When Benedict Cumberbatch was cast in the MCU, everyone immediately knew it was a perfect choice. The actor went on to prove just that, becoming a fan favorite after his debut in 2016's Doctor Strange.
From that point on, fans wanted him to start interacting with other MCU characters. The Sorceror Supreme went on to quickly become an integral connective tissue between movies, landing an important role in the last two Avengers films.
One of the best interactions to date with the good Doctor has been Benedict Cumberbatch alongside Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. The two both have strong personalities, so seeing them clash while also doing what they do was an amazing experience, to say the least.
Most of their interactions occur in Avengers: Infinity War, where, according to the actor behind Stephen Strange, one of the world's favorite lines between the two characters was actually the byproduct of improvisation.
Benedict Cumberbatch Improvised Infinity War Line
In a conversation with the The Hollywood Reporter, Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch talked about a line in which he improvised in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War. The line in question? When Tony says "what exactly is your job, besides making balloon animals?", Strange responds, "it's protecting your reality, douchebag."
That line, which ended up becoming a favorite in the film by many, was a product of Benedict becoming comfortable with improvisation on the Marvel Studios set. According to Cumberbatch, the purpose of the line was "to knock [Tony] down:"
“I remember on the set when I called him a douchebag, there was this sort of ripple effect. ‘Oh my God. Did you just call Iron Man a douchebag?’ They kept it, good for them. And then, it got the same kind of response at the cinema. I was just… I got bored of being compared to Liberace or whatever other retorts the guy with the same camp goatee had opposite me, so I tried to knock him down. It’s great fun to play with that stuff. You find your feet. The more times you do it, the more familiar it becomes.”
Iron Man, the Douchebag
It's a shame that Marvel Studios went and killed off Tony Stark—even though it made the most sense to do so. Now, fans won't see any more interactions between him and Doctor Strange. On a similar note, the world will never see how Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Evans would be on screen together; truly tragic.
Doctor Strange seems to be going on to become the most popular figure in the MCU moving forward. For one, he will play an integral role in Spider-Man: No Way Home, where his spell seemingly causes some pretty bad multiversal consequences.
From there, his next solo outing is 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As the title implies, the film is set to explore the multiverse, the key concept behind this entire next slate of films—with Benedict Cumberbatch's sequel being the deepest exploration of everything to date.
Doctor Strange likely has a long journey left to go in the MCU. Fans can see him next on December 17, 2021 with the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home. After that, his next solo adventure, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, will be released in theaters worldwide on March 25, 2022.