Doctor Strange 2: Composer Explains Why Original Movie's Theme Will Be Referenced

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness logo

The multiverse is the next big thing for the MCU, and the concept will be thoroughly explored in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness . Directed by Sam Raimi , the sequel will see the return of Benedict Cumberbatch's Master of the Mystic Arts, and joining him in this alternate reality adventure is Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff .

At this stage, plot details of the film are still being kept under wraps, but it is widely expected that the magical shenanigans that happened in WandaVision will be a key story beat that Strange needs to address. On top of that, Strange and Wanda will be joined by a slew of MCU characters such as Baron Mordo, Wong, and newcomer America Chavez .

Production is currently underway for Multiverse of Madness , but the secrecy surrounding the film remains central due to the fact that no set photos have been leaked. For now, a new interview has emerged that sheds some light on other aspects of the sequel.


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness composer Danny Elfman sat down with Spitfire Audio to talk about the highly-anticipated Benedict Cumberbatch sequel, and one of the topics that were discussed is his relationship with the film's director, Sam Raimi.

Given that the pair previously worked together on the first two Spider-Man films from Sony, Elfman admitted that his relationship with the director "hasn't really changed" after all these years:

"Sam doesn't do a lot of movies, because I think he's so into writing and producing. So I'm always happy when he pops out and says we're doing a movie. Our relationship hasn't really changed. He calls me up, he's all excited. Sam is just a very enthusiastic guy. It's unfortunate, because of COVID, but I can't wait to hang out on set with him."

When asked if he will be using the same theme from the first film, the veteran composer also confirmed that he will "definitely refer" to Michael Giacchino's score from Doctor Strange while pointing out that he will be "coming up with new motifs" for certain situations and character moments:

"We'll definitely refer to his original theme, and I'll no doubt be coming up with new motifs for new situations and characters. I'm not going to ignore it. I don't believe in that. There's this weird thought process in Hollywood every time you do something new that you've got to let the original musical themes go and start fresh. I think that doesn't serve an audience well."

Elfman then continued by admitting that he likes "doing variations on a theme" that the audience already associates with, citing his work for Avengers: Age of Ultron as an example:

"So I like doing variations on a theme that I know for a character that an audience already associates with them. I think that's important. When I did Avengers: Age of Ultron, I was very careful to find places to play around with Alan Silvestri's theme. And I enjoyed it."


The MCU is home to a plethora of incredible musical scores, and Elfman's comments suggest that the motif of Multiverse of Madness will join the extensive list. Given the experience and veteran leadership of Elfman, it's safe to say that the upcoming sequel is in safe hands.

Elfman's tease that he will be combining elements of Giacchino's score alongside his rendition should dial up hype for the sequel even more, mainly due to the composer's previous work on Avengers: Age of Ultron .

In the 2015 sequel, Alan Silvestri's now-iconic theme was still preserved, but the added element from Elfman managed to create a score that has its own identity. That being said, the same could be true for Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange 2.

Given that the sequel will explore different worlds, it's possible that there are unique scores for every alternate Earth that Wanda and Strange will encounter, thus paving the way for Elfman to showcase his expertise.

On top of that, it's reasonable to assume that the “madness” aspect of the title will also be intriguing for Elfman to score, but the composer's excitement could hint that he will definitely play around with various motifs to achieve the insane story beats of the film.

All in all, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will look to change the MCU like never before, and Elfman will help in achieving that promise.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to be released in theaters on March 25, 2022.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.