Benedict Cumberbatch Discusses The Doctor Strange 2 Scenes He Got To Write And The Key Suggestion He Made

Evil Doctor Strange with third eye
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

With Loki Season 1 having broken open the doors to the multiverse and Spider-Man: No Way Home seeing Tom Holland’s Peter Parker meeting characters from the prior Webbed Wonder film series, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness followed the title sorcerer traveling to other realities. However, it wasn’t until the sequel’s third act that Benedict Cumberbatch’s character ran into one of his variants, though this Doctor Strange had been corrupted by his universe’s Darkhold a long time ago. As it turns out, Cumberbatch had a hand this Strange vs. Strange confrontation, which included providing a key suggestion on how to improve it. 

It’s been five months since Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hit theaters, and it can now be streamed with a Disney+ subscription as you go through the Marvel movies in order. With audiences having had plenty of time to chew over Multiverse of Madness’ twists and turns, Benedict Cumberbatch opened up to Prestige about his experience working on the sequel. When asked if it was fun playing Doctor Strange variants, the actor responded:

That was the most fun bit, and I couldn’t talk about any of that pre-press, so it’s very nice to be able to speak about it now. I absolutely loved it, and it sounds so egotistical – but there we go, that’s what actors are – but I loved doing the scenes with myself because of the challenge of it. And I got to write some of those scenes.

Benedict Cumberbatch played four versions of Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with the aforementioned two being joined by the Stephen Strange who was killed at the beginning of the movie in front of America Chavez, and later on Earth-838’s Strange, who was executed by his Illuminati teammates. Suffice it to say that Corrupted Strange had the most to do of these variants, with this variant of the character living in a universe that was ripped apart by an incursion he inadvertently caused. Corrupted Strange tried to kill his benevolent counterpart, but “our” Strange emerged victorious and sent his adversary falling to his death.

With Sam Raimi at the helm, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was packed with a lot of horror, and if you found the scenes with Corrupted Strange to be especially scary, thank Benedict Cumberbatch for that. During the interview, he talked about how he worked with Raimi and writer Michael Waldron to spice up that portion of Multiverse of Madness, saying:

I suggested that it needed to get darker at a point. There was a slightly more saccharine version at one stage and I’m really happy with the way it evolved. Sam Raimi was so game for it and Michael Waldron really supported me to write it as well. We turned what was a very small combat between the two into a sort of very bizarre and inventive battle in that moment. I really loved it. It was how the original was pitched to me a long while back when Scott Derrickson was still working with us: Strange would meet versions of himself. It was something I wanted to lean into. We could have gone even further, and maybe it will go into the future. Who knows what other versions we might need in the multiverse chapter of the MCU? But it was very enjoyable to play all the variants of myself.

Marvel definitely isn’t done exploring the multiverse, as evidenced by Phases 4-6 of the MCU being collectively called The Multiverse Saga, which will conclude with Avengers: Secret Wars in 2026. It stands to reason that the main Doctor Strange will participate in the coming conflict against Kang the Conqueror, but it’s unclear if Doctor Strange 3 will have any multiversal elements. After all, Multiverse of Madness’ ending showed Strange developing a third eye (just like Corrupted Strange had) due to him using the Darkhold and dreamwalking into one of his other variants’ corpse. Then he was visited in the mid-credits scene by Charlize Theron’s Clea, who instructed him to follow her back to the Dark Dimension.

In any case, we haven’t seen the last of Doctor Strange in the MCU, so keep visiting CinemaBlend for updates on what’s in store for the character’s future. You can also look through our guides detailing upcoming Marvel movies and upcoming Marvel TV shows.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.