Doctor Strange 2 is the shortest Marvel movie for three years

A promotional image for Doctor Strange 2 with the Sorcerer Supreme front and centre
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The official runtime for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been revealed – and it’s significantly shorter than we expected. 

Cinema ticketing site Fandango lists the duration of Doctor Strange 2 as two hours and six minutes (126 minutes), which is almost half an hour shorter than previously rumored and the shortest runtime of any Marvel movie since 2019’s Captain Marvel (124 minutes).

Of course, a 126 minute-long film is a far cry from a quick watch – but it’s a much smaller time investment than the near-three-hour runtimes we’ve seen from fellow Marvel movies Avengers: Endgame, Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home in recent years.

For comparison, Doctor Strange 2, which is scheduled to hit theaters on May 4, is about the same length as Spider-Man: Far from Home, Iron Man 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy. 

It’s worth noting that neither Marvel nor a ratings board has confirmed the movie’s 126-minute runtime just yet, but given Fandango’s standing as a reputable ticketing site – and one already selling tickets for Doctor Strange 2 – we’re confident of its authenticity. 

Apart from the obvious contrast with the comparatively longer Marvel movies to hit theaters in recent years, we wouldn’t typically raise our eyebrows at the modest duration of the Sam Raimi-directed sequel – but Doctor Strange 2 isn’t just any Marvel movie. 

The title alone is a giveaway, but Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness looks primed to deliver all sorts of multiverse-induced surprises (more on those below) that had us expecting a much longer runtime. Benedict Cumberbatch himself has teased the movie’s scope and scale, recently telling Empire that “it’s a big, big movie [...] an absolute riot.”

As such, we’re surprised by that refreshingly digestible 126-minute figure, and it’s exciting to see that Raimi and company clearly plan on delivering a concise story that focuses on quality over quantity – a virtue often lost on previous Marvel productions.

Analysis: prepare for (a lot of) madness

Potential spoilers follow for Doctor Strange 2. Only proceed if you've seen all of the movie's trailers released thus far. 

Although Doctor Strange 2 is the eleventh entry in Marvel’s Phase 4 plans, it’s also the first of the studio’s feature-length releases since Spider-Man: No Way Home – a movie that kicked off Marvel’s universe-bending hijinks on the big screen. 

That means, even if its title didn’t already suggest so, the movie inevitably has more than a few tricks up its sleeve that we expect will surprise, shock and entertain comic book fans in equal measure. 

Evil Doctor Strange casts a spell in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Evil Doctor Strange casts a spell in the Doctor Strange 2 trailer (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

For instance, Doctor Strange 2’s recent Super Bowl trailer teased the return of Sir Patrick Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier, suggesting we could see 20th Century Studios’ X-Men characters finally make their Marvel Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) debuts in the upcoming film. 

The same trailer also revealed the return of Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch), the appearance of an alternate Captain Marvel (who we think is Lashana Lynch’s Maria Rambeau) and a host of Doctor Strange variants who the Sorcerer Supreme will inevitably have to defeat in one way or another. 

That’s all before mentioning the rumors surrounding Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, who may or may not be popping up at some point in the movie (Reynolds himself has denied any involvement in the project, but our spidey senses suggest otherwise).

Put simply, Doctor Strange 2 may be an even weirder MCU movie than we realize – and we’re mightily intrigued to see how director Sam Raimi plans to make use of his surprisingly modest two hours and six minutes. 

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.