With a worldwide box office gross of $677 million, Doctor Strange was not the MCU’s biggest hit, but it was still an admirable success. And Benedict Cumberbatch is universally beloved and perfect for the role. So, it’s no surprise that Marvel is working on a sequel to his 2016 solo movie.
With the Sorcerer Supreme playing a significant role in the last two Avengers movies, hatching the plan that would end the world and then subsequently save it, fans are more eager than ever to see his standalone adventures continue on the big screen. Here is Everything We Know (So Far) About Doctor Strange 2.
10 Scott Derrickson Is Returning To Direct
Scott Derrickson, the director of Sinister who helmed the first Doctor Strange movie back in 2016, has been confirmed to be returning for the sequel. When he took on the first film, Derrickson was excited to explore the wider world of the character, but he was restricted by the formulaic origin story he was forced to tell.
With the sequel, there are no such limitations, because the plot can go anywhere to expand on the character’s arc, so Derrickson can bring in the Dream Dimension and the villain Nightmare like he wanted to in the original, but was prevented by Kevin Feige.
9 The Sequel Is Inspired By The Dark Knight
Scott Derrickson has said that he wants the Doctor Strange sequel to follow in the mold of The Dark Knight in that he will “bring in a villain where you really [get] to go deep [and have] a more visceral experience.”
When Christopher Nolan made his sequel to Batman Begins, he relished the opportunity of not having to show how the superhero became the superhero and just jumped right into his world, leading to Heath Ledger’s immortal depiction of the Joker. If you’re going to be taking superhero sequel cues from anyone, Nolan’s your guy, so Derrickson is already on the right track.
8 Karl Mordo Might Be The Next Villain
Reports have surfaced that Karl Mordo – or Baron Mordo, as is his supervillain name – will be the primary villain in the Doctor Strange sequel. In the second one, he will apparently be a “full-on villain” as he decides that only a select few should be allowed to wield the powers of magic, himself included, and sets about eliminating everyone he deems unworthy of those powers.
Mordo previously appeared in the first movie, although some fans felt that the movie underused 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor, so it’s great to hear that he might be getting a bigger role in the sequel.
7 It Might Start Filming Next Year
According to Benedict Wong, who plays Stephen Strange’s right-hand man Wong in the MCU, has said that he’s not sure about the development of the Doctor Strange sequel, but he’s heard that shooting “may be happening some time next year.”
This might place it a little late in the game to be the mysterious undisclosed Marvel release slated for early 2021, since the upcoming Black Widow prequel and the Eternals’ big-screen debut are already filming right now, but we shouldn’t rule out a late 2021 release. Either way, Marvel will announce its Phase 4 release slate later in the summer.
6 A New Writer Has Been Brought On Board
The screenplay for the first Doctor Strange movie was penned by Jon Spaihts, C. Robert Cargill, and the film’s director Scott Derrickson. Initially, Derrickson and Cargill were signed back on to script the sequel, although it’s since been suggested that a new writer has been brought on board to punch it up. Benedict Wong said he’d met the sequel’s newly hired writer at the Avengers: Endgame premiere, although he didn’t disclose their name.
The fact that he mentioned he’d met them for the first time at the premiere has strongly hinted to some fans that this writer is new to the franchise.
5 Rachel McAdams Is Expected To Return
In 2016’s Doctor Strange, Rachel McAdams played Christine Palmer, Stephen Strange’s love interest. Her role was criticized for being a generic romantic foil as opposed to a fully formed character, and it was thought that she and Benedict Cumberbatch had no chemistry, but it seems as though the filmmakers are eager to have another crack at their relationship, since McAdams is expected to return for the sequel.
Unsurprisingly, Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong have been signed on to reprise their roles as Doctor Strange and Wong, respectively, with McAdams likely to join them, depending on how the finalized plot turns out. She might end up being Doctor Strange’s Jane Foster.
4 Doctor Strange Might Team Up With Spider-Man
Tom Holland said recently that he’d like to see his MCU Spider-Man team up with Doctor Strange in a future movie. They built a preliminary relationship when they shared a few scenes in Avengers: Infinity War, but Holland wants the two to share a whole movie together, like Thor and the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok or Spidey himself and Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Holland explained, “I’m really wanting to do a team-up with Doctor Strange, because we’re both New Yorkers and I just really like the idea of a science guy being teamed up with a guy who does magic, because it totally contradicts everything he knows.”
3 Benedict Cumberbatch Is Excited To Continue Playing The Character
Having made his name playing a modern-day Sherlock Holmes in 13 feature-length episodes of BBC’s Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch is used to letting his performances as a character grow over the course of a long story arc.
As it turns out, he’s excited to do the same with Doctor Strange, starting with his upcoming standalone sequel: “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 as far as wanting to do it, yeah, I would love to go back into that role.”
2 The First Movie Was “The Tip Of An Iceberg”
When Scott Derrickson was first asked about making a sequel to Doctor Strange following the first one, he said, “I love the character, I love the visual possibilities, and I know the comics so well – [the first movie is] the tip of an iceberg. There’s so much progress that can be made.”
By “tip of the iceberg,” he means that there are plenty of villains he wants to explore, including Nightmare and Hamir. He has also said that he wants to expand on the story of Jonathan Pangborn, who was teased as a villain in the first movie’s “too many sorcerers” post-credits scene.
1 Doctor Strange 2 Has Been Informed By The Events Of Infinity War And Endgame
Director Scott Derrickson said he has been “kept in the loop” while Doctor Strange’s arc has been expanded in Infinity War and Endgame. Joe Russo, one of the brothers who directed those movies, and producer Kevin Feige have kept Derrickson posted about how Strange has been developing in the past two movies.
Since his last solo movie, Stephen Strange has witnessed 14 million futures where Thanos beats the Avengers and just one where they win, at the cost of Tony Stark’s life, and so he had to make the judgment call to allow Stark to sacrifice himself. The sequel could explore the mental consequences of this, like Stark’s PTSD in Iron Man 3.