Doctor Strange 2 Writer Explains The ‘Danger’ Of Making A Multiverse Story

Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch crying in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently in full swing, with wild new stories arriving on both the small and silvers screens. The next of the upcoming Marvel movies releasing in theaters is Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which looks like a wild ride. Now Doctor Strange 2’s writer has explained the “danger” of creating a story across the multiverse.

While information about the contents of Doctor Strange 2 is limited, the footage has shown that the leading characters will be confronted with variants of themselves and others. The narrative possibilities seem endless, with writer Michael Waldron tasked with crafting the blockbuster’s story. And he recently explained to SFX Magazine the dangers of playing with such high concepts. In Waldron’s words,

The danger is you can expand your scope too wide, and you can actually reduce the stakes if you don't make it personal as you go bigger and wider. But the opportunity in the multiverse is to have characters confront literal 'What ifs?' and alternate versions of themselves and perhaps others in their lives. It's an interesting way to hold up a mirror to characters.

He’s got a point. The multiverse comes with seemingly endless possibilities, but one has to be specific when crafting an entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So while the multiverse is being ripped open in Doctor Strange 2, Michael Waldron and company were careful to keep the story focused on protagonists like the title character and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch.

The stakes for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are super high, as Sam Raimi’s horror-infused MCU debut will serve as a sequel to Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and WandaVision (which fans still have questions about). Additionally, a new Marvel hero is being introduced in the form of Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez. While the story could easily end up being convoluted, Michael Waldron took special care to not let the multiverse make the mysterious sequel into a movie without stakes.

Later in that same interview, Michael Waldron further shared the complications that accompany using the multiverse in a movie like Doctor Strange 2. It looks like the highly anticipated blockbuster will be a deep dive into the pysche of both Wanda and Strange, with the two Avengers even sharing the same dialogue in recent trailers. As Waldron put it,

In every way, it shapes the emotional heart of the story. It has to. The multiverse isn't just a MacGuffin where we're like, 'Okay, this is just a kitschy thing that we're playing with in this movie.' If you're faced with alternate realities and with alternate versions of yourself that has to become the emotional heart, exploring who you might be if you were a different version of yourself, if you made other choices, the right choices or the wrong choices. It's complex stuff, emotionally, and that's exactly why it's so thrilling and so great for a cast as dramatically talented as this one.

Is it May yet? Clearly those involved with Doctor Strange 2 were doing some very specific work on the upcoming sequel. Sam Raimi ran a tight ship, with no major spoilers being leaked during the movie’s extended filming process. And there’s no telling how the characters will be changed as a result of their multiversal adventure.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently expected to hit theaters on May 7th, and is making tons of money in pre-sale tickets. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.