Strange things are about to happen. Set several months after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is expected to further explore the Multiverse and its ramifications. Of course, the now-former Sorcerer Supreme, who lost his title upon his Avengers: Endgame return, won't be alone.
Benedict Cumberbatch's Dr. Stephen Strange won't only be joined by Benedict Wong but also Rachel McAdams reprising her 2016 role as Dr. Christine Palmer. Doctor Strange 2 also stars Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff, following her "incident" in WandaVision on Disney+, as well as America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez.
Due to Marvel's reputation for secrecy and the sequel's Multiversal focus, anything can happen. However, what fans do know is that the film's trailer teased Strange in handcuffs, along with a sense of reckoning.
While Cumberbatch defended his character and him taking a "calculated risk," new information claims the cast won't just be grappling with guilt from recent films and series but also 2019's Avengers: Endgame.
Doctor Strange Sequel Involves Endgame Guilt
In Marvel Studios' press release for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, director Sam Raimi teased that certain characters will be dealing with regret from the events of Avengers: Endgame and that audiences will "see the repercussions of that in this film:"
“Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are interested in the characters. Who are they? What could they have become? Did they make the right choices? Even in ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ choices were made that some of the characters in our movie regret. They see the repercussions of that in this film, which is really interesting. The continuance of Marvel Studios stories can be so rich, and we’re able to explore it in ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.’
The director also spoke about the seemingly different universes Strange is seen falling through in the sequel's trailers, confirming that Doctor Strange 2 will involve "a journey through different realities in the Multiverse:"
"The first Doctor Strange film really opened up people’s minds, and in ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,’ we are going to push it further. This film takes us on a journey through different realities in the Multiverse.”
Doctor Strange's own Benedict Cumberbatch also confirmed that Multiversal travel is in store, but the actor noted this will affect the reality of the MCU as well, saying, "The stakes are real. There's earthbound jeopardy. So, it molds together very beautifully:"
“You’ve got travels through many different universes in a couple of sequences, which I think are going to be truly mind-blowing. The stakes are real. There’s earthbound jeopardy. So, it molds together very beautifully.”
We're in the Endgame... Again?
You mess with time, it tends to mess back.
That Endgame quote from Tony Stark took on new meaning with Loki on Disney+, and from the little audiences know about Multiverse of Madness, it will again.
While Marvel Studios is already in Year 2 of Phase 4 of the MCU, fans have yet to see the full extent of the effects of Avengers: Endgame. The 2019 film is also the only other film, besides 2016's Doctor Strange, to so heavily rely on the use - and even manipulation - of time.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense for this upcoming film to connect back to Endgame. And, considering how Infinity War, Endgame, and that five-year gap in between, involved hard decisions and trauma, it's time for the surviving Avengers involved to come to grips with it.
Now, considering Sam Raimi and Benedict Cumberbatch confirmed the film travels through different realities, balancing the past of the MCU with these new universes sounds like a bit of a juggling act. Perhaps, just like Loki, Variants will be key in helping the MCU's cast of characters face their past regrets?
It will also be interesting to see if some of the film's rumored cameos will actually be from Endgame-related flashbacks or alternate perspectives of the happenings of that film.
Fortunately, Marvel fans won't have to wait much longer to find out. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives in theaters on May 6.