Everything we know about 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness'

Jacob Sarkisian
·11-min read
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"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" will tie into several other Marvel works including "WandaVison." Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
  • "WandaVision" will lead directly into "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

  • Fans are excited for the "Doctor Strange" sequel, which has a US release date of March 25, 2022.

  • The movie is part of the MCU's phase four and will tie into "Loki" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

With "WandaVision" wrapped up and directly leading into the "Doctor Strange" sequel, Marvel fans are getting pretty hyped for the next installment of the Master of the Mystic Arts.

"Doctor Strange in the Madness of the Multiverse" promises to crank up the first movie's mind-bending and magical mayhem with the inclusion of Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch and, you guessed it, the multiverse.

We've trawled through everywhere we can find about "Doctor Strange 2," including the movie's release date, directorial changes, casting announcements, and potential teases about major plot points and character reveals.

'In the Multiverse of Madness' has a March 25, 2022, release date

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"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is now set for release in 2022. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

We were originally supposed to be getting this movie on May 7 of this year, but the pandemic put a stop to that.

It was first rescheduled to November 21, but the date changed again — this time because Sony pushed up the release date of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" to move into this slot.

"Doctor Strange 2" now has a US release date of March 25, 2022, which would make it the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie of next year.

'Doctor Strange 2' is part of the MCU's phase four

Black Widow
"Black Widow" is the first movie of the MCU's phase four. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

"In the Multiverse of Madness" is actually set to be the fifth movie of phase four — so we'll be well underway in the phase by the time we see Doctor Strange in his next solo outing.

A phase is a collection of separate movies and TV shows that all tie in and create a wider narrative of a particular era of the MCU. The third phase ended with Peter Parker dealing with Tony Stark's death and the "Endgame" fallout in "Spider-Man: Far From Home."

We are set to see Strange before then, however, in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." Also in phase four are "Eternals," "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," and, first up, "Black Widow."

All of those movies have 2021 release dates, while "WandaVision" has already kicked off phase four. There are a whole host of other TV shows joining the MCU's inaugural series in this phase, too, including this year's "Loki" and "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier."

'Spider-Man' director Sam Raimi is helming the movie after Scott Derrickson stepped down over creative differences

Sam Raimi
Raimi is directing "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Paul Zimmerman/WireImage

Scott Derrickson was originally hired to return to the series after his successful outing with the first movie.

In January 2020, however, Marvel Studios and Derrickson announced he would be dropping out of the movie over creative differences. It's unclear what these differences were, but it could have something to do with the film's scary tone. Derrickson, however, was confirmed to remain an executive producer on the movie.

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In February 2020, talks started between Marvel and Sam Raimi to take over. Raimi is known for his Tobey Maguire "Spider-Man" trilogy and his "Evil Dead" series. In mid-April 2020, Raimi confirmed he was directing "In the Multiverse of Madness."

Elizabeth Olsen says Sam Raimi used his signature style in the movie

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Raimi is best known for his Tobey Maguire "Spider-Man" trilogy. Sony Pictures Releasing

Sam Raimi has already made a sizable impact on the movie if Elizabeth Olsen's words are anything to go by.

Olsen, who will appear in the movie as her MCU character Scarlet Witch, told Collider that we could expect to see Raimi's signature style in the superhero movie.

"I love his use of camera, and it's definitely a use of camera that I'm not used to at all," Olsen said.

Raimi is known for a distinct visual style, which has been described as a comic strip come to life, with several shots mirroring comic book panels. That bodes well for his next stint as a director of a superhero movie.

Loki' head writer Michael Waldron wrote the movie alongside newcomer Jade Bartlett

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The "Loki" creator Michael Waldron cowrote the script for the movie. Disney Platform Distribution

While a former "Spider-Man" director is helming the picture, a current "Loki" scribe is writing it.

Michael Waldron is the creator, head writer, and executive producer of the MCU's coming series "Loki," which is set to premiere June 11.

Waldron has also produced several episodes of "Rick and Morty" and wrote the second episode of the fourth season, "The Old Man and the Seat." Plus, he's also been hired to write the script for Kevin Feige's untitled "Star Wars" movie, so he clearly has a wealth of sci-fi experience.

His writing partner for the movie, however, is an up-and-coming screenwriter, Jade Bartlett. She doesn't have as much experience as Waldron but came onto the scene in 2016 after her script was optioned by Point Grey, the production company of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Benedict Wong are all returning from the first movie

Doctor Strange Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Benedict Wong
Ejiofor, McAdams, and Wong are all returning from the first movie. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Clearly, Benedict Cumberbatch is reprising his role as Doctor Stephen Strange, while a slew of stars from the first movie are also returning.

Chiwetel Ejiofor will return in some capacity as Karl Mordo, an ally of Strange's in the first film who was set up as a future villain in that picture's end-credits scene.

Benedict Wong will also reprise his role as Wong, a fellow Master of the Mystic Arts who appeared alongside Cumberbatch's Strange in both "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame."

For a while, it didn't look as if Rachel McAdams would be returning for the movie, but she was confirmed to reprise her role as the surgeon Christine Palmer, Strange's ex-girlfriend and colleague.

