When Doctor Strange 2 was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, the only wild casting that fans found out about was Elizabeth Olsen's inclusion as Wanda Maximoff. Although her story was said to continue directly from the events of WandaVision, she would be the film's biggest new player alongside Doctor Strange, and they'd eventually have returning players Wong and Baron Mordo join the fray.
After that, this movie's story and cast list turned into...pun totally intended...madness.
With the movie set for release in May, the film's two full trailers and the Super Bowl TV spot have teased various potential heroes and villains that could play a role in the expansive plot. The promo material has led to confirmation and rumors pointing to appearances by plenty of classic Marvel characters from both the MCU and other adjacent universes.
With all that being said, The Direct has compiled 34 characters that are either rumored or confirmed to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
It wouldn't exactly be a Doctor Strange movie without Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Stephen Strange. Now more than five years into his MCU tenure, Cumberbatch is set to make his sixth appearance as Marvel's master sorcerer, although this is only his second solo movie after first debuting in Doctor Strange in 2016.
Fans last saw Strange working with Tom Holland's Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home, having cast the spell that first broke the Multiverse open in order to help Peter Parker with his identity crisis. The threequel ended with Strange performing the spell the way it was originally meant to be cast, leaving the world with no memories of Peter's existence.
Now, Strange will take on a whole new universe of trouble as he advances his sorcery skills, which is already confirmed to pit him with challenges he's never seen before.
Defender Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
Once that Multiversal door is opened again in this new sequel, Stephen Strange will find out just how powerful and important he is in more than just his world. After freaking out at the sight of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men next to Tom Holland's MCU hero, he'll come face-to-face with different versions of himself in his next solo movie.
One of those is known as Defender Strange, which has the opportunity to give an exciting twist to one of Marvel Studios' most powerful heroes.
This version of Strange is classically a part of Marvel's Defenders team in the comics, having boasted partnerships with iconic characters like the Hulk and Valkyrie. Although the ponytail hairstyle he rocks is likely just to help differentiate him from the movie's titular hero, his outfit is almost identical to the one he wore while fighting alongside the Defenders.
Sinister Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
Sinister Strange made his creepy debut at the end of the sequel's first trailer.
Dressed in darker robes and sporting a more disheveled look than either of his counterparts, Sinister Strange started plenty of conversations when he first came to life. Benedict Cumberbatch's third character in this film became one of the first wild entries to be officially confirmed.
Part of what started so many discussions about him in Multiverse of Madness was the idea that this new Variant could be the same Doctor Strange Supreme seen in What If...?. However, this was debunked with the Super Bowl trailer's captions.
Sinister Strange is one that seems to be taking a much darker turn even than the MCU's animated sorcerer, who did everything he did almost purely out of grief.
Supreme Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
In a universe that had only featured one Doctor Strange since his 2016 debut, the character's solo sequel is pulling out all the stops. The movie is now confirmed to bring a fourth good doctor into the mix.
While not much is known about him, a leaked Funko Pop! image teased the inclusion of another Doctor Strange Variant called "Supreme Strange." This take on Cumberbatch's hero sports lighter-colored blue robes than any of his contemporaries and is completely clean-shaven, which should help distinguish him from the ponytailed Defender Strange and the shaggy-looking Sinister Strange.
This appears to be the version of Strange that was depicted in a massive statue in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum, which the prime Strange was seen briefly admiring in footage from the Super Bowl trailer.
Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)
After nearly three years away from the big screen, Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch is here for her first Phase 4 theatrical movie.
Wanda Maximoff has had quite the journey since being snapped back into existence in Avengers: Endgame, as seen in her nine episodes of WandaVision on Disney+. That series ended with the heroine embracing her Scarlet Witch persona, and in the first trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, she was confirmed to play as big of a role as anybody.
