Doctor Strange 2 Will Be More Horror-Centric, Feature A Surprise MCU Hero

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness logo

We’ve known for a minute now that Marvel Studios has been cooking up a Doctor Strange 2. It was pretty obvious that the sequel would happen after the first movie wound up being a big hit in the fall of 2016, but the project was confirmed last December when the company made a deal with director Scott Derrickson to take the helm of the follow-up. That being said, Marvel has been very hush-hush about the follow-up… at least until now.

Marvel held its big Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con this afternoon, and as part of the festivities revealed some fantastic new information about the next big screen adventure of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Stephen Strange. Not only do we now know that the movie will be called Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, but it’s been confirmed both that it will have a more horror-centric feel, and feature Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch as a key supporting character.

On the genre front, this news may not come as a huge surprise to those familiar with the work of director Scott Derrickson. With the exception of 2008’s The Day The Earth Stood Still, the filmmaker’s entire filmography prior to his work with Marvel has been dedicated to making movies that scare audiences, and the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel will give him the freedom to go back into that tonal realm. In fact, that was even a personal stipulation for him taking on the job, as he explained to the Comic-Con crowd:

When I came and talked to [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] about doing a sequel, I said, ‘I don’t want to do just another sequel. If I’m going to do it, it needs to go into the territory that drew me into the Doctor Strange comics in the first place’ – which is how they dipped into the gothic and the horror and the horrific. And we’re going to make the first scary MCU movie.

Sadly the filmmaker didn’t say anything specific about the villain/villains that we can expect Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness to feature, but one can assume that the blockbuster will feature some of Marvel Comics’ freakiest threats – of which there are many (it’s worth noting that Nightmare. It's also worth mentioning that while the sequel will have the goal of scaring audiences, it will do so while still operating with a PG-13 rating.

As for the presence of Scarlet Witch, the filmmakers on stage at Hall H really couldn’t say anything specific about the role that she will have in the film – but one key fact that was highlighted is the way in which the blockbuster will relate to another one of Marvel Studios’ big upcoming projects. Audiences will next get to see Wanda Maximoff in the new Disney+ series WandaVision, confirmed to be hitting the streaming service in the spring of 2021, and Kevin Feige noted that the things that go down on that show will tie in directly with the events of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (which is a massive deal when you consider the complete lack of relationship that has existed between Marvel’s big and small screen projects to date.

Sadly we still have a while to wait before we actually get to see the sequel, as it won’t be hitting theaters until May 7, 2021 – but hopefully it won’t be long until even more details about it start rolling in. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest updates about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as a whole lot more of our coverage out of San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.