Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promises to be a massive adventure unlike ever seen before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The project has had quite the build-up. Not including everything prior to Phase 4, projects such as WandaVision, Loki, What If…?, and Spider-Man: No Way Home have all been leading to this mind-bending adventure through multiple realities.
So, for those that want to catch up, where exactly is the best place to start? Is it the original Doctor Strange back in 2016? Do the last two Avengers films need to be included in the re-watch?
With the many projects that both Doctor Strange and Elizabeth Olsen have been a part of in the MCU, it's hard to nail down which might be the most important to focus on before heading to the theaters to see Multiverse of Madness. Thankfully, for those wondering, Disney has you covered.
What to Watch Before Doctor Strange 2?
Thanks to the official D23 fan club page, fans now know the most important [Marvel Cinematic Universe] titles to watch or rewatch" before seeing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness —and the order to watch them in.
The first is obviously 2016’s Doctor Strange, which sees the introduction of not only Benedict Cumberbatch’s new titular hero, but also the magical world he will come to inhabit.
Then the list surprisingly skips both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, and instead hops right to WandaVision. This inclusion makes sense, seeing as the events in the show directly influence what Wanda Maximoff will be up to in the upcoming project.
After the Disney+ series comes another, this time Marvel Studios’ first animated venture What If…?. This is another MCU project to explore the concepts of the Multiverse, and imagery from it can actually be spotted in some of the promos.
Finally, there’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. An obvious inclusion given Doctor Strange’s involvement, but also that the entire plot revolves around the Multiversal consequences of a spell gone wrong.
The Multiverse of Rewatching
It is interesting to see that this re-watch list omits Loki, given that it was the first MCU project to introduce Variants and saw the destruction of the Sacred Timeline. Perhaps Disney believes that What If...? will be enough to fill audiences in, or could suggest that Loki won't have as much influence of the Doctor Strange sequel as some may think.
With how expansive the Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting, doing re-watches before new projects is becoming increasingly harder. Gone are the days when one could just start from Iron Man and feasibly go through everything on a consistent basis.
It seems Disney has even acknowledged that themselves, having released this list. It’s a handy habit that could really help out a lot of fans—especially the more casual, general audience. After all, while hardcore fans are keeping up with every Disney+ release, the wider world is not.
What’ll be interesting is to see how this tendency develops over time. What will the top four suggestions be for Avengers 5? Is that something that will be able to be summed up with four projects?
The MCU’s continuity is a lot to handle, and lists that may be seen as inconsequential like this one may end up being the key to getting more audiences to remain on board the Marvel train.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6.