Marvel Studios is now officially underway with the theatrical run for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the studio's 28th film and arguably the most ambitious solo movie in franchise history. Following a tumultuous filming schedule that ended with six weeks of reshoots, fans worldwide are embracing everything this Multiversal sequel brings to the table to kick off the year for the MCU.
WARNING: The rest of this article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
With only 126 minutes of screentime in this jam-packed solo story, Marvel had some tough challenges while bringing everything that the studio delivered in this massive crossover event. From Wanda Maximofff's villainous turn to the MCU's first take on the Illuminati, director Sam Raimi and his team had more major plot points to work through than in any previous MCU solo movie to date.
This went all the way up through the end of the film, which concluded with turning point events like Wanda's presumed death and America Chavez's introduction to the Mystic Arts at Kamar-Taj. However, according to the film's star Benedict Cumberbatch, things weren't exactly set in stone with the sequel's ending for quite some time during production.
Cumberbatch on Uncertain Doctor Strange Ending
MCU star Benedict Cumberbatch spoke on the JOE.ie YouTube channel about some of the uncertainties he experienced with the plot behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
While discussing the movie's fast pace, he admitted that he sometimes isn't so great at working through that pacing and mixing the action with scenes where the characters are "sitting down and talking." Cumberbatch then revealed that Multiverse of Madness' third act ending was "very much up in the air when [Marvel Studios] started shooting," a tendency that the studio often employs to ensure that their endings best cap the scenes that come before them:
"There’s a little bit of that. There’s a ticking clock to it, I guess, a little bit. So that’s important, but yeah. It’s an awful lot in one film, and I think it has to have that pace from the beginning. And what little I’ve seen of it, I worry when there’s stuff that we’re sitting down and talking about because I just think ‘we should be doing stuff!’ But then, I’m in the film, and I know it backwards, so I’m the worst judge of it. So I think there are definitely moments where you as an audience can catch your breath, and you need to. There’s a lot to examine and explain and kind of absorb. But there is a sort of propulsion by the end, which is kind of great, like the last third, which was very much up in the air when we started shooting, in typical Marvel fashion. It really comes together spectacularly."
Ever-Evolving Ending to Doctor Strange 2?
Doctor Strange 2 was packed to the gills with action, drama, and massive plot points, which doesn't even take into account that there was a month and a half of reshoots to make sure that everything in the story worked just right. On top of that, it took a similarly flexible path with its story by seemingly adjusting how the movie ended more than once, especially with the aforementioned reshoots in play.
One of the biggest plot moments that comes to mind with these comments from Cumberbatch is seemingly Wanda's turn back to the good side, which wasn't always a sure thing with how ruthless of a villain she was throughout the movie. There is also America Chavez's training at Kamar-Taj and Strange gaining a third eye like his counterpart, Sinister Strange, thanks to the Darkhold, but those are only a few options that could be in play.
Whatever the case may be, it's clear that Doctor Strange 2 took a huge team effort from everybody involved, although the results are speaking for themselves as the film makes its way through the fandom.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters worldwide.