The Daunting Task of ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ as the Direct Sequel to Multiple Marvel Properties
Director Sam Raimi and the creative team dish on their latest balancing act.
The start of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe presented itself with unique challenges and opportunities when Michael Waldron, writer of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Season 1 of Marvel Studios’ Loki “blew the lid off” of the Multiverse.
With the Sacred Timeline merging every which way, Waldron and director Sam Raimi took on the supreme task of balancing the Multiverse.
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, our master of the mystic arts Doctor Strange traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse, which sees him crossing paths with the Sorcerer Supreme Wong, Wanda Maximoff, the love of his life Christine Palmer, and plenty others.
Christine Palmer was last seen in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange. She was instrumental in saving the life of her boyfriend and colleague, Dr. Stephen Strange; however, Strange’s hands suffered severe nerve damage, preventing him from returning to his work as an acclaimed neurosurgeon. Unable to tolerate his anger and frustration, they parted ways personally and professionally. After some time had passed, she would save Strange’s life once more following a fatal injury.
Wanda Maximoff was last seen in Marvel Studios’ WandaVision. Still coping with the loss of her love Vision and the Thanos threat, Wanda went to Westview, New Jersey, to a plot of land where she and Vis had intended to spend their lives together. In her grief, Wanda trapped all of Westview in a fictionalized, idealized version of the life she would spend with her husband Vision and their twin boys Billy and Tommy. Upon realizing what she had been subconsciously doing, Wanda painfully had to say goodbye to Vision one more time as well as her children. At the end of the series, Wanda sought to understand her new powers with the newly acquired Darkhold, which held a chapter on her destiny as the Scarlet Witch. While studying from the book of dark magic and evolving her skill sets, she heard the voices of her children calling out for her in the astral plane.
Whereas, Doctor Strange and Wong were last seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which saw Peter Parker approaching the two masters of the mystic arts for help after Spider-Man was unmasked on the world stage and his identity revealed.
This all brings us to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness!
At the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness World Premiere Red Carpet, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige stated, “This is absolutely a sequel to the first Doctor Strange, but also to Infinity War and Endgame, also to WandaVision. They really just let us have an embarrassment of riches, like such an amazing cast and amazing stories — and then Sam Raimi tying it all together.”
Speaking to Marvel.com, film director Sam Raimi shared, “It’s a great Marvel comic book tradition to have a story with Doctor Strange and Wanda Maximoff and another character, and then have a Marvel team-up where the individual threads come together into a much bigger issue. And by issue, I mean a comic book issue, and that’s what happened here.”
“Marvel tells so many stories simultaneously; this is one of the junctures where they all come together,” continued Raimi. “It was very exciting because I really liked what Elizabeth Olsen had done with Wanda and the Scarlet Witch, and I love what Benedict Cumberbatch had done with Doctor Strange, and to see them come together on-screen was really cool. They bring their own dynamics, so they clash and the meeting between them is a lot of fun to watch.”
As for writer Michael Waldron, on the balancing act, he admitted to Marvel.com, “It wasn’t easy!”
“We tried to, first and foremost, just say, ‘OK, what is the Doctor Strange story that we want to tell?’ We landed on what felt like the most fulfilling arc for Stephen Strange for us,” explained Waldron. “Then, we went back to all those other things and said, ‘Now are there opportunities within the way these projects are proceeding to boost our story?’ WandaVision, especially with Wanda, it’s almost a direct sequel.”
To see how the brilliant cast and creative team weaved all the different MCU, head to the theaters to see Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness!
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!
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