Benedict Cumberbatch said in a new interview that he would love to continue playing Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while Sorcerer Supreme fans may be scratching their heads at Cumberbatch's comments, it's true: Doctor Strange 2 isn't quite confirmed yet. It's possible that the MCU's Phase 4 could end up moving forward without a direct sequel, despite the first installment winning critics and audiences over and grossing over $677 million worldwide off a $165 million production budget.
Stephen Strange may not be Marvel's most prominent or popular character, but Cumberbatch has breathed life into the character in both his starring vehicle and his performance in Avengers: Infinity War, in which he played a pivotal role in the battle against Thanos. Still, complicating matters is that Doctor Strange became one of the victims of Thanos' finger-snapping universal destruction - and he knew it had to be done as part of the "endgame". So is Doctor Strange even going to be alive in the MCU moving forward? Who knows for sure, but either way, Cumberbatch expressed a desire to keep reprising his role if and when the opportunity comes.
Speaking to Deadline in a new interview, Benedict Cumberbatch said in no uncertain terms how much he would "love" to continue portraying the Sorcerer Supreme in the MCU. Although Doctor Strange turned to dust at the end of Infinity War, Cumberbatch also hinted that the sorcerer's return is essentially "lined up" despite not being publicly confirmed. He acknowledged, however, that he's not sure how the character would return from his death in Infinity War, if at all. Here's the full comment:
"Oh, Strange? Just try to stop me. That’s all kind of lined up as far as I’m aware, but who knows? I mean, you know, the problem is, how does he get out of where he’s at. But that’s the only thing. I’m bits of dust at the moment as far as I understand. So you really have to ask (Marvel Studios president) Kevin Feige. But as far as wanting to do it, yeah, I would love to go back into that role."
Even though Doctor Strange 2 hasn't been officially announced yet, some details are reportedly already in place. The villain is already known to be Nightmare, as are some plot details. Chiwetel Ejiofor's Mordo, who broke bad at the very end of the first Doctor Strange, will also likely play a role in the sequel, possibly as an antagonist. But as recently as March, Cumberbatch had no updates on Doctor Strange 2 and wouldn't guarantee the character's survival beyond Infinity War.
Doctor Strange told Tony Stark that giving Thanos the Time Stone was "the only way" for the Avengers to have a chance at achieving the single future scenario in which they won, out of 14 million-plus possibilities. But it remains unclear if that means Doctor Strange knows where he's going and whether he'll be back. His status is up in the air in general for the MCU, but the apparent plans for Doctor Strange 2 are an indication that he'll be back at some point. And it's encouraging to know that Cumberbatch will have as much conviction as ever when he gets to don the cloak again.
The future plans for Doctor Strange 2 are also a reason why Infinity War's ending is hard to take seriously. The Doctor Strange sequel may already be "lined up", so it's difficult to believe that audiences have truly seen the last of the character. But Cumberbatch could simply have a contractual obligation not to confirm anything, or perhaps he truly doesn't know which direction the MCU is going to go from here. The important thing for Doctor Strange fans is that the actor would likely remain committed to the performance once he gets another opportunity.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019