Why Doctor Strange’s Benedict Cumberbatch Is Nervous About The Multiverse Of Madness

Benedict Cumberbatch in Avengers: Infinity War
(Image credit: Disney)

Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently in full swing, and there are a number of highly anticipated blockbusters coming down the line. Chief among them is Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will also include Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch. And Cumberbatch recently explained why he’s nervous about his first Marvel sequel.

After crossing over with the rest of the MCU in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, Benedict Cumberbatch will return to the big screen with a role in Spider-Man: No Way Home. But all eyes are on what Doctor Strange 2 will contain, especially with an iconic filmmaker like Sam Raimi behind the camera. But there are some nerves involved, as Cumberbatch recently explained,

I've got the Second Album Fear with this one, like anyone should, because the first one was such a riotous success and he's become a much-loved character.

Well, that makes a great deal of sense. Doctor Strange broke new ground for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, adding in magic and spectacular visuals. And while Benedict Cumberbatch has spent more time as his signature character, he wants to meet the expectations that were set for The Multiverse of Madness

Benedict Cumberbatch’s comments to Esquire help to show the pressure of playing a Marvel superhero. He’s had a strong tenure as the Sorcerer Supreme so far, but he wants to make sure that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is as successful as the first original film. Luckily there’s an A+ filmmaker attached.

Later in that same interview, Benedict Cumberbatch went on to explain the pressure that comes with expectations. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is massively popular, and means so many to the countless moviegoers who are following the franchise. In the Sherlock actor’s words,

They're very good at exceeding expectations, when expectations are low. I think it's always harder to exceed them when they're high. I'm not saying they make them low. 'We're going to do Ant-Man!' It's just the way they make these things work. On paper you think 'Is that exciting?' They're starting to take more risks now, I think. I mean, their directors are very tied into the house style. But, you know, Taika Waititi, they were, like, 'Are we…? Is this going to work?' And it's fucking so funny, Thor: Ragnarok.

The man’s got a point. Some of the biggest MCU success stories have come from lesser known properties like Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther. This has allowed filmmakers to take bigger risks, to great success. Doctor Strange was definitely in that group of projects, but now the audience is invested in Benedict Cumberbatch’s magical hero.

As previously mentioned, Marvel fans will get to catch up with Doctor Strange thanks to his supporting role in Spider-Man: No Way Home. He’s seen in the first trailer, seemingly ripping open the multiverse as a result of a spell gone wrong. As a reminder, you can check that out below.

Could this moment with Doctor Strange serve as the catalyst for his upcoming sequel? The Multiverse of Madness is an ominous title, as is the inclusion of Elizabeth Olsen’s newly crowned Scarlet Witch. But Sam Raimi ran a tight set, as there have been no real leaks or spoilers about the upcoming sequel.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently expected to arrive in theaters on May 6th, 2022. In the meantime, check out the 2021 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.