New information revealed that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made a design choice that inversely created a continuity error for the series.
There’s a lot to love about Benedict Cumberbatch’s recent Marvel Studios outing, which included many fresh additions to the MCU. Doctor Strange’s new costume is wonderful, John Krasinski’s Reed Richards was made a reality, Scarlet Witch reached some terrifying peaks, and more.
After all, it’s hard to hate on an undead Doctor Strange duking it out with a Darkhold-corrupted Wanda Maximoff in the snowy isolation that is Mount Wundagore.
But with everything the sequel offered, there is one change that might prove to be more problematic for those who get caught up in the smaller details.
Kamar-Taj’s New Contunity Issue
The Art of the Movie: Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness artbook is now on shelves worldwide, and in its many pages, is a quote from the film’s production designer Charles Wood that revealed a new continuity issue for the MCU thanks to a change in the film.
That change happened with Kamar-Taj, the mystical city where Doctor Strange was originally trained.
For Multiverse of Madness, while the building remained the same, it got a bit of a mystical relocation. Wood shared how “they did actually move it” from where it was in the first film, with the intent of “[giving] the building more status:”
“We did actually move it… in the first film, it was nestled within the city of Katmandu, almost hidden in plain sight. In this film, we wanted to give the building more status. So we actually put it on a plateau, with the Himalayas behind it. So this version of Kamar-Taj was much more to do with the cinema, so that when you were on the rooftop set, you really felt the mountains behind you and had a view over the rooftops of the city.”
In the first film, this is what the surrounding area of Kamar-Taj looked like:
Charles Wood explained how the team wanted “great big wide, impressive views” when the Scarlet Witch attacked the iconic locale:
“And the reason for that when Scarlet Witch arrives through this storm and these rolling clouds, you get these great big, wide, impressive views. And in this film, we explored the interiors more. We wanted to make it as mysterious as we could. We did a lot more research into the form of architecture from this particular region of the world. Nepalese architecture is incredibly sophisticated, and we tried to bring all of those skills and all of that beauty into the sets.”
The film’s producer, Richie Palmer, spoke about how Wong turned Kamar-Taj into “more of a sanctuary,” and how “he wants to teach defense, not offense:”
“[Wong] wants to teach defense, not offense. He’s a very wise Sorcerer Supreme who learned from the mistakes of the Ancient One. Wile Wong is also not a perfect Sorcerer Supreme, he strives to be better than anyone that came before.”
Obviously, things don’t go down exactly as Wong may have wanted, as he’s eventually forced to take his army of sorcerers and put them up against Wanda herself. Thankfully, the city’s new location provided some nice visuals for the sequence.
Palmer teased it’s interesting that those groups of people needed to get together to protect Kamar-Taj, even though “they’re not necessarily being taught to fight:”
“They’re there to learn magic, to make the world a better place… They’re not not necessarily being taught to fight. It’s a really exciting sequence to see all these people prepare for war. And war they get. The Scarlet Witch shows up and just obliterates these people. And while they do their best, it isn’t without loss. It isn’t without casualties.”
Is Kamar-Taj’s New Location an Issue?
At the end of the day, changing the location of Kamar-Taj isn’t the end of the world. After all, the filmmakers succeeded in what they were looking to do: provide a striking scene for the Scarlet Witch to destroy Doctor Strange and his allies.
However, there’s no denying that the change in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness does put it at odds with the previously established canon.
Sure—it’s not too hard to believe that perhaps the sorcerers simply moved the city for whatever reason. But audiences shouldn’t have to rely on self-assessed theories about why something in the story’s world doesn’t line up.
Perhaps one of the local sorcerers strongly felt that it was about time the crew had a nice oceanside view.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+.