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The sequel to Doctor Strange should prove to be mind-bending. 

Marvel

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as mystical Marvel superhero Doctor Strange in the upcoming movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Here’s everything we know so far about the planned 27th Marvel Cinematic Universe film announced at Comic-Con 2019

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is part of Marvel’s Phase 4 plans that include the movies Black WidowThor 4: Love and ThunderThe Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as well as TV series The Falcon and Winter SoldierWandaVisionLoki, What If…?, Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight

Who’s making it?

Scott Derrickson is returning to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Though Derrickson co-wrote the 2016 Doctor Strange film with C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts, the studio is using new writers who have yet to be officially named.

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Plot details

At Comic-Con 2019, Derrickson revealed not only the name of the movie, but that it will be “the first scary MCU movie,” and will feature “the Gothic and the horror” that made Derrickson love the Doctor Strange comics in the first place.

Originally created in 1963 by comic book greats Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, Doctor Strange is Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme. Considering that Doctor Strange’s powers come from his mastery of mystic spells, and not from a mutant gene or weird biological accident like some other Marvel superheroes, dark magic could be an interesting plot device for the upcoming movie. 

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Doctor Strange was first seen in “Strange Tales” #110 in July 1963. He was created by Stan Lee and visionary artist Steve Ditko, who supplied mind-bending psychedelic visuals for the new character’s adventures.

Marvel

Doctor Strange will be joined by Scarlet Witch aka Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen) in the May 2021 sequel, but to understand how Olsen’s character arrived at the events on the big screen, you’ll need to watch the Disney Plus original WandaVision slated to air on the streaming service in spring 2021, as its plot will lead directly into Scarlet Witch’s appearance in the Multiverse of Madness. 

WandaVision will reunite Wanda with her dead love interest Vision, both of whom are/were members of the Avengers, but unlike the usual Marvel superhero storyline, the show will have a wacky feel. Half of the the show will take place in a sitcom-like home similar to The Dick Van Dyke Show and the other half will feel like an MCU epic adventure, according to the showrunners at last month’s Disney D23 Expo.

While there aren’t any details yet about the plot of the Doctor Strange sequel or exactly how Wanda will fit in, that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating. We now know about the idea of infinite parallel universes within in the MCU, there’s a good chance Wanda could end up as a threat to Doctor Strange.

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Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) in Avengers: Infinity War. 

Marvel Studios

“Wanda will discover a reality where Vision lived and Doctor Strange died but the Avengers still beat Thanos,” Reddit user drkcty posted on Sept. 1. “She’ll blame Vision’s death on the Master of the Mystic Arts, and go insane which will bridge the realities and cause a rift which will leak into the Prime timeline (MCU).”

If Wanda has gone crazy from grief, that might explain why she will be living in a weird sitcom-like existence in a parallel universe with the very-much-alive Vision in WandaVision.

When will the movie be released in theaters?

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently set to open in theaters worldwide on May 7, 2021. 

Meet the cast

This article was originally published on Sept. 5, and will be updated as news rolls in.