The trailers have teased that Wanda will come into play due to Doctor Strange looking for her help with his new venture into the Multiverse. Now that Wanda is more powerful than ever, even seemingly allowing some dark magic from the Darkhold to take hold of her as seen in the shot of her floating in the air with blackened fingers and dark changes to her outfit.
Variant Wanda? (Elizabeth Olsen)
Elizabeth Olsen's longtime heroine wasn't the only Scarlet Witch to come on screen, as one fateful moment in Westview, New Jersey confirmed the existence of a Wanda Variant!
Only seen in a few seconds of footage, one version of Wanda was seen on her knees in her full Scarlet Witch outfit in tears as another version of herself looked down seemingly in anger. This Variant was dressed in a much more casual outfit and had bruises on her face, which could come from an upcoming battle between the two Scarlet Witches in their family home.
How this Wanda Variant comes into play and why she's a part of the story is very much unknown, especially since she's seen less than five seconds of screen time in the trailers thus far. In fact, this is the only scene that confirmed that the movie will feature Wanda Variants at all with the tie back to WandaVision.
Wong (Benedict Wong)
Benedict Wong's Wong is one of the most important supporting players for Doctor Strange in the comics and on the big screen. It would be a crime if the master of magic didn't come back for more action in a second Doctor Strange solo movie.
Wong has actually been a bigger part of Phase 4 thus far than almost anybody in Multiverse of Madness with one scene in Spider-Man: No Way Home and his semi-cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The Spider-Man threequel even confirmed that he now has the title of Sorcerer Supreme after Strange blipped in Avengers: Infinity War, leaving him in charge of Kamar Taj and the training of all sorcerers.
Wong has appeared in every trailer and TV spot thus far, set to advise and protect Doctor Strange in his upcoming journey through the Multiverse. Not wanting anything to do with Strange's spell to help fix Peter Parker's life at the end of 2021, he'll absolutely have to be more involved this time around.
America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez)
The biggest newcomer in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be Xochitl Gomez's America Chavez, who was teased as early as Summer 2020. Gomez was cast in March 2021, and she's even seen a few seconds of action in the promotional material that confirms her impact on the story.
Coming in with incredible Multiversal abilities and the potential to lead the MCU's next wave of Young Avengers, America Chavez will help introduce Doctor Strange and Wanda to what she knows about the Multiverse. She's able to travel through multiple dimensions, and she's already been teased to have a relationship with the movie's core villains.
With plenty of Young Avengers already having debuted in Disney+ shows and movies alike, Multiverse of Madness should be just the start of America Chavez's exciting MCU tenure.
Aside from the powerful humans that will drive the story forward in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, interdimensional monsters will make their MCU debut as well. The biggest of these comes with Gargantos, the one-eyed, green, slimy, tentacled alien who has been seen in every piece of promo material released to date.
The character was originally thought to be the villainous Shuma-Gorath, although legal issues didn't allow Marvel Studios to bring that specific entity onto the big screen. Now, Marvel is putting forth a different Multiversal monster in Gargantos, one who is already confirmed to cause some serious damage to an undisclosed city in his Marvel Studios debut.
Marvel isn't just getting a giant tentacled alien in the Doctor Strange sequel. The heroes' side of the fight also gets their own powerful being in a Minotaur known as Rintrah!
In the comics, the green and furry creature debuted in 1986 as a mystical being from the planet R'Vaal before going on numerous adventures with Doctor Strange. After being teased in various pieces of promo material, Rintrah made his first MCU appearance in the second trailer for Marvel Studios' first movie of 2022.
Thus far, Rintrah's only seen a couple of seconds of footage thus far, including a shot of his horse-like face from a distance away. Fans are looking forward to seeing more of the mystical creature in action, whether it be with his physical skills or his abilities with the mystic arts.
Master Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor)
Chiwetel Ejiofor made his mark on 2016's Doctor Strange as his Baron Mordo helped the titular hero progress toward becoming a sorcerer, all before leaving Kamar Taj on his own quest to become even more powerful. While Ejiofor will still be playing Mordo in the solo sequel, it will seemingly be a different version of the powerful magician this time around.
