Although Doctor Strange was initially thought to be a property that would be too weird for audiences, it turned out to be anything but. The film has grossed over $650 million worldwide and received a strong critical response thanks to it being a unique addition to the superhero genre. The film was bolstered by a star-studded cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Baron Mordo), Tilda Swinton (Ancient One), Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), and Benedict Wong (Wong). While there has been no official announcement for a sequel, Doctor Strange 2 will likely factor into the beginning of Phase 4.
The first film set up both Mordo and an entirely CG Dormammu as potential villains for the sequel, but director Scott Derrickson has already teased the desire to have Strange battle a different foe. Now, right after writer Jon Spaihts (who penned the first film) spoke about his interest in writing the sequel, he is revealing ideas for a new supporting character that could be added.
Spaihts spoke to CBR to discuss his involvement with the recently released sci-fi film Passengers, but he could not escape questions about the potential for a sequel. When it comes to new characters that could be introduced, one that Spaihts is particularly interested in is the niece of Dormammu, Clea.
She’s a tricky character to interpret because her uncle is a kind of fire-headed omnipotent god and she’s kind of a hot babe who studies magic. That’s a tricky relationship to bring out of a comic book and on to a movie screen. But she’s a really compelling character as a foil, a love interest, a colleague of Doctor Strange’s, and she always carries with her that width of mystery as to whether she is human, and how human, and what that means for his relationship to her. So we might find a way to introduce her to the story.
Back when McAdams was initially cast in the first film, some of the most popular theories pointed to her playing Clea. While that never came to be, it does leave the door open for her to be a factor in Strange's next solo adventure. Even though Clea has been a villain to Strange in the comic books, Spaihts' idea to introduce her may not include her being a villain to start. Instead, it sounds as though Spaihts has many ideas.
[Nightmare is] one of the big ones, yes, absolutely! There’s sort of a zombie apocalypse Shuma-Gorath elder god scenario. There’s a kind of unreliable reality Nightmare movie that could be made. There’s a few great things, and of course Mordo is out there, as embodied by the extraordinary Chiwetel [Ejiofor]. He can come back and bring a world of hurt at any time.
Spaihts clearly has ambitious plans for the sequel, but fans will have to wait and see if he is brought back. He may have been a member of the team early on, but the final product had a number of influences outside of just Spaihts' work. C. Robert Cargill also did a great deal of work on the script, which was later followed up by Dan Harmon coming to set to add humor to the film. Still, now both Spaihts and Derrickson have shared their desire to return and use Nightmare as a villain, which could give fans an early indicator as to what the sequel could hold.
Even if Spaihts does not return, Clea is one of the more well-known characters from the Doctor Strange world, which is saying something. Outside of already introducing Dormammu, there are no direct signs hinting at her potential appearance. Strange already has a high-profile love interest with Palmer, so the introduction of Clea is not needed in that regard. Instead, she could be used as a pupil to Strange or a former follower of Kaecilius, which could set her up to have an important role to play in the franchise.