The Marvel Multiverse just became scarier with an added sense of excitement of fear after the first Doctor Strange movie turned crazy.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will chuck everything you think you know about Marvel flicks out the nearest sling ring portal.
Perhaps not surprising, given that the first Doctor Strange film, released in 2016, marked the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s dramatic left turn into weirdness.
That film introduced us to Stephen Strange, a New York neurosurgeon played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who embarked on a voyage of self-discovery following a career-ending car accident, which culminated in his gaining magical abilities and the opulent title of Sorcerer Supreme.
It grossed $950 million worldwide, thanks to psychedelic, Inception-like computer graphics.
Marvel Studios’ #DoctorStrange in the Multiverse of Madness is the #1 Movie in the WORLD! 🌎
— Doctor Strange (@DrStrange) May 8, 2022
Strange has juggled his surgeon’s ego and almost infinite new talents with variable effectiveness in subsequent MCU installments, including the recent box office smash Spider-Man: No Way Home.
This was exhibited in No Way Home by the good doctor changing the Multiverse, which is the mind-boggling concept that there are endless parallel universes, each containing alternate versions of the people in our world.
For those who arrived late, a Doctor Strange spell opened a portal allowing other Spider-Man villains to come to Earth, which would have been bad news if it hadn’t also allowed the Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield Spider-Men to appear for a fun collaboration with Tom Holland’s present Spidey.
The plot of Multiverse of Madness is shrouded in secrecy, although it’s safe to presume it follows the reality-bending events of No Way Home.
What we do know is that the whole scenario came from the mind of director Sam Raimi, who is widely regarded as the creator of the contemporary superhero picture, having directed the Maguire Spider-Man trilogy as well as the Evil Dead flicks.
Early responses to the global premiere this week described it as “the scariest MCU entry thus far,” highlighting his horror background.
Beyond that, we may safely assume that Doctor Strange’s colleague sorcerer Wong, played by English actor Benedict Wong, will return in the sequel, having been promoted to the role of Sorcerer Supreme and the actor learned of his major advancement in the sorcerer ranks right here in Washington.
On a video conversation with Today, Wong states, “I was in Australia at the time when I took the conference call, in Western Australia actually, in Fremantle, and talked the tale with Sam, it was the very first time I met him.”
“And there he was, this legend,” says the narrator. . . With the Spider-Man trilogy, one of the original OGs of the Marvel Universe. . . It was a tremendous gift that day because he was letting me know that I was soon to become the Sorcerer Supreme.”
Thankfully, after spending 18 months practically inventing the technology, the filmmaker chose to use what were then innovative CGI effects.
“The major technological difference between then and now is that I don’t have to make any of the tools,” Raimi explains.
“Now there are protocols in place, which Marvel has nailed, that allow a director to create their version of the story, and whatever they can envision is conceivable.”
But just because you can envision something doesn’t mean you should, which Raimi and screenwriter Michael Waldron, who joined hot from penning the successful Disney Plus series Loki, had to constantly balance.
On the subject of Disney Plus, the Doctor Strange sequel has ties to other Marvel shows on the platform, like WandaVision and maybe the animated What if. . .?
It’s easy to believe the MCU is becoming more complicated than the Multiverse.
“I think the key is to make sure the viewer never gets the impression that what they’re seeing is knowledge,” Waldron tells Today.
“If they just seem to be consuming information, they might as well be reading a Wikipedia page.”
“So, as the scale expands outward, which is thrilling, you have to hold on to the emotional core of these individuals more than ever, and as long as the human tales stay grounded and accessible, I believe we can go as crazy as our imaginations will allow us to.”
With Raimi in charge, you can expect Multiverse of Madness to be as bizarre as any Marvel film has ever been.