Following the success of Captain America: Civil War, Marvel Studios ended 2016 by releasing Doctor Strange, one of the projects that Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has long desired to make. His faith in the project proved to be well placed as the Benedict Cumberbatch-led superhero film made over $650 million worldwide, while also receiving generally positive critical feedback. The unique visuals and introduction to true magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, resulted in audiences quickly becoming fans of the Stranger character.
With interest in Strange at an all-time high, Marvel looks ready to capitalize on that by featuring the character in a supporting role in Thor: Ragnarok – before he joins the ranks of the Avengers in Avengers: Infinity War. This has, however, left the future of Doctor Strange 2 up in the air for the time being, and even the first film’s director, Scott Derrickson, is unsure when it could happen.
EW spoke to Derrickson in the lead-up to Doctor Strange‘s release on digital and home video, and after asking him about his experience on the first film, they discussed the possibility of a sequel. Marvel Studios has already mapped out their films until 2019, leaving little room for a Doctor Strange sequel in Derrickson’s eyes – which gives him some much deserved and needed time away:
“I have no idea where it fits in. I’ve sort of been off the grid. I very much needed a break after that. But I’m starting to read TV pilots. I love dramatic television, and I’ve gotten quite a few good offers on really good pilots. I may do a pilot before Doctor Strange 2, if Doctor Strange 2 is going to happen. Right now, I don’t think the people at Marvel are calling anybody for anything. They’re making way too many movies at once right now [to do that]. [Given] how intimately involved they are in the development and shooting and post-production of those movies, they’ve got their hands very full right now.”
When Marvel does get around to announcing a Doctor Strange sequel, it would be quite surprising for Derrickson’s name to not be attached as the director. He has previously discussed his ideas for the sequel, but with the way the Marvel slate has been scheduled, he will have plenty of time to figure out precisely where he wants to take the franchise.
As for the busy Marvel slate, they have previously shifted other movies around to announce Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s additions to Phase 3, but it is likely too late to now begin pushing other projects back to rush a Doctor Strange sequel into theaters by 2019. Just this past week, Marvel Studios began production on Black Panther and the next two Avengers movies, marking their first time filming multiple movies at once.
This schedule will not become any less busy as time goes on either, with Infinity War and Avengers 4 filming for a full year and Marvel beginning production on Ant-Man and the Wasp this June. Once these projects are completed, 2018 will see them enter production on Captain Marvel and the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel. Once they move into a Phase 4 mindset, Doctor Strange 2 will likely be one of the franchises to kick things off, in 2020 or beyond. This gives Derrickson potentially a full year away from Marvel before pre-production would need to begin (assuming that has not already started behind closed doors). In either case, the sequel is inevitable, and hopefully, so is Derrickson’s return.