This one is known as Master Mordo, who many are speculating to be a Variant that serves as the Sorcerer Supreme of his world. This version of Mordo boasts a more extravagant green costume along with top-notch black dreadlocks flowing from his head, and he also appears to have even more power than prime Mordo from the first movie.
In the trailers, this Mordo is seen in a fistfight with Doctor Strange, although his presence will go far beyond just that. He's also heard telling Strange "Your desecration of reality will not go unpunished."
Right now, it's unclear if the same Mordo from Doctor Strange will make an appearance in this movie alongside Master Mordo, with the former still likely after Strange for "violating the natural law." But even with that mystery, Master Mordo will add yet another new dimension of storytelling to this adventure, particularly with the Illuminati's rumored involvement.
Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams)
While she isn't exactly a love interest, Rachel McAdams' Christine Palmer did play a key role in helping Stephen Strange find himself as a man outside his magical journey. Although there are plenty of other powerful players coming into play, it would be almost a crime not to have her return for her second MCU appearance after first debuting in 2016's Doctor Strange.
When audiences last saw Christine, she put in her best effort to save the Ancient One before the former Sorcerer Supreme met her end. Christine sent Doctor Strange off on his mission to defeat Kaecillius and Dormammu in Hong Kong and the Dark Dimension, although she's been completely missing from Strange's stories for more than five years.
The majority of Christine's footage thus far has been from her wedding, showing the leading lady in a white gown as she walks down the aisle and then runs outside to see what's happening to her world. This seems most likely to be prime Christine, but there's a version of McAdams' MCU doctor that could be someone completely different as well.
Nicodemus West (Michael Stuhlbarg)
Another one of Strange's co-workers will be back for the Doctor Strange sequel as Michael Stuhlbarg reprises his role as Dr. Nicodemus West.
Fans saw him involved in a workplace rivalry with Strange, although he only appeared in a couple of scenes in total. Things ended with West trying to help Strange and Christine Palmer in the emergency room to save the Ancient One's life, although it's a mystery where his story will go after that.
Stuhlbarg's character was seen for a split second in the first trailer next to the good doctor at Christine Palmer's wedding, bearing a huge grin on his face. He was also confirmed as part of the cast in one of the film's official synopsizes, but there's no telling how big his role will be in the overarching plot.
In October 2021, The Direct exclusively revealed that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would feature the return of Ultron sentries, which were rumored to come from a different universe. While their specific role is still somewhat unknown, the Super Bowl promotional material showed these robots making their glorious return after debuting in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The TV spot had one of these robots running beside Christine Palmer in the Illuminerdi's headquarters while the full new trailer showed them escorting Stephen Strange to what will likely be a hearing in front of the Illuminati. These drones seem to have gotten an upgrade in their design, which now looks much more sleek and refined compared to the look from seven years ago.
While no actress is confirmed for this role, another leaked Funko Pop! confirmed the appearance of a character named Sara. Based on her blue sorcerer's robes, Sara is likely a magical newcomer training at Kamar Taj alongside Strange, Wong, Rintrah, and more as the sequel is getting started.
One option for who this character could actually be is Sara Wofle, who briefly held the title of Wong's girlfriend in different runs of the comics. Other theories have pointed to this potentially being Sara Krowler, better known as both Baroness Mordo and Baron Mordo's mother, which could bring quite an interesting twist to this story.
Professor X (Patrick Stewart)
"We should tell him the truth."
The real madness behind this Multiversal outing now comes with the rumored inclusion of Patrick Stewart's Professor Charles Xavier.
Having played the role for 17 years with 20th Century Fox, rumors began teasing Stewart's jump to the MCU at the end of 2021. While he still isn't officially confirmed to be a part of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the signs are all pointing in that direction.
