MCU star Benedict Cumberbatch has thrived in his time playing Doctor Stephen Strange for Marvel Studios, and his role post-Infinity Saga is only set to grow exponentially.
Summer 2021 has seen the veteran take on a new challenge in the voiceover booth as he embodies two different Sorcerers Supreme in the MCU's first animated project What If...?. He's also set to return to the big screen in live-action form as a key supporting player in December's Spider-Man: No Way Home before leading the way in his second solo movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2022.
Already seen as one of the Avengers' most powerful members, it seems only right that he's such an important part of arguably the two most daring projects of Phase 4. Both No Way Home and Doctor Strange 2 will explore the multiverse and bring in heroes and/or villains from other dimensions, and that's just the start of their plans to expand the MCU's narrative.
There's one big question, however, that remains without an answer: which movie is more ambitious? It appears that Cumberbatch has his own opinion, which he shared recently while throwing the (Infinity) gauntlet down for Spider-Man star Tom Holland.
Two New MCU Outings For Benedict Cumberbatch
Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch chatted with the Variety Awards Circuit Podcast about his upcoming appearance in Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Teasing the fandom "debates" that will come regarding the movie's plot and characters, Cumberbatch praised the film for bringing forth "a daring, brilliant, brilliant concept" for the MCU:
"Yeah, [filming Spider-Man: No Way Home] will be a lot, a lot of fun. There will be a lot of debate about it, I'm sure, but it's a daring, brilliant concept."
During the chat, the interviewer brought up quotes from Tom Holland released earlier this year when he called his solo threequel “the most ambitious standalone superhero movie ever made.” When Cumberbatch was asked if he agreed with the sentiment, he took a shot at Holland by throwing his own solo sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, into the conversation:
Interviewer: "So let me ask you this, I interviewed Tom [Holland] last year, and he said that he thinks it's the most ambitious standalone superhero movie ever made. Would you agree with that?"
Cumberbatch: "Until Doctor Strange 2... Throwing it down, Tom! But yeah, for now, it will do..."
Ever the secret-keeper, Cumberbatch admitted that No Way Home "has got great ambition" and marveled at the "audacity of it." Although he hasn't seen the movie yet, he professed plenty of confidence that "it'll be a hit" when it comes to theaters in December:
"It has got great ambition [...] I haven't seen it, but by all accounts I think it's achieved it. And I mean, even on paper, the audacity of it, like, 'How the hell is that gonna work?' Also, so excited about the overall opportunity of them exploring those ideas. So yeah, I'll be really interested to see how it comes out. But I'm pretty certain it'll be a hit."
Cumberbatch Confident in Spider-Man 3's Prospects
Cumberbatch and Holland have had a fun rivalry over the years, particularly with Cumberbatch playing the role of spoiler-keeper whenever the two have done interviews together. Now that they're co-starring in arguably the biggest movie of the year, it only makes sense that these friendly jabs are continuing into the promotional rounds.
On a more serious note, it's clear that the five-year MCU veteran is in a state of awe over what's to come in his next live-action appearance.
Although it's unclear how much screen time Cumberbatch will see, especially with so many players on the multiversal field, he'll be a catalyst in the plot by trying to help Peter Parker make his identity a secret again. There's a chance he will see some action in the inevitable final battle, although he's also lined up to play a starring role in the very next MCU movie after No Way Home.
In the end, the actor behind the Sorcerer Supreme seems ready to see just how "ambitious" the adventure Spider-Man: No Way Home will be in just a few months. With the MCU likely coming through on a Sinister Six team-up and likely bringing Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield along for the ride, the multiverse is the limit.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will release in theaters on December 17, 2021.