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How Benedict Cumberbatch Really Feels About Having To Defend That Spider-Man: No Way Home Spell

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

SPOILER ALERT for anyone who has not seen Spider-Man: No Way Home.

When we view superheroes in television shows, movies, and comic books, we see them as supreme beings. While some superheroes may be from other planets like Superman, there are other superheroes that are still only human despite the amazing powers they carry like Doctor Strange. Even though Doctor Strange can conjure up spells and open up the multiverse, he is still a human being who commits errors once in a while. Doctor Strange’s Benedict Cumberbatch tells us how he really feels about defending the spell his character used in the box-office hit Spider-Man: No Way Home. 

In Avengers: Endgame, every Marvel hero reunited and formed a bond with each other as they battled Thanos. While each superhero went off in different directions, it was nice to see Doctor Strange and Peter Parker reunite in Spider-Man: No Way Home. In Spider-Man’s latest film, Peter asks Doctor Strange to perform a spell so that no one remembers Spider-Man after Magneto revealed his secret identity. The problem was that Peter kept interrupting Doctor Strange in the middle of his spell that which backfired and brought back all of the major villains you’d find in the Sam Raimi and Andrew Webb Spider-Man movies. 

Even though the mistake Doctor Strange made is what brought out the plot of Spider-Man: No Way Home, there are fans who believe Doctor Strange could have done better spellwork in the film. Benedict Cumberbatch had a few things to tell The Hollywood Reporter about the importance of placing flaws in superheroes in order to make them more compelling.

Thank you! That’s my defense for all the criticism saying that Strange isn’t very good at his job. I’m like, ‘He’s been pretty perfect up until Spider-Man: No Way Home.’

Think of it this way- if it wasn’t for Doctor Strange, we wouldn’t have gotten the chance to see the return of the villains who helped make the Spider-Man movies as memorable as they are. So we really should be thanking him for that. And Doctor Strange is not the only superhero to have had the least heroic moments found in Marvel films. For example, Thor made a big mistake in Avengers: Infinity War when he threw his Stormbreaker axe into Thanos’ chest instead of decapitating him, allowing Thanos to snap his fingers and wipe out half of the population. I guess this is an example of what happens when superheroes tend to use more of their brawn than their brain. But, I don't see any Thor haters here. After all, there's no story without drama.

So even if plans did not work out the way Doctor Strange and Peter Parker expected, Doctor Strange still wanted to be a hero for Peter which is what counts the most. Benedict Cumberbatch continued to speak about the humanity of his character and the relationship he had with Peter Parker.

He’s a human being, and I think it was a very human error. He saw Peter as a fellow foot soldier and then as a teenager going through a very formative experience of not being able to be his true self because of being exposed, and having lost a mentor, [Strange] decided to step in with a gesture of pretty good intention.

Like The Power of the Dog actor has defended before about Doctor Strange’s actions, all Peter had to do was keep his mouth shut during the spell! But despite all of the mishaps, Doctor Strange made the brave sacrifice in listening to Peter’s idea of wiping out everyone’s memory of his secret identity instead of Spider-Man in order to send the villains back to their homes. While Doctor Strange took over the mentor role for Iron Man, the student ultimately became the teacher. The relationship between Peter Parker and Doctor Strange shows quite the transition of seeing one superhero reluctantly helping out this pestering teen hero only to sacrifice the memory he has of him for the greater good.

If you want to catch more of Doctor Strange, watch him in the upcoming Marvel film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in theaters May 6th.