Although Stewart denied it being the case, fans are convinced that his voice was the one that told Doctor Strange "we should tell him the truth" as the shot panned to an undisclosed person. With rumors of Marvel's Illuminati coming into play, Professor X would be a prime candidate to lead that Multiversal team considering his incredible power and intelligence.
Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell)
Hayley Atwell is one of the MCU's longest-standing supporting players, having last appeared via voiceover in 2021's What If...? as the Multiversal Variant Captain Carter. In her universe, she was the one to receive the Super Soldier Serum in Project Rebirth before leading the Guardians of the Multiverse into battle against Infinity Ultron.
Now, a small glimpse of her shield on the Doctor Strange 2 poster may be teasing a transition to live-action for Atwell's new take on Peggy Carter.
Rumors had pointed to this being the case in July 2022, teasing that Atwell would play a small role as Captain Carter in the Multiversal sequel. With her shield showing up on the movie's poster, there's no way to ignore it as a real possibility.
Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch)
Captain Marvel's status is rising in a big way in Phase 4, with Brie Larson's character already having appeared in the mid-credits scene from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. However, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may be teasing the existence of another Captain Marvel that isn't Carol Danvers.
Who could that Variant be? None other than Lashana Lynch's Maria Rambeau.
The sequel's second trailer showed a version of Captain Marvel that appeared to have Lynch's face under the glowing white eyes as Captain Marvel flew into action. This confirms that a version of the heroine will make an appearance in the movie, especially as fans saw her fly headfirst toward Wanda Maximoff in what appeared to be the Illuminati's headquarters.
With Carol Danvers becoming more of a key player as Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau exploring her full potential as Spectrum, it appears that Lashana Lynch now has her time to shine as a hero. Nothing will be confirmed until the film releases, but this new version of Captain Marvel could make a major impact on the Multiverse.
Bruce Campbell's Undisclosed Character
Sam Raimi has turned many of his filmmaking decisions into regular moves over the years, including his partnership with longtime actor Bruce Campbell.
Campbell has a history in the Marvel world with roles in all three of Raimi's Spider-Man films from 2002 to 2007. He was even rumored to play Raimi's version of Mysterio in the unmade Spider-Man 4 after playing a wrestling announcer, a theater usher, and a maitre d' in his first three superhero outings.
Campbell is an interesting addition to this list, as he's already confirmed that he will have a role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. What isn't known yet is who exactly he will be playing in this wild adventure.
Will he finally get the chance to bring a different version of Mysterio to life? Will it be another classic Marvel character? Will it simply be a background player in the middle of the action?
That will all come to light when Campbell actually appears on-screen.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston)
Tom Hiddleston is in an interesting situation in regard to his potential appearance as Loki in Multiverse of Madness.
Immediately after the sixth episode of Loki aired on Disney+, Hiddleston was said to have joined the cast of Benedict Cumberbatch's solo Doctor Strange sequel. However, neither Hiddleston nor anybody involved with either project has spoken about Loki being a part of the plot at all.
Although Hiddleston's appearance was reported by The Hollywood Reporter, one of the most reliable sources in the business, Loki hasn't been a part of any promotional material on-screen or in merchandise. It's unclear how big his role will be in the sequel, or how he enters the fray, but after opening the Multiverse in his own solo series, he'll have to put his best efforts in to fix everything in front of him.
Mobius (Owen Wilson)
Loki built up a relationship with both Owen Wilson's Mobius and Sophia Di Martino's Sylvie through his six-episode series, although there was no confirmation for where and when they would continue. Rumors pointed to them following the God of Mischief into Doctor Strange 2, but just like Hiddleston, no other reports have discussed their place in the story.
Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino)
Fans last saw Mobius in a bit of a frenzy at the TVA headquarters after the Multiverse broke while Sylvie remained at the Citadel at the End of Time after killing He Who Remains. There is certainly a path for them to traverse the Multiverse and reunite with Loki as everything descends into madness, but that will remain a secret likely until the film debuts.
