With 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in the rearview window, MCU fans are clamoring for information on the cast and release of Benedict Cumberbatch's next solo outing, Doctor Strange 3
Benedict's Doctor Strange has had quite the MCU journey. From barely existing as a namedrop in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier to facing off against Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch, the ex-Sorcerer Supreme shows no signs of slowing down his MCU tenure.
The last audiences saw him, he opened his third eye (literally) after utilizing a dark Variant of himself and was whisked away by Charlize Theron's Clea to settle an Incursion - a more-than-obvious sign of a sequel.
But when will this potential sequel release? Who will be involved? And what could this next magical adventure entail?
When Could Doctor Strange 3 Release?
As of writing, Doctor Strange 3 has not been officially announced by Marvel Studios or even reported/rumored.
However, if/when it does hit the docket, there are a few currently untitled, prime spots on the studio's slate that it could fill. Those slots start with February 12, 2026 — a whopping four years after Multiverse of Madness, although another contender for this slot is the similarly unconfirmed Shang-Chi 2.
Looking even further ahead, Doctor Strange 3 could then fall into the July 24, 2026 slot or even November 6, 2026. Both of these potential dates would follow Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, which was recently pushed to May 1, 2026, and the fallout of this supposed Multiversal war could then be explored in the Doctor Strange threequel.
Speaking of pushes, before Marvel Studios reported a massive delay for nearly all of its upcoming theatrical releases, a supposed Doctor Strange 3 was rumored to come before The Kang Dynasty, in fact.
This good ole switcheroo could mean massive changes to the threequel's plot, but in the meantime, cast speculation may run even more rampant.
Doctor Strange 3 Cast Speculation: Who Will Return?
With Multiverse of Madness having expanded the typical Doctor Strange cast with the likes of MCU veteran Elizabeth Olsen and potential Young Avengers actress Xochitl Gomez, there are some safe bets for old and familiar faces to step into the fray of a Doctor Strange 3.
Benedict Cumberbatch - Doctor Strange
Unlike other MCU entries, there's been no passing of the torch moment for Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange, so it's almost guaranteed he'll return to don the Cloak of Levitation again.
After facing the Scarlet Witch via Dreamwalking with a dead Variant of himself, Strange is possibly on the cusp of no return. Audiences will likely either see him dealing with Clea's reported Incursion or the aftermath of the hopefully-not-too-tragic events of The Kang Dynasty when he returns to the big screen.
Charlize Theron - Clea
Speaking of Clea, Charlize Theron made her surprising MCU debut in the post-credits scene of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, setting herself up for a bright future with Marvel Studios. by Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron
Clea has been described as "the great love of Doctor Strange" by Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron, hinting that Christine Palmer may finally be cemented in Stephen's past after being wed off in Doctor Strange 2.
Rachel McAdams - Christine Palmer
Don't count her out, yet, though. Despite now being married to somebody else in the MCU, Rachel McAdams could very well re-appear as Christine Palmer.
McAdams herself even teased that her character's story is "to be continued." Who knows? Maybe she'll finally have time to get to know some of Stephen's friends.
Benedict Wong - Wong
Is he really still a friend if he basically stole Doctor Strange's job? Either way, fan-favorite Benedict Wong is arguably the second biggest guarantee in a Doctor Strange 3 after the titular character himself.
Wong's been getting around all over the MCU. After making appearances in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Disney+'s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the newly-minted Sorcerer Surpeme has some explaining to do, a la breaking Abomination out of jail (again).
Xochitl Gomez - America Chavez
Fueling the fire to the long-burning Young Avengers project rumor, Xochitl Gomez brought America Chavez to life in 2022's Multiverse of Madness, with Chavez last being seen practicing the Mystic Arts under Wong's guidance in Kamar-Taj.
If asked to come back, Gomez is likely an enthusiastic yes as she has said that she'd love to see her character be like Wong and pop up whenever, wherever in the MCU moving forward.
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Baron Mordo
Baron Mordo made a surprising return in Multiverse of Madness as not a villain, as was teased in the post-credits scene from 2016's Doctor Strange, but a Multiversal ally and member of the Illuminati.
Chiwetel Ejiofor's Doctor Strange 3 appearance could easily be incorporated as audiences still don't know where his MCU Variant is lurking, harking back to that aforementioned post-credits scene.
Elizabeth Olsen - Wanda Maximoff (Possible)
And, of course, almost no one would be disappointed to see Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch reappear after seemingly succumbing to the rubble of Mount Wundagore.
However, Olsen likely has other MCU projects to make more opportune appearances in, such as the upcoming Disney+ series Agatha: Coven of Chaos and the unannounced Vision Quest.
Will Dormammu Be the Villain in Doctor Strange 3?
Though it may be difficult to top having the Scarlet Witch herself as the big bad, Doctor Strange could bring Dormammu back into the fray on a much grander scale.
Theron's Clea has some pretty significant ties to Dormammu; in Marvel Comics, she's, well, his niece. And that's not the mention that Dormammu's home, the Dark Dimension, was seen again in Doctor Strange 2's mid-credits scene.
That being said, it's easy to forget how easy it'd be to cast Dormammu - Benedict Cumberbatch played him in 2016, so Marvel Studios would surely be cutting costs by going that route.
What Will Happen in Doctor Strange 3?
Multiverse of Madness' first post-credits scene swung the doors wide open for a Doctor Strange 3, with the presence of the Multiverse itself giving way to ample plot opportunities.
The titular actor himself said that Doctor Strange 2 set him up for "a really exciting future" and that he hasn't grown tired of playing the character yet.
First and foremost, Doctor Strange 3 could, and likely will, deal with the Incursion Clea mentioned and whisked Stephen Strange away to help with. Incursions themselves may even get a brush-up, with the concept being more fully explained and demonstrated in other movies.
Cumberbatch also noted following Doctor Strange 2's release that his character is now " moving on to a new time and new adventure."
On the same note, coming face-to-face with said Incursion will also make Stephen take a good look at himself — and the third eye on his forehead staring back at him.
Though he did what he had to do to overcome Wanda, Stephen's consequences will surely catch up with him; coming to grips with the dark implications of Dreamwalking via the dead will be a major point in his character arc.
Shifting the focus to another magical being, if Wanda Maximoff were to make her theatrical return in Doctor Strange 3, she too may be facing consequences. If she thought Westview was bad, talk about almost destroying the entire Multiverse.
And though a passing of the torch moment hasn't happened yet, with at least four years set between Doctor Strange 2 and Doctor Strange 3 based on predicted release dates, America Chavez's Kamar-Taj training could have benefitted her significantly in that amount of time. Will fans see Gomez as a Sorcerer Supreme-in-training?
Who Will Direct Doctor Strange 3?
Marvel Studios seems to be sticking to familiar directors, and in Doctor Strange's case, there are two contenders for a threequel: OG director Scott Derrickson and MCU newcomer/comic-book-movie alum Sam Raimi.
Derrickson originally helmed Multiverse of Madness before reported disagreements with the film's direction caused him to step down; Raimi took his place. Now, the two seem equally as likely to return if Doctor Strange 3 were to get greenlit.
In January 2023, a rumor was shared that Derrickson might have been back on board the Doctor Strange train.
Fast forward two months later, and Raimi was the one rumored to return via entertainment insider Jeff Sneider.
General audiences seemed pleased with the more horror-esque approach Raimi took with Multiverse of Madness; alternatively, a return to form via Derrickson likely would excite fans as well. It's anyone's game.
Doctor Strange and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are streaming now on Disney+. Doctor Strange 3 has not been announced yet.