Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the sequel to Doctor Strange (2016) and the 28th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Jade Bartlett and Michael Waldron, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Xochitl Gomez. In the film, Strange unleashes an unspeakable evil as he faces a friend-turned-enemy.
Doctor Strange director and co-writer Scott Derrickson had plans for a sequel by October 2016. He signed to return as director in December 2018, when Cumberbatch was confirmed to return. The film's title was announced in July 2019 along with Olsen's involvement, while Bartlett was hired to write the film that October. Derrickson stepped down as director in January 2020, citing creative differences. The next month, Waldron joined the project, and Raimi took over as director by April 2020. Filming began in November 2020 in London but was put on hold in January 2021 due to a COVID-19 surge in the United Kingdom. Production resumed by March 2021 and concluded in mid-April in Somerset. Shooting also occurred in Surrey.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had been scheduled to be released in the United States on March 25, 2022, as part of Phase Four of the MCU. On October 18, 2021, Marvel announced a new release date of May 6, 2022 to accommodate changes in production on several movies.
In a space between universes, Defender Stephen Strange and America Chavez are seen being chased by a fearsome demon. They are out to find the Book of Vishanti, a legendary artifact capable of defeating any enemy. The demon stops them from acquiring the book as Defender Strange tries to take away America's teleporting abilities in order to stop the demon from taking it. He fails and is killed by the demon, but Chavez manages to open a portal to Earth 616 and escape.
On Earth 616, Doctor Stephen Strange is seen preparing for Christine Palmer's (his former partner) wedding. As he arrives in the church, he is confronted by his former colleague, Doctor Nicodemus West, who asks him if there were any other ways to beat Thanos two years before. Strange doesn't answer as the ceremony begins. After it, he has a little conversation with Christine, but it doesn't last long, since some chaos breaks out a few blocks away. Stephen immediately springs into action, and notices America Chavez chased by another demon - Gargantos. Both him and his colleague superior - Sorcerer Supreme Wong - are initially unable to hold off Gargantos, but Strange finally kills him with the help of an otherworldy creature. Instead of thankfulness, America steals Stephen's ring and tries to run away, but both sorcerers find her immediately and confront her about her presence. She explains that she's from another universe, and has the ability to open portals to other universes, but cannot control it yet. When asked by Strange to prove all of it, she shows him the corpse of his defender variant, which got sucked up in the portal with her.
Strange and Wong manage to determine the demons were controlled by some kind of runes, a magical feature exclusive to witchcraft. Stephen finds Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, in an apple orchard, and approaches her for help. At first she seems to be willing to help, but after she unintentionally reveals too much, Strange figures out she was the one responsible for the kidnapping attemps. It is also revealed that Wanda has been using Darkhold, the Book of the Damned, which has had a negative influence on her psyche. Maximoff states her case clear: She needs America's travelling powers to find her sons, Billy and Tommy, somewhere in the multiverse, so either the sorcerers will hand Chavez over to her, or she'll come for her in person. Strange declines and starts preparing the headquarters of the sorcerers - Kamar-Taj - for battle. Soon, Scarlet Witch arrives and crushes any resistance on her way to Chavez. As she's about to take her power and kill her, America triggers yet another portal, which Stephen uses as a means of escape. Together, they crash through a number of universes before they finally stop at Earth 838.
America, who seems to know this particular universe well, shows Stephen around. At one point, she steals some pizza balls, and she is told by the seller to pay for them. However, when he gets too rude, Strange puts him under a spell, making him punch himself for an indefinite amount of time. They soon encounter a variant of Baron Karl Mordo, Stephen's former friend and present adversary on Earth 616. They are very surprised to see his very friendly attitude, as he takes them to his Sanctum and tells them about an alternate way of traversing the multiverse: dreamwalking, which boils down to possessing one's variant in an alternate universe. As Mordo is talking, Wanda is seen performing dreamwalking and taking control over her 838 variant. She is able to reunite with her sons, but in the meanwhile, on Earth 616, one of the surviving sorcerers destroys the Darkhold, for which she pays with her life. Seething with hatred, Maximoff forces Wong to reveal any possible methods of dreamwalking under the threat of killing four of his surviving fellow sorcerers. Wong tells her that this Darkhold was merely a copy, and the real one lies in the heart of Mount Wundagore. When they arrive there, Wong reveals that the book was originally written by a very powerful and old demon named Cthon, while Wanda recognizes that the mountain and the demons hiding here are in fact destined to serve her. When Wong tries to reason with her and make her abandon her murderous intentions, she becomes enraged to the point of throwing him off the mountain.
