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Marvel's Kevin Feige Talks Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange Being The MCU's 'Anchor'

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in Multiverse of Madness
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

With five appearances over the last six years, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange can’t really be considered a ‘new’ character in the Marvel movies anymore. Like his comic book counterpart on Earth-616, the MCU’s version of Stephen Strange has become an integral cog in the machine that is this blockbuster franchise. In fact, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has gone so far as to call Cumberbatch’s Strange the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “anchor.”

Kevin Feige made this declaration earlier this week at the ceremony honoring Benedict Cumberbatch receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (via People). Here’s what the Marvel executive had to say about Doctor Strange’s importance in the MCU: 

To us and to millions around the globe, you deserve this honor for being the first, the best, the greatest and the only Doctor Stephen Strange. Benedict has turned this character into an icon, appearing in a historic three of the top six films of all time. It's been quite a journey, I remember our very first meeting. ... We wanted to pitch him this great character, and before we could he said, 'So tell me about Doctor Strange,' because somewhere you knew what this could be. You've always seen the tremendous potential in this character and because of that, you've become the anchor of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the only actor capable of guiding us through the madness of the Multiverse.

Several years ago, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark would have still held that anchor position, having not only led the Iron Man trilogy and been a key ensemble player in the Avengers movies, but also cameoed in The Incredible Hulk and played important roles in Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Alas, he died in Avengers: Endgame, and considering Doctor Strange’s importance in Thor: Ragnarok, the latter two Avengers movies and Spider-Man: No Way Home, it makes sense why Kevin Feige would classify Strange as this franchise’s new anchor. 

As the Marvel Studios president also mentioned, this lofty title is only strengthened by Doctor Strange becoming our guide through the MCU’s take on the multiverse. Sure, the Loki Season 1 finale unlocked the proverbial door to other universes, but along with the first Doctor Strange movie having introduced strange realities like the Dark Dimension and Mirror Dimension, the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home saw Strange inadvertently propping open that multiversal door when the spell he cast for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker became corrupted. In just a few months, the Master of the Mystic Arts will officially embark on an exploration through other universes in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (yes, there’s a reason for that long title), and it’s fair to say that won’t be the last time the multiverse factors into the larger MCU mythology.

Benedict Cumberbatch will be joined in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness by familiar faces like Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Benedict Wong’s Wong, Chiwetel Ejifor’s Mordo and Rachel McAdams’ Christine Palmer, as well as newcomers like Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez, who was originally considered to debut in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Directed by Sam Raimi and written by Michael Waldron, the sequel works its magic in theaters starting May 6, and is the first of the upcoming Marvel movies 2022 is delivering.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

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