The sequel to Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange (2016) is arguably the most important upcoming movie which will open up new frontiers to explore. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be directed by Sam Raimi, as Derrickson left Marvel Studios due to creative differences. Originally planned to release on May 7, 2021, the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has pushed the release date to March 25, 2022.
Rachel McAdams was set to reprise her role as Christine Palmer in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Unfortunately, she won’t be returning to the sequel. Instead, Chiwetel Ejiofor shall be returning as Karl Mordo to continue his descent into the darker side. Elizabeth Olsen has also confirmed to reprise her role as Scarlet Witch in the sequel, which will also be tied to both WandaVision and Loki TV series on Disney+.
As it has been confirmed that Scarlet Witch’s latent powers were triggered in the events of Avengers: Infinity War, we might be witnessing some reality-warping mumbo-jumbo soon enough on the big screen. Also, as the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange would be exploring the multiverse and open up alternate and more exciting storylines to expand. As Kevin Feige has confirmed that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is going to have a horror tone, the future looks dark and exciting. But what movies can Doctor Strange 2 set-up in the MCU? Let’s find out!
When Mahershala Ali won the Oscar for the second time as a supporting actor for his role in Green Book (2018), Marvel Studios immediately signed him to play the vampire-killer Blade in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Prior to his official casting, Mahershala Ali had pitched his plans to reboot the series to Kevin Feige.
A dark and violent intellectual property, Blade doesn’t exactly fit the current line-up of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If introducing a violent vampire-killer wasn’t a tough task, introducing vampires into the continuity poses another major challenge. But fortunately, Doctor Strange 2 might solve this issue in two ways.
In case the MCU wishes to bring vampires into the continuity, using the Multiverse is not a bad idea. In Doctor Strange, we caught glimpses of various dimensions when Stephen Strange’s astral projection was taken for a ride by the Ancient One. One of those many dimensions can be a dark dimension where vampires and other creatures of the night exist. As Scarlet Witch rips apart the timelines, a hole in the space-time continuum might be an entrance for the vampires, and Blade.
Another way the MCU can introduce vampires is by exploring the Book of Cagliostro which was used by Kaecilius to take Earth to Dormammu. As the mystical book is taken straight from the comics, it was written by Count Alessandro Cagliostro. Count Cagliostro got his mystic arts knowledge from an ancient book called the Darkhold which was written by Chthon.
Interestingly, Chthon was the first black magician of Earth who is a billion years old. As Scarlet Witch is confirmed to be in the movie, she might be the connection between Chthon and the introduction of vampires to the MCU. In the comics, Scarlet Witch was chosen by Chthon to be his vessel, since she was born in a place rich with magical energy. And with vampires, the MCU can finally introduce Blade to team up with Doctor Strange and fight bloodsuckers.
The Disney-Fox deal brought the mutants back to their original home. But now, introducing them into the main continuity is a major issue. Though the presence of mutants was teased in a deleted scene of Iron Man, how exactly will the MCU introduce them now?
Once again, Doctor Strange might stumble upon a universe where mutants exist and find a way to bring them to the main continuity. The presence of Scarlet Witch might find another way to introduce our mutant friends: retconning. Despite showing Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as laboratory experiments in Avengers: Age of Ultron, both of them are mutants in the comics. Furthermore, they are the children of Magneto. With WandaVision linked to Doctor Strange 2, it would be interesting to see which way MCU would be adapting to bring the mutants on the big screen.
The Disney-Fox deal did not just bring the mutants back home. After years of waiting, the explorers are back too to continue their adventures. But interestingly, the Fantastic Four might be introduced through their most dangerous nemesis; Doctor Victor Von Doom.
In the comics, Doctor Doom is one of the smartest characters and the arch-nemesis of Mister Fantastic. Using both science and magic, Doctor Doom is considered to be one of the most dangerous villains in the Marvel Universe. The existence of Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange 2 might pave a way for Doctor Doom to enter the scene.
In House of M storyline, Doctor Doom was responsible for Scarlet Witch losing a grasp on her powers and altering reality. The MCU might take the same route to introduce Doctor Doom, and eventually, the Fantastic Four.
Black Panther 2
Ryan Coogler has already started working on the sequel to Black Panther (2018). So, how exactly does Doctor Strange 2 set up the sequel? The answer once again might lie in the movie’s antagonist.
For years now, the MCU has been trying to feature a prominent Marvel character on the big screen. With Doctor Strange 2, we might finally see the character making his debut. Yes, the King of Atlantis, Namor the Submariner.
In Avengers: Endgame, Okoye had hinted the existence of Atlantis in a scene. It’s been speculated that Namor might be the main antagonist in the upcoming Black Panther 2. Though Namor is not a sorcerer, he is connected to Doctor Strange in two ways.
In the comics, Atlantis houses a powerful magical artifact called the Serpent Crown. As Chiwetel Ejiofor would be reprising his role as Mordo, there are chances that he might visit Atlantis to retrieve this magical artifact in his quest to consolidate his magical prowess. Another way which connects Doctor Strange with Namor might have to do something with a secret society, which brings us to…
The secret society of super-geniuses, Illuminati was actually teased back in Iron Man 2. But with Tony Stark gone, the onus now lies on Doctor Strange to create this secret society.
As Illuminati was founded by Iron Man in the comics, its members were Doctor Strange, Charles Xavier, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, and Namor. If Doctor Strange 2 can successfully introduce the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Namor, an Illuminati movie might be releasing soon enough.
A very long shot, but in case the MCU really considers making Doctor Strange 2 as a horror movie, it’s only fair to put enough easter eggs to pave the way for Midnight Sons.
Consisting of Doctor Strange, Morbius, The Punisher, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Blade, Ghost Rider(s), and other diabolical characters, the Midnight Sons fight supernatural and paranormal threats. The origins of the Midnight Sons are also connected to the Darkhold, which can sow some seeds for a future movie.