It's unclear whether any other key characters from the first movie will return, such as Michael Stuhlbarg's Nicodemus West, Benjamin Bratt's Jonathan Pangborn, Mads Mikkelsen's Kaecilius, or Tilda Swinton's The Ancient One who appeared in "Endgame."

Xochitl Gomez will play LGBTQ superhero America Chavez in the movie

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Xochitl Gomez will play America Chavez in the movie. JC Olivera/WireImage

New characters or cast members have been limited so far, but one we do know about is Xochitl Gomez, who will play the new MCU superhero America Chavez — otherwise known as Miss America.

This is a big deal for the MCU and LGBTQ fans. America Chavez is Marvel's first Latin American LGBTQ character in the comics, and she will be the first lesbian superhero to appear in a Marvel movie.

This step forward in representation will follow in the footsteps of "The Eternals," which will feature an openly gay couple, and "Thor: Love and Thunder," which features the bisexual superhero Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson.

The movie directly ties into 'WandaVision' and features Elizabeth Olsen

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"WandaVision" ties directly into "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Disney Platform Distribution

Elizabeth Olsen will be joining the cast after appearing in multiple movies and TV shows as Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch.

She is likely to be heavily involved in the movie, particularly with Wanda being a key part of the multiverse in the comics.

Furthermore, this movie will directly tie into "WandaVision," with Kevin Feige confirming it. He did also say, however, that they were trying to make the movie understandable for those who hadn't seen "WandaVision" as well as hardcore MCU fans.

Olsen herself told Jimmy Kimmel that the movie was "a complete tee-up for my character."

'Doctor Strange 2' also ties into the 'Loki' series as well as 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'

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"Loki" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" will also tie into "Doctor Strange 2." Disney Platform Distribution/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

"WandaVision" isn't the only Marvel project connected to the "Doctor Strange" sequel.

Kevin Feige told Bloomberg in a profile of Disney CEO Bob Iger that the coming "Loki" series starring Tom Hiddleston as the God of Mischief once again would directly lead into "In the Multiverse of Madness."

"I'm not sure we've actually acknowledged that before," Feige said. "But it does."

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" will also link directly to this movie, as confirmed by Feige. It will actually be Strange who connects these two pictures, as Strange will be appearing in the third "Spider-Man" outing, which will also include "Spider-Man" actors from previous incarnations of the character such as Jamie Foxx (Electro), Alfred Molina (Doc Ock), and perhaps even the previous Spider-Man actors Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire.

Tom Holland has distanced himself from Garfield and Maguire being in his third Spidey flick, though.

Shooting is already underway, with filming taking place in London as well as New York City, Los Angeles, and Vancouver

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"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has already started shooting. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Filming first started in November 2020 in London, with Elizabeth Olsen shooting her scenes for the movie on November 25, back-to-back with "WandaVision."

Filming was put on hold in the UK for a while following another lockdown in the country after a surge in COVID-19 cases, but Benedict Cumberbatch began filming for the movie in November in Atlanta.

Other shooting locations will include New York City, Los Angeles, and Vancouver.

The movie will be tinged with horror but won't be an all-out scarefest

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"In the Multiverse of Madness" will touch upon the horror aspects of the Marvel universe more than previous movies. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Scott Derrickson has called this movie Marvel's first horror movie, saying during Marvel's Comic-Con panel in 2019 that he wanted to play up "the gothic, the horror," of Strange's world. At the same event, Benedict Cumberbatch said the movie would take "a crazy line into horror."

Kevin Feige later rolled back on that sentiment, however, and said the picture would not be a horror movie but would be a "big MCU film with scary sequences."

Feige compared these sequences to those in a smattering of 1980s movies: "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "Gremlins," and "Poltergeist."

Some have speculated that Derrickson's departure from the project, cited because of creative differences, is because of the tone he wanted the movie to take. This is unconfirmed.

Danny Elfman takes over music duties from Michael Giacchino

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Elfman is composing the music for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

While Micael Giacchino's score for the first movie was praised, he is not returning to the project and is instead composing the music for "The Batman."

Ironically, the composer of Tim Burton's "Batman" and "Batman Returns," Danny Elfman, has now taken over the job of composing the score for "Doctor Strange 2." Elfman has a wealth of experience in creating music for superhero movies, having worked with the director Sam Raimi on the first two films in the Tobey Maguire "Spider-Man" trilogy.

Elfman is also used to scoring movies with darker tinges, including "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Sleepy Hollow," and "9." Plus, he's had MCU experience thanks to his work on "Avengers: Age of Ultron."

The movie will feature Doctor Strange researching the time stone and facing off against an 'old friend turned enemy' and 'unspeakable evil'

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Chiwetel Ejiofor could be the "old friend turned enemy" in "Doctor Strange 2." Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The movie's synopsis, as per a leaked listing from Production Weekly, says: "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."

It looks most likely that Chiwetel Ejiofor's Mordo will be the old friend turned enemy, though it could also be Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff.

The unspeakable evil mentioned in the synopsis is also up for debate, but fans have been speculating that "WandaVision" has been teasing hints of two iconic Marvel and "Doctor Strange" villains who would very much fit that bill: Mephisto and Nightmare.

Read the original article on Insider