How Disney+’s Loki Influenced Doctor Strange 2, According To A Marvel Producer

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Tom Hiddleston as Loki
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has put heavy emphasis on the multiverse, with productions like Spider-Man: No Way Home exemplifying the craziness that comes with the concept. But Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness, the next MCU film, will take viewers even deeper into the kookiness, as evidenced by the latest trailer. Of course, like most MCU projects, the sequel will be influenced by what’s come before and, according to a producer, Disney+’s Loki has a heavy influence on it.

Loki, which was released last summer, gave fans their first proper look at the multiverse through the titular character’s wild adventures as a member of the Time Variance Authority. With this, the series did a lot of heavy lifting by establishing the mechanics of alternate timelines and making terms like “variant” commonplace. Multiverse of Madness producer Richie Palmer explained that this, along with the involvement of Loki creator Michael Waldron, was a major boon for Sam Raimi’s film:

It was really exciting. We found that we didn't need to spend a lot of time recapping the rules; we felt the audience would get a lot of that by now. With Michael, we could jump into telling a good story within what's already been established.

Through his Disney+ show, Michael Waldron did a masterful job of not only giving the God of Mischief a compelling solo story but also setting the tone for the multiverse. And as Richie Palmer explained to D23 Magazine (via The Direct), Sam Raimi and co. were able to hit the ground running with the film. Waldron brings more to the proceedings than his knowledge of the multiversal rules, though. Palmer further explained that the Rick and Morty alum has some key strengths as a storyteller: 

Michael's strength is the character stuff. As you saw in Loki, all the best moments involved the characters against the backdrop of those alternate timelines. It's kind of like that in our movie, too. Michael's script brought a lot of heart to sci-fi concepts such as the Multiverse.

The series was indeed filled with some awesome character moments, from the Asgardian prince watching his life on film to his and Sylvie’s meeting with He Who Remains. This all culminated in a massive ending, which left viewers with some Kang-sized questions. Though the MCU as a whole will feel the effects of the show, rumors suggest that the Doctor Strange sequel could have a very direct link to it.

Reports claim that Tom Hiddleston’s trickster god will actually appear in the movie, yet that’s far from a sure thing at this point. It’s definitely not impossible, though, as the superhero flick does seem to be bringing in a number of beloved Marvel characters, which may even include Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. It would also make sense to have Hiddleston’s fan-favorite antihero appear, given his strong connection to the multiverse.

It’ll be exciting to see how Multiverse of Madness ties back to the series as well as other past MCU installments. There are still a number of unknowns that likely still have fans scratching their heads. However, given his work on Loki, I’d trust that Michael Waldron, in collaboration with Sam Raimi, will deliver a thrilling and emotional story that builds on his work with the God of Mischief. 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, one of 2022’s biggest new movie releases, opens in theaters on May 6. Before you see it though, check out both the original 2016 film and Loki with the use of a Disney+ subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.