Doctor Strange 2 may be a weirder MCU movie than we realize

Doctor Strange casts a spell in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
How surreal will Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness be? (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is promising "a lot more besides" what its title suggests, according to one of its main stars.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who reprises his role as the Sorcerer Supreme in the MCU movie, believes that fans aren't ready for how mind-bending and surreal it'll be.

Interviewed by Entertainment Tonight at the 2022 SAG Awards ceremony, attentions inevitably turned to Doctor Strange 2, which arrives in theaters on May 6. And, after joking about what fans will read into his facial expressions when asked about the movie, Cumberbatch suggested that its two trailers have only scratched the surface about what it'll entail.

"It's a feast," Cumberbatch said of the Marvel Phase 4 project. "It's a Sam Raimi special. It's got everything it says in the title – and a lot more besides."

Okay, it's not a lot to go on, but Cumberbatch can't reveal too much – or, rather, anything of note – about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. We're used to the secrecy surrounding Marvel movies and TV shows these days, so the best we can do is speculate on what he may be inferring here.

Potential spoilers for Doctor Strange 2 follow. Don't read past the image unless you want possible aspects of the film ruined for you.

Doctor Strange, Christine Palmer and America Chavez look out into the multiverse in Doctor Strange 2

Doctor Strange 2 will fully step into the Marvel multiverse. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

On the surface, Doctor Strange 2's various cameos and character variants seems like the most logical assumption to make about Cumberbatch's quote.

If you've been following the film's development, you'll know about the rumors concerning who may appear in the superhero movie. So far, we (and plenty of other Marvel fans) are confident that Patrick Stewart's Professor X will appear, while Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool could also feature.

But there's speculation circulating online about other candidates who could show up. An Iron Man variant (potentially played by none other than Mission Impossible's Tom Cruise), Tom Hiddleston's Loki, Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) from Marvel's What If...? anthology series, and the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards (who could be portrayed by A Quiet Place's John Krazinski) have all been heavily rumored to appear. Even Bruce Campbell, a long-time collaborator of director Sam Raimi, has a cameo role, with some speculating he'll play an Asgardian god called Balder the Brave.

All of these character appearances and potential cameos, though, tie back into the 'Multiverse of Madness' part of the title. Cumberbatch's "it's got everything in the title" comment covers the film's cameo appearance aspect. In our view, then, it's unlikely that the "and a lot more besides" part of his answer is alluding to these specifically.

Wanda Maximoff conducts a magical seance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Will Scarlet Witch be a hero or villain in Doctor Strange 2? (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

So what else could Cumberbatch be insinuating here? Maybe it has something to do with Raimi's vision for the film and how he may have tweaked the Marvel movie formula.

As a horror director extraordinaire, we expect Raimi to bring terror, existential dread, and other fear-inducing elements to proceedings. Cumberbatch's co-star Elizabeth Olsen has confirmed as much in multiple interviews, so we can expect a fair few scares when it arrives in theaters.

But Raimi is equally known for including surreal comedy elements in his movies. His Evil Dead franchise is renowned as a horror-comedy film series, while his Spider-Man trilogy contained some amusing and meme-worthy moments. Who can forget, for instance, that Tobey Maguire dance sequence in Spider-Man 3?

It's possible, then, that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may contain some signature Raimi comedy-horror sensibilities. Previous Marvel movies have been humorous on occasion, but it'll be interesting to see if Raimi brings his unique comedy-horror leanings to proceedings

Add in the narrative twists and turns that its trailers have teased, such as Scarlet Witch being the true villain of the piece, and Doctor Strange 2 seems like it'll deliver "a lot more besides" what its title suggests. Given that Benedict Wong's claim that the film's cast doesn't even know how it'll end, audiences are sure to be for a wild ride when it launches in theaters. Once it does, we'll have a clearer idea of what Cumberbatch meant by his latest and most intriguing answer. 

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

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