August 18, 2022

How do you top one of the biggest movies of all time? Well, if you’re Marvel, you go bigger. And star Benedict Cumberbatch is teasing nothing less for the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In a new chat with Empire — the second Doctor Strange movie is being featured on the cover of the magazine’s latest issue — Cumberbatch said that the film will definitely deliver on the high expectations set by December’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.

That film united three generations of Spider-Man stars in a big-screen spectacle that drew record audiences. Cumberbatch suggests that Doctor Strange 2 will be just as epic. In his own words:

“It’s a big, big movie. It’s going to be an absolute riot. And if it brings off the level of ambition it’s got, we’re going to have a success on the level of Spidey. There you go, I’ll put my flag in the sand.”

Considering that No Way Home has earned nearly $1.9 billion at the global box office (in the pandemic era, no less), this is a remarkably confident claim for Cumberbatch to have made. The recent Oscar nominee — he scored a Best Actor nod for his performance in The Power of the Dog — played a supporting role in No Way Home, which in many ways established the possibilities of what the multiverse can bring to a story. Doctor Strange 2 is expected to explore this concept even further.

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The film will introduce the dimension-hopping America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez, who will teach the “know-it-all” Strange things about the multiverse that he has no idea about, director Sam Raimi said in the same interview. But what exactly does the film have up its sleeve that could give No Way Home a run for its money? As per usual for a Marvel property, speculation is rife, and chatter ranges from major cameos to significant character (re) introductions.

But Doctor Strange 2, first and foremost, is a Doctor Strange story. Cumberbatch continued:

“There’s a lot of reckoning. And a lot of self-discovery. Strange is almost a stranger to himself before this film unfolds and reveals what, essentially, is in his nature, that he then has to either confront or resist or fall into or become. There are some very bold ideas, and some extraordinary tests of Strange and encounters. There are some very unexpected conclusions.”

The character was first introduced in the MCU in 2016’s Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson. The filmmaker was initially supposed to return for the sequel but dropped out due to creative differences. Raimi, the veteran behind three Spider-Man films, was brought on board as his replacement. Also starring Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benedict Wong, and Rachel McAdams, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is slated for a theatrical release on May 6.

You can watch the trailer here:


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