Doctor Strange is back — in a movie of his own. After a brief but pivotal presence in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Benedict Cumberbatch's wizard takes centre stage in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, six years on from his last solo adventure. Though to be fair, Doctor Strange had an important role on the mega get-together Avengers: Infinity War, before helping reunite everyone for the big battle on Avengers: Endgame. But the highs are now being contrasted by his lows, with his dimension-shattering spell in No Way Home breaking open the multiverse, creating ripple effects that will inform the new Doctor Strange movie. (You could also argue that Loki and Sylvie are equally to blame, given their actions on Loki.)
It hasn't been smooth sailing for the making of the movie either. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was beset with production troubles related to COVID-19 and underwent “significant” reshoots as late as March this year. Some of those were done so the film could have “more fun with the multiverse” — Loki creator Michael Waldron is the writer — by adding cameos and variants of existing characters. There's a lot of speculation on who might appear, with Marvel itself spoiling a return or two in the trailers. The new Doctor Strange movie is also said to be the scariest Marvel movie yet. Though director Sam Raimi is best known to superhero fans for helming the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy, he's also the creator of the Evil Dead horror franchise.
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As with every title since the Disney+ series WandaVision — which also ties into this movie — Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness falls into Phase Four of the MCU. It's expected to be one of the biggest movies of 2022, and it would need to be, given its budget stretches up to $225 million (about Rs. 1,719 crore). It won't be making anything in Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia though, as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been banned due to the inclusion of a gay character.
Cumberbatch had some strong words to say about that: “We've come to know from those repressive regimes that their lack of tolerance is exclusionary to people who deserve to be not only included, but celebrated for who they are and made to feel part of a society and a culture and not punished for their sexuality. It feels truly out of step with everything that we've experienced as a species, let alone where we're at globally more as a culture, but frankly, it's just even more reason why this isn't tokenism to include an LGBTQ+ community member.”
In India, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. With that, here's everything you need to know about the latest Marvel film. Oh, one last thing before we dive in, a teaser trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water will play ahead of the new Doctor Strange movie. Just something you might like to know.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness release date
The second Doctor Strange movie is out Wednesday, May 4 in Cambodia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Sweden.
On Thursday, May 5, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens in Argentina, Australia, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Portugal, Slovakia, Thailand, and the UK.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness release date in India
The new MCU movie releases Friday, May 6 in India, the US, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and the UAE.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness tickets
Tickets have been available for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in India since Saturday, April 9. This is the earliest that any movie studio — be it Hollywood or Bollywood — had ever opened ticket bookings, and suggested Disney India's confidence in the MCU and its fans.
Theatres have responded to the craze, with some of them scheduling showtimes all 24 hours on opening day. The new Doctor Strange movie opens as early as 12:30am on Friday in some cities, with more shows at 3:30am and 6am. Others are opting to open doors around 4:30am.
Despite all that, tickets for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have largely been sold out across India.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast
Cumberbatch not only plays Dr. Stephen Strange/ Doctor Strange, but also alternate versions of his character from other universes. That includes the corrupted and corroded Sinister Strange, the heroic Defender Strange, a Zombie Strange that was first introduced in Marvel's What If...?, and Supreme Strange who seemingly serves as a major villain.
Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch is second billed on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, returning after the series-long arc on WandaVision. While Strange seeks her help to control the multiverse, Wanda will also go on her own journey that involves the two kids she made on WandaVision, Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne). Olsen too plays more than one version, including Zombie Scarlet Witch from Marvel's What If...?
Chiwetel Ejiofor returns as Karl Mordo, Strange's former mentor who turned against him at the end of the first Doctor Strange movie, and vowed to hunt down sorcerers in the post-credits scene. Ejiofor too plays alternate versions of his character, though we haven't spotted any in the trailers.
Benedict Wong — who had a cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — is back as the new Sorcerer Supreme on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Wong also plays alternate versions of his character, including a Defender Wong variant akin to Defender Strange.
The biggest new addition is Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, a teenager who has had the ability to travel between dimensions by punching open doorways since she was a child. Chavez stems from another universe that's called the Utopian Parallel in the MCU. Chavez is gay, as in the comics, and is the daughter of two lesbian mothers.
Michael Stuhlbarg and Rachel McAdams also return from Doctor Strange, in their respective roles as Strange's fellow surgeons Nicodemus West and Christine Palmer. Palmer is also Strange's former lover, but she's getting married to someone else — I'm guessing West — the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailers reveal. McAdams too plays more than one version of her character.
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The Illuminati — a secret group of heroes — is set to be featured on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, alongside Peggy Carter/ Captain Carter. Given Patrick Stewart has confirmed his presence in the new MCU movie, it's highly likely he's reprising his Charles Xavier role from the X-Men movies — albeit an alternate version — what with Xavier being a part of the Illuminati in the comics. No word on who's playing Carter since we only see her shield in the teasers; Hayley Atwell has played her before.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness synopsis
To restore a world where everything is changing, Stephen Strange seeks help from his ally Wong, the Sorcerer Supreme, and the Avengers' most powerful Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff.
But a terrible threat looms over humanity and the entire universe that no longer can be done by their power alone. Even more surprising, the greatest threat in the universe looks exactly like Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer
The first teaser trailer for the second Doctor Strange movie was unveiled as a post-credits scene attached to Spider-Man: No Way Home in theatres last December. It was released online less than a week later. It revealed that Supreme Strange would be the villain.
Then in February, the full-length trailer (below) was released, which featured Stewart's voice and sent MCU fandom into overdrive who speculated his return as well as the Illuminati's involvement. While the latter two have been confirmed, Stewart's character remains in the shadows.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness review
Early reviews of the new MCU movie are out now. The Gadgets 360 review of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be available on Thursday, May 5.
Is there a Doctor Strange 3? And what are the next MCU movies?
No one has said anything about a third Doctor Strange movie as yet. But we will likely see Cumberbatch and Co. elsewhere before anyway.
On the big screen, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be followed by Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder with Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. A sequel to Thor: Ragnarok, Thor: Love and Thunder is out July 8 in cinemas — just two months on from the new Doctor Strange movie.
Four months out from that, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler will return with the sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. With Chadwick Boseman's character being retired following his death, the rest of Wakanda will come into focus. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens November 11.
A couple of months later, Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror will terrorise everyone on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where the titular superheroes and Wasp's parents continue their study of the Quantum Realm. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania beams in February 17, 2023.
Those will be followed by James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in May 2023 — supposedly the final Guardians movie — and the return of Brie Larson alongside Teyonah Parris (from WandaVision) and Iman Vellani (from Ms. Marvel) in The Marvels in July 2023.
Head to our MCU hub to discover more.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness poster
Here's the official poster for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness from Disney and Marvel Studios:
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