consumed by the Darkhold’s influence. It’s possible that she’ll try and use it to get Billy and Tommy back for good, but that could spell trouble for the MCU and wider multiverse.
A threat such as Scarlet Witch would require Strange to team up with other superpowered beings. He’s obviously going to join forces with Chavez, Wong, Rintrah, and other sorcerers, but it seems like they’ll need more help to stop someone as powerful as Scarlet Witch.
As we alluded to above, we’ll see Sinister Strange, Zombie Strange, and Defender Strange appear throughout the film.
We suspect that they’ll turn up at different points, though, and only have certain roles in proceedings. The Super Bowl TV spot, for example, implies that Defender Strange will save Chavez before he’s killed by, well, whatever’s attacking her. It could be that Defender Strange is turned into Zombie Strange later on, too, as these two variants appear to be wearing the same robes.
Sinister Strange is likely to have a bigger role. We see one of the Strange variants releasing a dragon monster at one point in the TV spot, so it’s possible that Sinister Strange may band together with the MCU’s magic wielders and other heroes to stop Scarlet Witch. We see Evil Strange do likewise in What If…?, so there’s a precedent for this in the MCU.
However Doctor Strange 2 plays out, it sounds like it’ll be the most surreal Marvel movie ever. There is very much secrecy surrounding the Multiverse of Madness, Benedict Wong revealed that multiple versions of key scenes had been shot to stop spoilers leaking out.