Billy & Tommy Maximoff (Julian Hilliard & Jett Klyne)
WandaVision allowed the titular Wanda Maximoff to have a life with her family, which included classic young Avengers Billy & Tommy Maximoff. Her twin sons, also known by their superhero monikers of Wiccan and Speed, were lost when Wanda's Hex faded from reality, but there's still a path for them to rejoin the fray in Doctor Strange 2.
Reports revealed that Marvel took a couple of days to film a scene featuring Billy and Tommy set on some sort of country farm. How this ties into the movie is anybody's guess, but it wouldn't come as too big of a shock to see Wanda's twin sons come back for their second MCU project.
Mr. Fantastic (John Krasinski)
There are no signs pointing to when Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four will go into production or release, but rumors are pointing to Doctor Strange 2 bringing in the first member. One of the numerous cameos rumored to come into this movie is the group's leader, Reed Richards, who is said to be played by fan-favorite John Krasinski.
The man behind Jim Halpert in The Office has been one of the most popular fan-casts for the MCU's version of Dr. Richards, and whether he plays the core MCU version or not, he may have the opportunity to break the mold for Marvel Studios.
How much screen time is in store for Krasinski? There's no way to tell for sure. But should he make his MCU debut, it will undoubtedly be a headlining moment from this sequel.
Black Bolt (Anson Mount)
One of Marvel's most maligned properties is the Inhumans TV show, which only ran for one eight-episode season on ABC in 2017. The Inhumans have haven't been explored in the larger MCU, but the group's leader, Black Bolt, is part of rumors for one of Doctor Strange 2's major cameo appearances.
Anson Mount brought the immensely powerful Inhuman king to life in the ABC series, boasting a voice that kills and destroys anything in range.
Clea (Charlize Theron)
Another powerful sorcerer in Marvel's catalog is Clea, who has long been rumored for a potential role in the MCU. With ties to the Dark Dimension and a history with Dormammu, the magic-wielder has now come up again in talks about Doctor Strange 2, this time with Charlize Theron potentially attached to the role.
Theron has been connected to the MCU on multiple occasions, although she's indicated that Marvel's never asked her to take on a role before. Having her play Clea would tie in fairly easily with her history alongside strange in the comics, and even if she doesn't play a big role in this movie, a cameo could set the stage for a bigger role in the future.
Balder the Brave
While no actor is attached to the next rumor, it teases the potential inclusion of a famous Asgardian named Balder the Brave.
The character is known as Thor's half-brother and an ally of the Warriors Three in the comics, having served as one of Asgard's greatest warriors over the years. How he actually joins the story in Multiverse of Madness is a whole other mystery, particularly with no other Asgardians rumored to be joining the plot otherwise.
Balder is rumored to be from another universe in this movie, although this wouldn't be Doctor Strange's first interaction with an Asgardian after his time with Thor and Loki in Thor: Ragnarok. The longtime comic hero will most likely remain under the radar officially for the time being, although his introduction in Doctor Strange 2 could bring a new level of thrills, especially with Thor: Love and Thunder debuting in July.
Where there's a Professor X, there's often a Magneto. And in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Erik Lehnsherr may not be far behind his old friend, Charles Xavier.
Along with rumors featuring everyone from Inhumans to Asgardians, this sequel may bring in a version of the classic X-Men antagonist for a short moment on screen. Whether it's Sir Ian McKellan from the original Fox trilogy, Michael Fassbender from the 2010s, or a completely new actor is unknown at the moment, but Doctor Strange should certainly be on the lookout for any fast-moving metal.
Another mystery is whether Magneto will interact with Patrick Stewart's Professor X, which would bring the entire Marvel universe full circle with those two driving the original X-Men trilogy. Should this come to play, generations of superhero movie fans would be in for the event of a lifetime.
