Movies
Published May 6, 2022

Benedict Cumberbatch on Doctor Strange Learning to Relinquish Control and Not 'Hold the Knife'

The door to the Multiverse is now open! See 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,' now in theaters!

Benedict Cumberbatch

The door to the Multiverse is now officially open 🌀

Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is officially out in the world. 

With that, titular star Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Dr. Stephen Strange / Doctor Strange, has been reflecting on Strange's journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange (2006), to Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), and most recently in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), and what it means to play the "elder statesman." 

At a press conference for the film earlier this week, speaking on the shift in his character at the start of the film, Cumberbatch remarked, "He’s quite a maverick; he’s quite an outsider. He doesn’t immediately strike you as a leader despite his prominence in the MCU at this moment. And that's what makes him really interesting and, conflicted, I think as a hero."

"As [director] Sam [Raimi] alluded to — it’s the humanity that keeps people coming back for more, and I think we see in this film an iteration of somebody who we’ve seen be very omnipotent, very creative and sort of omnipresent,” continued Cumberbatch.

During the press conference, director Sam Raimi expressed, "The most important thing is having great actors, like these two," referencing Cumberbatch and lead actress Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch. "And them knowing that the most important thing they can do is within themselves. That's how people connect to our Super Heroes."

“We haven’t really understood what the cost of that is," commented Cumberbatch. "

What it is that’s fueling, both him as a person, but also within this mysterious realm of sorcery and magic? [Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness] is about examining that and finding his flaws, his faults, his humanity, as well as his strengths, and renewing our understanding of him and deepening our understanding of him. As far as being a leader goes, I would say [it's] more of a self-examination in the way Sam described, of holding up a mirror to him through this incredible narrative structure we have of a Multiverse of other selves, than it is examining what his potential is to lead.”

How much has he changed from the arrogant Strange presented in the first Doctor Strange film? “I will say this: he’s far better at being a collaborator, at working with others, at realizing he can’t always be the one to hold the knife and control all himself,” stated Cumberbatch. “Those are pretty leader-like qualities, I’d say. But, he’s evolving; there’s that.”

Acknowledging Strange's mistake in Spider-Man: No Way Home in helping Peter Parker / Spider-Man by using magic, Cumberbatch joked, "That was him trying to be an adult, trying to be a guardian I guess, and getting it very wrong to be honest. You know, there was some poor parenting in that film.” 

How does Doctor Strange fare with the arrival of Multiversal travel America Chavez? You'll have to head to the theater and find out!

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stühlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. The film is directed by Sam Raimi, and Kevin Feige is the producer. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Eric Hauserman Carroll and Jamie Christopher serve as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Michael Waldron.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is NOW in theaters. Tickets now available!

Make sure to follow @DrStrange on Twitter and @DoctorStrangeOfficial on Instagram, and like "Doctor Strange" on Facebook for all the latest news and updates.

Related

Gear

Shop Marvel Must Haves: Enter the Multiverse with Doctor Strange

Shop Strange, Wanda, Wong, and more!

Comics

Who Are the Illuminati?

Go behind the curtain on the secret team that has guided, and started, key events in the Marvel Universe!

Comics

Marvel Comics and Creators Nominated for 2022 Eisner Awards

'Immortal Hulk,' 'Strange Academy,' 'It's Jeff' and more—look through the full list of Marvel's Eisner nods!

Ask Marvel

Is the Multiverse Real?! | Ask Marvel

Stars from Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness answer your questions on Ask Marvel!