The wait is finally over. Doctor Strange 2 is finally here. The 28th MCU movie will hit theaters everywhere on May 6. Gather your wits because Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is definitely going to be the scariest MCU film yet with a PG-13 rating for “intense sequences of violence and action, frightening images and some language.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the official sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange, is going to change the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever just like Spider-Man: No Way Home did a few months prior. There’s so much to unpack with Doctor Strange 2, so buckle up. HollywoodLife has rounded up all the latest updates about the cast, possible cameos, and more.
‘Doctor Strange 2’ Cast & Crew
Benedict Cumberbatch is back as Dr. Stephen Strange, also known as the Sorceror Supreme. Stephen was last seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home alongside Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Stephen cast a spell that made everyone forget Peter Parker was Spider-Man, which opened up the Multiverse to heroes and villains from other Spider-Man movies to enter their reality. By the end of the film, Stephen cast a new spell to fix the chaos his original caused. His new spell made it so no one knows Peter Parker even exists.
“It’s great. It’s a big old playpen,” Benedict told Collider about playing Doctor Strange. “There are broad strokes and there are subtle strokes allowed in it. I feel very fortunate to be your Doctor Strange. That’s what I am. I really do. It’s a great honor. There’s just a lot of fun to be had.”
Benedict will be joined by Elizabeth Olsen, who reprises her fan-favorite role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. Wanda/Scarlet Witch was last seen in the final moments of the Disney+ series WandaVision where she was flipping through the Darkhold when she hears her sons Billy and Tommy crying out for help. In WandaVision, Wanda created the alternate reality of Westview that brought back Vision and allowed her to live happily ever after through various TV shows.
“I don’t see her as crazy. I see her as… maybe she in the past has struggled with certain processing of changes. And now she’s in a space of clarity,” Elizabeth told Digital Spy about Wanda’s mindset in Doctor Strange 2. “I think she feels very confident in what she believes and why. I think she’s coming in from a space of competence and clarity, when it comes to Doctor Strange, even if it’s different from what people believe, if she makes mistakes or does something that people think is morally incorrect.”
Benedict Wong will be back as Wong, alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Karl Mordo and Michael Stuhlbarg’s Dr. Nicodemus West. Rachel McAdams returns as Christine Palmer, Doctor Strange’s love interest. The magnitude of Christine’s role in the sequel is not yet known, but Rachel told Empire Magazine, according to The Direct, that “[Christine isn’t] just wearing scrubs this time around” and is “certainly a part of things I’ve never seen on screen.”
The Babysitter’s Club alum Xochitl Gomez, who is just 16 years old, will be making her MCU debut as America Chavez. In the Marvel comics, America is a superhero known as Miss America. The character will be making Marvel history as the MCU’s first Latin American LGBTQ+ character. Within the MCU, America is a girl from the Utopian Parallel, a singular dimension outside the Multiverse. She has the ability to open star-shaped holes in reality and can travel through the Multiverse and into other realities.
“America’s journey is about learning to trust others. My take is that America can always trust herself since she was alone for so long and she’s a survivor. Her journey is about allowing others to help her be what she’s capable of,” Xochitl told Marvel.com.
Patrick Stewart, who plays Charles Xavier/Professor X in 20th Century’s Fox’s X-Men film series, will reportedly be featured in Doctor Strange 2. When a new trailer was released in February 2022 during the Super Bowl, fans seemingly heard Patrick’s voice in the trailer. “You know, people have been imitating my voice ever since I came on the stage 60 years ago,” Patrick told ComicBook.com about the trailer. “So, I can’t be held responsible for that.”
As for Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, the actor is remaining cryptic with his words until the movie is released. “I’m living in a question mark. It’s all unknown. You know, I used to think that I could predict these things, but I literally have no idea. And I’m not even doing an Andrew Garfield! I just don’t know,” Tom told Total Film. No matter what, Tom will return for Loki season 2.
Similar to Spider-Man: No Way Home, there have been countless rumors about possible cameos. One of the top ones for Doctor Strange 2 is Tom Cruise. Fans have been speculating about Tom possibly playing Superior Iron Man in the sequel. There hasn’t been a peep from Marvel or Tom about this rumor.
There’s also been talk of an appearance from Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man in Doctor Strange 2. RDJ was last seen in Avengers: Endgame when Tony Stark/Iron Man died to take down Thanos once and for all. Given the possibilities of the Multiverse, an Iron Man cameo could happen.
Fans believe they even spotted Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool in the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness poster. However, Ryan told Variety that is not appearing in the film. “I’m really not in the movie,” Ryan said. When the outlet followed up and suggested that he could be lying, Ryan replied, “I’m promising, I’m not in the movie.” That’s what Andrew Garfield said, too.
The live-action debut of Hayley Atwell’s Captain Carter has also been hinted at in teasers for Doctor Strange 2. In a teaser all about the Illuminati, Captain Carter’s shield is shown during a scene with Strange. Captain Carter was first introduced in an episode of the Disney+ series What If?… in 2021.
Crew: Director & More
Sam Raimi is the director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The sequel is Sam’s first film since Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013. Sam is known for helming Sony’s initial Spider-Man trilogy with Tobey Maguire.
