*Spoilers: Theis article refers to key plot points in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness**
Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness is one of the most surprising movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It’s proved divisive among fans, but a movie that draws on multiple references, piles in theories, dovetails with a Disney Plus series, and features an astonishing number of cameos, is likely to do that.
The first Doctor Strange movie touched on the horror aspects of its story, but it wasn’t the much hinted at MCU-does-horror entry some predicted. Suggestions that Multiverse of Madness is directors Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 4 aren’t far off the mark. Countless horror references drag its characters through love, life, and death across the multiverse. Love it or hate it, the Sorcerer’s second headlining film keeps Doctor Strange at the heart of the Marvel universe and sets up some epic ideas for a sequel.
The question is, what now for the one-time Sorcerer Supreme?
Will there be a Doctor Strange 3?
Marvel Studios has yet to confirm a third Doctor Strange movie or any further appearances of the Master of the Mystic Arts in the MCU. But the events and mid-credit sequence of Multiverse of Madness make it clear that there are plenty of stories left for the MCU’s wizard-in-chief.
Since arriving in the MCU in 2016, Strange has stacked up appearances in an impressive six movies. It’s impossible to imagine the Multiverse without him.
When will Doctor Strange 3 be released?
While we don’t have official confirmation for a sequel, we can guess when the former Sorcerer Supreme will reappear. The Sorcerer’s origin story formed an early part of Phase Three, the most significant and final chapter in the Infinity Saga. Since then, half the universe has been lost, returned, and Thanos defeated.
Doctor Strange 2 has arrived in what’s thought to be the middle of Phase Four, a chapter in the MCU everyone expects to close with the full arrival of the Fantastic Four. Doctor Strange 3 will likely fall into Phase Five, with a release in 2025 or 2026.
Who could be in the cast of Doctor Strange 3?
The MCU likes to put its characters through their paces, dragging them on journeys packed with new friends and losses. Characters who’ve earned trilogies have typically pulled a core crew of allies, enemies, and some in-between acquaintances with them. While the fate of the Scarlet Witch was uncertain, any sequel will likely step away from Wanda’s story, especially on the villainous side. Still, we can expect several of the characters featured in Doctor Strange 2 to return for a third outing.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange
There has to be a Stephen Strange or many Stephen Stranges. After meeting multiple variants of the sorcerer throughout the Multiverse, we can expect the man to be further dissected, especially following his contact with the Darkhold.
Strange is one of the most fascinating heroes in the MCU. The movies have concentrated on the inevitable darkness that goes hand in hand with the sorcerer’s immense powers and glib one-liners. You won’t see many heroes die more than Stephen Strange. It’s a good thing a bunch of allies and enemies are there to keep him on the straight and narrow.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo
It was great to hear Mordo confirm his first name in Multiverse of Madness, but that’s not our Mordo. While the variant of Earth-838 is undoubtedly smarting after the Illuminati’s collapse, the Mordo of Earth-616 is missing in action. He hasn’t been seen since the chilling post-credit scene in Doctor Strange. That short snippet of the former ally was one of the MCU’s most effective set-ups.
Strange’s chat to America Chavez in Multiverse of Madness suggests there have been some off-screen scrapes between the two, but it’s about time those made it to movie theaters.
If the forces of chaos are set to drag Strange into the Dark Dimension, Mordo’s self-declared champion of order could be the secondary villain or unlikely ally the film requires.
Benedict Wong as Wong
It’s hard to think of a Doctor Strange movie without Wong, who’s become far more than a foil for Strange’s flippant mysticism. He may overreact and occasionally panic, but he keeps Strange on the straight and narrow whether he’s a librarian or Sorcerer Supreme.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings demonstrated Wong’s importance to the Avengers and MCU. He was reforming old villain Abomination and on the lookout for new danger too. After Strange’s dismissal of his teammates in Multiverse of Madness, Wong’s role in confronting universal threats with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes could be more important than ever.
Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez
Unique to the Multiverse, America is training in Kamar-Taj and actively enjoying a stable life in a universe where you have to pay for food. It’s likely that the hero, who goes by Miss America in the comics, will return as part of the crew, especially with the promise of dimensional travel. She has enormous crossover potential with the Avengers too.
Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer
While Multiverse of Madness seemed to conclude the story of Strange’s love interest Christine Palmer (in at least two universes), she may reappear. Her presence has chiefly demonstrated the consequences of Strange’s choices throughout the multiverse, so it would be nice if the MCU handed her something more. After all, Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster is upgrading in Thor: Love and Thunder. At least we now know that Clea, a character long overdue to this universe, isn’t a variant of Christine but a rival of sorts.
Charlize Theron as Clea
It is incredible it’s taken two films for Clea to appear – or as she’s been known in the comics, Clea Strange. The Sorceress was introduced to the comics in 1964 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, as part of Strange’s first encounter with Dormammu. We’ve already seen Strange beat that Lord of Chaos with a crafty deal, but the threat remains. Clea may come from the Dark Dimension in the comics, but she’s a student of Strange’s, just as he was once instructed by the Old One. As his one-time prized pupil, she’s a potential Sorcerer Supreme…
Her call to action at the movie’s end, introducing an incursion that suggests some plot strands from the comic arc Secret Wars, won’t be answered quickly. But she’ll surely take a central role in the sequel.
Other potential villains
In addition, the arrival of Clea could indicate a host of comic book characters making their way into the sequel. Characters who could be taking on the Master of Mysticism include:
- Nightmare — the Fear Lord ruler of the Dream Dimension.
- D’Spayre — the dimension-jumping fear-spreader who’s already appeared in MCU TV show Cloak and Dagger.
- Umar — a leading comic book villain, the twin sister of Dormammu, and — can you hear the warning alarms — mother to Clea.
- Dormammu — the interdimensional destroyer of worlds who, despite being tricked by Strange in the first film, could be tempted back for a family reunion.
- Kang the Conquerer — whose appearance as a relatively soft variant in Loki belies his role as the new big bad of the MCU, especially when there’s a multiversal incursion.
Kang is expected to take his first big step into a small universe nearer the end of Phase Four in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023). Although the confirmed future of the MCU is notably short of mystical threats at the moment, Doctor Stange may be donning the Cloak of Levitation sooner than we think.