Iron Man Variant (Tom Cruise)
In the canon MCU, Tony Stark hasn't been seen since 2019's Avengers: Endgame, but his influence remains strong throughout Phase 4. It seems fitting that there are rumors about a new Tony Variant coming into this movie, one that's played by legendary action star Tom Cruise!
The man behind Mission: Impossible has a history with the role, as he was actually in the running to play Iron Man in 2008 before Downey took it. While Cruise's potential role in Doctor Strange 2 is still a mystery, there are a couple of key pieces of evidence that lead to him being there for the fight.
The Super Bowl TV spot for Multiverse of Madness showed what appeared to be a version of Iron Man, which fans are already theorizing to be the evil Superior Iron Man. Additionally, an alleged leaked screening of the movie teases that Cruise is in fact on screen playing the role.
This rumor won't be substantiated until early May, but it's one that has fans talking nonetheless.
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds)
Whenever Deadpool inevitably comes into the MCU, he'll unquestionably be played by Ryan Reynolds. When that happens is anybody's guess, but the Merc With a Mouth finds himself in the middle of rumors pointing toward an MCU debut in Doctor Strange 2.
Looking at the sequel's first official poster, fans believed they saw a hint of Wade Wilson in one of the broken shards of glass surrounding Doctor Strange.
Now, Reynolds has denied the rumor by telling the world flat out that he isn't in Doctor Strange 2. This same sentiment came through shortly after Reynolds' denial, as movie insider John Campea shared information that made him supremely confident about Deadpool not being in the movie.
This will be another wait-and-see situation, although it may not be one of the more likely ones. But, as Reynolds said, everybody involved could be lying.
Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire)
After more than a year of silence on the matter, Tobey Maguire caused cheers all over the world when he returned as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Since then, he's spoken about just how special it was for him to reprise his iconic superhero role, and there's even a chance that he'll be back in the red-and-blue spandex sooner than anyone expected.
Rumors hinted that Maguire would, in fact, be back with Marvel Studios in some capacity for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The rumor didn't tease the extent of his role or how he would play into the plot, but the chance that Strange may interact with a web-slinger again seems only fitting after he did it in the biggest movie of last year.
Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield)
With the tease that Peter 2 may be in for Round 2 in the MCU, the same can also be said for Peter 3.
Following his long-awaited MCU debut as the Amazing Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Andrew Garfield may be in line for another chance to play the web-slinger in Doctor Strange's solo sequel. The rumors for his return haven't been quite as public as those for Maguire, but he does remain in the discussion.
Should he return, it likely won't be in quite as big of a role as he played in No Way Home, where he and Maguire drove the third act home alongside Tom Holland. Even so, seeing him at all would bring plenty of excitement for the Spidey fandom.
Professor X and Magneto are one thing when it comes to the X-Men finally arriving in the MCU. Throw a potential Wolverine into that mix, and it could be cause for even more mayhem in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
According to a rumor from Joe Deckelmeier of The Illuminerdi, the magical sequel will feature a version of James Logan that isn't played by Hugh Jackman. Whether this is the MCU's core take on the clawed mutant or if it's just a Multiversal Variant is a mystery. But the opportunity is there for arguably the X-Men's most famous hero to charge into the fray.
Which Marvel Characters Will Appear in Doctor Strange 2?
With two months remaining until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness debuts, Marvel will be tight-lipped on revealing any truth to rumors about the characters included in this list. Fans won't stop talking until that time, but these rumors will only remain rumors until the appropriate time.
Now, the fandom approaches the home stretch for this sequel's promotional tour with it being the next theatrical release on Marvel's massive slate. More than a dozen characters are undoubtedly appearing in the new movie while nearly another two dozen are in discussions - safe to say, Marvel Studios has yet another event on its hands.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6, 2022. Which confirmed character are you most excited to see? Which rumor do you most want to be true? Let us know on Twitter at @MCU_Direct, @TheDirect, and @RichardNebens.