The screenplay was written by Michael Waldron, who is also the head writer and executive producer of Loki. Marvel boss Kevin Feige serves as a producer. Danny Elfman, who composed the scores for Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, reunited with Sam Raimi for the Doctor Strange sequel.
Release Date & Where To Watch
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released on May 6 in theaters across the globe. The film is exclusive to theaters and will not be released on Disney+ during its theatrical run.
Producer Richie Palmer explained to Disney’s D23 Magazine the meaning behind the Multiverse of Madness title. “We honor each definition of the word ‘madness’ in this movie,” Richie said. “For example, it’s not just the craziness of what an alternate universe might look like, feel like, or sound like. When you see that there are infinite versions of yourself across infinite universes and you’re a different person in them different facets of you rise to the top. Maybe Stephen meets a few of these guys and wonders, ‘Oh, am I capable of what that person’s capable of? Are they capable of what I’m capable of?’ And that can be maddening, Seeing other versions of yourself make decisions that you would not make can, for better or worse, be maddening- whether that’s for Doctor Strange, for Wanda, or for any of our characters. Sometimes the scariest monsters are the ones that dwell within us and with the Multiverse, maybe some versions of us are more monstrous than others.”
The official synopsis for the film reads: “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.”
The runtime for Doctor Strange 2 is 2 hours and 6 minutes. This is far shorter than previous MCU films. By comparison, Spider-Man: No Way Home was 2 hours and 28 minutes. Avengers: Endgame was 3 hours and 2 minutes.
What Is The Multiverse?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building to the exploration of the Multiverse for years now. The Multiverse of a collection of parallel universes and realities that exist simultaneously. The Multiverse is infinite, a “world without end.” With the possibilities of the Multiverse come consequences. Mordo told Doctor Strange in the 2016 film, “Temporal manipulations can create branches in time. Unstable dimensional openings, spatial paradoxes, time loops! You want to get stuck reliving the same moment over, and over, forever, or never having existed at all?”
In Loki, it was revealed that He Who Remains created the Time Variance Authority to maintain the Sacred Timeline. When the Sacred Timeline is breached, it creates a branched timeline or a “nexus event.” This branched timeline can become an alternate universe if a certain amount of time passes. These multiple realities create the Multiverse. By the end of Loki, the Multiverse is on the precipice of pure chaos.
“The Multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little."
Watch the official teaser for Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Only in theaters May 6. pic.twitter.com/gFJa6yZhuN
— Doctor Strange (@DrStrange) December 22, 2021
As Doctor Strange said in the first teaser for the sequel: “The Multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little.” As we saw in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the Multiverse is an opportunity for beloved characters from entirely different universes to become part of the MCU. The multiple realities could bring certain characters back from the dead since they wouldn’t be dead in every single timeline in the Multiverse.
The movie, which is part of Phase Four of the MCU, was originally scheduled to be released on May 7, 2021, but it was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was delayed several more times before settling on May 6, 2022. The MCU movies being released after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had to be pushed as well. Thor: Love and Thunder moved from May 6 to July 8, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever went from July 8 to November 11. The Marvels and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be released in 2023.
Kevin Feige announced the title of the Doctor Strange movie at 2019 San Diego Comic Con alongside producer Scott Derrickson. At the time, Scott confirmed that Doctor Strange 2 would be the “first scary MCU film.”
Filming began in November 2020 in London after being delayed from its initial May 2020 start date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production continued well into 2021. After COVID surge setbacks, filming resumed in mid-March and ended in April. In November 2021, it was revealed that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was undergoing “significant” reshoots. Benedict and the cast and crew were reportedly on board for six more weeks of shooting, working six days a week.
In January 2022, Sam Raimi gave an update about the status of the film. “I wish I knew the answer to that question,” Sam told Variety when asked if the movie was finished. “I think we’re done, but we just cut everything. We’re just starting to test the picture and we’ll find out if there’s anything that’s got to be picked up. If something’s unclear or another improvement I can make in this short amount of time left, I’ll do it. One thing I know about the Marvel team is they won’t stop. They’ll keep pushing it until it’s as close to being great as it could.”
The first official trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premiered on February 13, 2022, on Super Bowl Sunday. A teaser had dropped a few months prior in December 2022. Over the last few months, Marvel Studios has released several teasers and TV spots with individual titles — “Fate,” “Ready,” “Reckoning,” “Time,” “Experience,” “Impossibility,” “Change,” and “Fun.” The last teaser dropped on May 2.
Fans have run rampant about certain stars being a part of Doctor Strange 2. One of the most notable is Emma Watson. There’s been speculation that Marvel comics character Clea, a powerful sorceress, may show up in the sequel. Amongst fans, the Harry Potter alum has become a popular contender to play Clea, but there hasn’t been any confirmation that the character is even a part of the film. Emma’s last role was in 2019’s Little Women. Despite a 2021 Daily Mail report that Emma had “given up acting,” her manager stressed in a statement to EW that Emma’s “social media accounts are dormant but her career isn’t.”