Benedict Cumberbatch is about to take on a lot of responsibilities as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse Saga, especially after starring in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness this past summer. And with the next trilogy of Phases in the MCU now being dubbed the Multiverse Saga, the Master of the Mystic Arts will be a key player in the upcoming battle between universes.
When fans last saw Cumberbatch at the end of Doctor Strange 2, he had just been imbued with a Third Eye after his dalliance with the Darkhold, which he used to stop the Scarlet Witch from destroying reality. This came before an unexpected encounter with Charlize Theron's Clea, which will unquestionably bring Strange back into the Dark Dimension for the first time since his first solo movie.
While it hasn't been confirmed where or when Doctor Strange will actually return to the MCU, he's sure to be an important source of both knowledge and power as the Multiverse opens the door to one new adventure after another. Now, in a recent interview, Cumberbatch looked ahead to what that future holds in his MCU future and a potential Doctor Strange 3.
Doctor Strange 2 End Leads to New Thrills
Speaking with Oracle Time, MCU star Benedict Cumberbatch explored where his story as Doctor Strange goes at the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
One specific item of Strange's that Cumberbatch looked at was his watch, which was a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual. The actor actually "had final say over the watch" as it spoke most deeply to Strange's relationship with Christine Palmer:
“As far as I was concerned it aligned with the character. I had final say over the watch and it was the one that spoke to me of the sentiment between Strange and Christine. Rachel McAdams would have had some input too as it’s her character giving the watch. As a piece it had enough class to work, it had status but wasn’t as overbearing as some of the other options on the table.”
This also helped show some of Strange's character development from the first movie, especially since the watch stopped "at the same time as his previous life in the car accident:"
“In the first film, it was symbolic of the character and his relationship with Christine Palmer. It was very important in the fact that it stopped at the same time as his previous life in the car accident. And he holds on to it. Why does he hold on to it? Because he’s the Time Lord? No. It’s because he’s still.”
This also came to a full circle moment in Doctor Strange 2, when Strange put the watch in his drawer seemingly for good. This helped him find a kind of closure from that past life, setting him off as someone who's "moving on to a new time and new adventure:"
“It’s closure really. And to do that, he’s setting the timepiece free again. He’s making it work so that it can carry on without him. He puts it in the box. He doesn’t put it back on his wrist. He’s no longer the broken-hearted Stephen Strange, who didn’t get the girl. He’s a man who’s moving on to a new time and new adventure."
A New Time and Adventure for Strange
While Strange's next specific adventure in the MCU is still a mystery, Doctor Strange 2 set him on the path toward being the hero he was destined to be in this franchise. This largely came thorough in his journey with Christine Palmer, who made a shocking return in the last movie only to have her story with Strange come to an end thanks to her wedding at the start of the film.
Strange was able to further move past that time in his life through Christine's Earth-838 Variant, who Strange teamed up with to help defeat the Scarlet Witch. This new version of Christine helped him move past his Earth-616 Christine, letting him close that chapter of his life before kicking off his new adventure.
While he surely could find a new relationship with Clea moving forward, he'll have plenty more to worry about in terms of keeping the Multiverse from falling into complete chaos.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+.