Doctor Strange 2: What We Know So Far About The Multiverse Of Madness

Doctor Strange poster

With the Infinity Saga wrapped up with the release of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is moving into a whole new era, and Doctor Strange is set to be an incredible important character in what’s coming. The hero has been established as one of the most powerful beings in the universe, and will be a key player in the variety of massive events that transpire in the coming years. This very much includes his own solo adventures on the big screen, the next one being titled Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.

The film is easily one of the most anticipated blockbusters currently in development, and as such all kinds of questions are flying around. It’s for that reason that we’ve built this guide for Doctor Strange 2, organizing everything we know so far about the movie in one convenient and organized feature:

Doctor Strange with the Time Stone in Avengers Infinity War

What Is The Release Date For Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?

Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is kicking off in a big way in 2020 with the release of both Black Widow and The Eternals, but 2021 will be a particularly special for the franchise given that it will be the first time that four big screen titles hit in a single calendar year. This includes Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, the untitled sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Thor: Love And Thunder, but it’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness that sits in the prime release date that is the first week of May.

Following in the release schedule path of Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, The Avengers, and Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness will be kicking off the summer season next year, arriving in theaters on May 7, 2021.

Doctor Strange showdown with Dormammu

When Will Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Start Production?

Principal photography for Marvel Studios productions typically begins about a year from the film’s set release date, and that’s basically the plan for Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, as the plan has been to have the movie start shooting in June 2020. Whether or not the project will be able to stick to that timeline, however, remains a key question. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused all of Hollywood to cease activity until it’s been deemed safe to continue, and it’s currently unclear if the crisis will be resolved by June. If not, Doctor Strange 2 will have to delay the start of filming, and if that happens it could result in a change in the release date.

Doctor Strange floating in the multiverse

What Is Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness’ Rating?

When it comes to ratings, the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is evolving, as it has been promised several times that Ryan ReynoldsDeadpool will continue to be an R-rated character when he eventually appears. That being said, there is zero expectation that Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness will have a rating any different than its series predecessor, and will be made with a PG-13 in mind.

Sam Raimi directing Oz The Great And Powerful

Who Is Directing Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?

The answer to the question of who is directing Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness is a complicated one, as it has changed over the course of the project’s development. As of right now, Sam Raimi will direct.

Scott Derrickson Was Originally Signed On

When the film was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Kevin Feige announced that Scott Derrickson, who directed the first Doctor Strange solo film, was going to be coming back and taking the helm of the sequel. At that time it was also confirmed that Derrickson would be taking care of the script alongside his longtime writing partner C. Robert Cargill.

That plan changed in a significant way in January 2020, however. After months of development, Scott Derrickson and Marvel Studios had an amiable parting of the ways, with that old chestnut “creative differences” being called the culprit. This led to a search for a new filmmaker to direct Doctor Strange 2, and it didn’t take long for the company to find a replacement.

Sam Raimi Entered Talks To Direct Doctor Strange 2

In early February 2020 it was confirmed that Sam Raimi had entered talks with Marvel Studios to become the new director of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. This, of course, won’t be the filmmaker’s first time handling superhero storytelling, as he previously directed the original Spider-Man trilogy – one of the most important series in the history of comic book movies. While Raimi has been very active in recent years, notably co-creating the Starz original series Ash vs. Evil Dead, the Marvel blockbuster will be his first feature since 2013’s Oz The Great And Powerful.

What Is The Story Of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?

Given the history of Marvel Studios productions playing cards close to the vest, and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness not yet filming, we can’t say for certain at this point exactly what the movie will actually be about. And certainly also not helping anything is the fact that the project has gone through aforementioned behind-the-scenes changes, which could mean that the plot has totally changed from when the movie was first announced.

The Horror

On the Hall H stage at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Scott Derrickson told audiences that Doctor Strange 2 would lean into the more horror side of the source material and be “the first scary MCU movie” – though it’s not fully clear if that is still true. Even before Derrickson left the project Kevin Feige downplayed the idea that the film would fall into the horror genre. That being said, Sam Raimi is not only known for his big blockbusters, but also the Evil Dead trilogy and Drag Me To Hell.

