For the most part, Marvel Cinematic Universe sequels tend to be titled as Superhero Name: Insert Subtitle Here, so Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness already stands out from the crowd in name alone.
The moniker also conjures up all sorts of wild and crazy imagery, which the blockbuster comic book adaptation looks to be delivering based on the first full-length trailer that sent the internet into a state of frenzy when it debuted during the Super Bowl.
Based on everything we know about Benedict Cumberbatch’s second solo movie, you’d have thought Multiverse of Madness would be fairly self-explanatory. However, producer Richie Palmer dived a little deeper into the meaning behind the nomenclature in the most recent edition of D23.
“We honor each definition of the word ‘madness’ in this movie. For example, it’s not just the craziness of what an alternate universe might look like, feel like, or sound like. When you see that there are infinite versions of yourself across infinite universes and you’re a different person in them different facets of you rise to the top. Maybe Stephen meets a few of these guys and wonders, “Oh, am I capable of what that person’s capable of? Are they capable of what I’m capable of?”
And that can be maddening. Seeing other versions of yourself make decisions that you would not make can, for better or worse, be maddening- whether that’s for Doctor Strange, for Wanda, or for any of our characters… Sometimes the scariest monsters are the ones that dwell within us. And with the Multiverse, maybe some versions of us are more monstrous than others.”
That makes it sound as though Multiverse of Madness doesn’t necessarily apply to Stephen Strange alone, which is an understandable approach when Scarlet Witch, America Chavez, Christine Palmer, and Baron Mordo are all along for the ride, never mind the sheer volume of variants that may or may not be appearing.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives a full five and a half years after Scott Derrickson’s opening chapter, and the hype levels are building towards a crescendo as the May 6 release date inches closer, but we’re confident the reality-warping epic will live up to expectations.