Mordo reveals his true colors, drugging Strange and America with some kind of substance in the tea he served them. They both wake up in cells in a building. Stephen finds out he's wearing power-nullifying cuffs which prevent him from using his magic. He encounters a variant of Christine Palmer, who explains that she's one of the chief scientists of this Earth and she works with the Iluminati, a team of superheroes. Mordo shows up and calls Stephen for trial. During it, Strange meets the whole team consiting of Blackagar Boltagon, Peggy Carter, Maria Rambeau, Reed Richards, Charles Xavier and Mordo. They explain that they won't to make sure Stephen isn't a threat, as their Doctor Strange read this universe's Darkhold and became so corrupt he willingly gave up his life. Before they can do a proper voting, Wanda shows up as her 838 variant, determined to finally get America. The Iluminati go to stop her, leaving Mordo as Strange's guard. Stephen deduces Mordo was the one responsible for his variant's corruption and downfall, to which the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth 838 responds with a killing attempt. Through his wits and quick thinking, Stephen depowers his opponent with his cuffs and leaves him. Meanwhile, Maximoff brutally murders Boltagon, Richards, Carter and Rambeau, then starts walking to Chavez's cell. Xavier intervenes and tries to banish 616 Wanda from 838's mind, but fails and is murdered as well. Christine gets America out of her cell and they meet up with Stephen in one of the building's hallways. Maximoff steadily follows them, blasting through every possible obstacle, until Strange breaks a waterway above them and slows her down. They find the Book of Vishanti in the space between universes, but Scarlet Witch appears, destroys it and takes Chavez, while sending her companions through a random portal.
To Strange's and Palmer's horror, they end up in a universe destroyed by an incursion - a phenomenon described by the Illuminati as a collision of two universes, which now occupy the same space at the same time. As the two traverse the crashed New Yorks, they find a dark castle at the cities' outskirts. Strange enters the building alone, telling Palmer to stay outside. He finds a dark doppelganger of his in one of the rooms. Sinister Strange explains he caused the incursion by dreamwalking in order to find a world where him and Christine are happy together. He refuses to give this universe's Darkhold to Doctor Strange, which causes a musical note fight between the two, where Doctor Strange emerges victorious, killing Sinister Strange via throwing him out of the window and impaling him with a rod. He then uses the Darkhold to possess his Defender variant's corpse and tries to stop Maximoff's ritual on Mount Wundagore. He is joined by Wong, who survived the fall. Together, they trap Wanda under a wall of damned spirits from the Darkholds and free Chavez. When the witch breaks free, Stephen encourages America to use her own strength. She rises up and attacks Maximoff. However, despite her efforts, she is unable to overcome her and instead takes her to the 838 universe. When Billy and Tommy from that universe see 616 Wanda, they respond with fear and anger, defending their real mother, 838 Wanda. The Scarlet Witch finally sees the extent of her crimes and breaks down. Her variant assures her that Billy and Tommy will always be loved. Then the portal closes.
Stephen tells America to get Wong and teleport to Kamar-Taj. He then stays with Maximoff, who brings down Cthon's temple on her, comitting suicide and destroying every Darkhold in the Multiverse. Strange's mind returns to his real body in the incursion universe. He shares a final moment with Christine before they part ways and return to their respective universes.
America Chavez joins the order of the Masters of the Mystic Arts as the temple of Kamar-Taj is being slowly rebuilt. On his way to a shop, Strange develops a third eye - a side effect of the Darkhold.
In the mid credits scene, Stephen is visited by a sorceress named Clea. She informs him his dreamwalking has caused an incursion which has to be fixed. He concurs. Together, they jump into the Dark Dimension.
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, "Sinister Strange", "Defender Strange", "zombie Strange", variant of Strange and "Supreme Strange"
- Elizabeth Olsen as multiple versions of Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as multiple versions of Karl Mordo
- Benedict Wong as multiple versions Wong
- Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Nicodemus West
- Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer
- Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier/Professor X
- Topo Wresniwiro as Hamir
- Mark Anthony Brighton as Daniel Drumm
- Adam Hugill as Rintrah
- Yenifer Molina as Garganto
- Shaila Atim as Sara
- Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter/Captain Carter (cameo)
- Idina Menzel as Elsa (voice)
- Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau/Captain Marvel (cameo)
- John Krasinski as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic (cameo)
- Anson Mount as Blackagar "Black Bolt" Boltagon (cameo)
- Charlize Theron as Clea (comeo)
- Julian Hilliard as Billy Maximoff
- Jett Klyne as Tommy Maximoff
- "Marvel Movie Shifts: ‘Doctor Strange 2’ To Kick Off Summer 2022, ‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ Heads To July & More", Deadline, October 18, 2021.