The Multiverse

At the very least one thing that we can be certain of is that Doctor Strange 2 will be the first Marvel Studios film to fully embrace the existence of the titular multiverse (though the eponymous hero’s first solo feature did notably touch on it via the Magical Mystery Tour). In short, the idea is that reality as we know it is simply one of an infinite number – including those that are almost exactly the same as ours with only microscopic differences, and others that are unfathomably different. In the film, Doctor Strange will presumably find himself on a kind of universe-hopping adventure, though the full extent of that is currently unclear.

A Connection With WandaVision

An extension of this, it has also been confirmed that Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness will have strong ties that link it to the events that play out in the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision. Because that is another project totally shrouded in secrecy, we can only guess how the two stories will ultimately connect, but it certainly is one of the most exciting developments in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness cast

The Doctor Strange 2 Cast

Here's what we know about the main cast for Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness:

Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)

A former brain surgeon who was forced to find a new path in life following a car accident that crippled his hands, Dr. Stephen Strange has had one hell of a journey through life, and exists as one of the most powerful beings in existence. He is a master of the mystic arts, able to channel energy from other realities to craft what is perceived as magic (able to conjure objects and bend laws of nature, and lives in the New York Sanctum Sanctorum as a first line of defense against Earth-threatening mystical threats.

Barring any surprise cameos in any other upcoming Marvel movies, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness will be Benedict Cumberbatch’s fifth feature as the titular hero.

Wong in Doctor Strange

Wong (Benedict Wong)

While not quite on the same level as the preternaturally gifted Doctor Strange, Wong is another one of the most talented magic users in the world and Master of the Mystic Arts. He served as the librarian at the mystical academy Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu prior to the arrival of Strange, and while his relationship with the American was chilly at first, they eventually formed a bond.

In Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness that character will once again be portrayed by Benedict Wong – though it’s unclear at this stage how he will be incorporated into the story.

Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in Avengers Infinity War

Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)

Scarlet Witch, as portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen, has been a key hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years now, serving the world as an Avenger since the end of Avengers: Age Of Ultron… but things haven’t been going all that well. Through the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, she formed an incredibly strong relationship with Paul Bettany’s Vision, but that came to a tragic end when Thanos ripped the Mind Stone from the android’s head.

The events of WandaVision, set to debut on Disney+ in late 2020, will presumably fill us in on everything she’s been dealing with, and will set up her larger role in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.

Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor)

In the comics, Karl Mordo has always been portrayed as a villainous figure, going head-to-head with Doctor Strange ever since his introduction in Strange Tales #111, but Scott Derrickson changed that approach with the first Doctor Strange movie, portraying the character (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) as an ally of the eponymous hero’s up until they find themselves developing a philosophical dispute about the application of magic. Along with Wong, they work together in the film’s final battle, teaming to stop Kaecilius from allowing Dormammu to conquer reality, but part ways afterward.

We last saw Mordo in Doctor Strange’s post-credits scene where he espoused a new mission in life – specifically to rid the world of sorcerers – which obviously puts him in direct conflict with Stephen Strange. We can’t really say what he’s been up to in the years since (we don’t know if he survived Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Infinity War), but it has been confirmed that he will be back in action in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, so hopefully the film will provide that info.

Doctor Strange Iron Man Hulk and Wong In Avengers Infinity War

Where Can You Stream Doctor Strange Movies?

Those who wish to watch all of Doctor Strange’s adventures thus far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can do so right now – provided that they have subscriptions to the right streaming services. Disney+ users, for starters, can watch not only the master of the mystic arts’ solo, Doctor Strange, right now, but also see him play a supporting role in Avengers: Endgame and cameo in Thor: Ragnarok. If you wish to see him fight alongside Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers: Infinity War, however, you’ll need access to Netflix, as they currently have the exclusive rights.

Are There Any Trailers Or Teasers For Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?

Marvel Studios tends to release teaser trailers for their movies fairly early (within a six month window before release), but we aren’t quite there yet with Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. With the film not yet in production, there doesn’t yet exist any footage to show off. It’s likely that we will get our first look at the blockbuster sometime around November/December 2020.

As noted several times, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is still in the development stage, so there is still a lot to learn about it as it becomes more of a reality. We will continue to update this feature as more information becomes available, so stay tuned!

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.