Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Benedict Cumberbatch Defends Doctor Strange Casting That Spell For Tom Holland’s Peter Parker

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

Phase Four of the MCU has been a wild one so far, expanding the shared universe at a dizzying pace with wild new Marvel movies and shows. Case in point: Spider-Man: No Way Home, which had the multiverse ripping open thanks to a spell cast by Doctor Strange. And Benedict Cumberbatch is defending Strange’s spell that he cast for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker.

Spider-Man: No Way Home picks up immediately where Far From Home ended, with Peter Parker’s identity being revealed to the public thanks to the MCU version of The Daily Bugle. The pressure of being public enemy #1 proved too much for the young hero, and he asked Doctor Strange to make the world forget they knew who he was. Obviously that goes awry, and heroes and villains from across the multiverse show up. Benedict Cumberbatch opened up to Total Film about Strange’s controversial spell in that blockbuster, saying:

I know we all love Peter Parker, but can we just rewind to the point that the spell is interrupted something like six times? I think it’s just too easily written off as: 'He’s going to have to pay for his arrogance.' It’s not all arrogance, actually. I think some of it is a very calculated risk. But we’ll see where that takes him [in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness].

I mean, he’s got a point. The wild events of Spider-Man: No Way Home never would have happened if Tom Holland’s title character didn’t interrupt Strange’s spell so many times. The magical hero was just trying to help his young colleague, although the effects of that incantation will be further fleshed out throughout the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s comments about Spider-Man: No Way Home do make a great deal of sense. And while some Marvel fans might be questioning Doctor Strange’s decision making, it’s also important to note that Peter trapped him in a portal loop and stopped him from actually correcting the multiverse for much of the movie. Who knows how things would have turned out if the (former) Sorcerer Supreme was able to do what he wanted without Spidey getting in the way?

As Benedict Cumberbatch mentions, these lingering questions about the spell from No Way Home are expected to be explored in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As the title suggests, Sam Raimi’s MCU debut will be doing a deep dive into the concept of the multiverse. The trailers make it look like a wild ride, with multiple variants of Strange shows in the limited footage. As a reminder, you can re-watch below.

As for Spider-Man, Tom Holland’s future as the teenage superhero remains a mystery for the time being. The actor’s contract with Marvel is up, and some negotiations will presumably take place before he suits up again. But with Sony and Marvel seemingly planning a new trilogy of movies, this seems all but inevitable.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is still in theaters, and Doctor Strange 2 will follow on May 6th. 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. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. 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.