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Marvel Studios should really consider changing the title of its Doctor Strange sequel to "Cameos of Madness" after the release of the film's official trailer, which dropped during the Super Bowl Sunday evening.
The brand-new footage confirms the appearance of deep-cut characters like Rintrah (a magical, minotaur-like being from another dimension); hints at a major conflict between Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Witch); and...hold on there just a hot second there — is that the voice of Sir Patrick Stewart at the 1:20-mark when Stephen is brought before a TVA-esque tribunal?! That reverse shot definitely looks a lot like the bald head of Professor Charles Xavier. Are we about to get a multiversal Illuminati in the MCU? This is not a drill, people!!!
The prevailing rumor of the day is that those extra six weeks of production allowed Marvel Studios to bag a slew of big-name actors for mind-blowing guest appearances you can only get from a movie about infinite realities stacked on top of each other. Depending on which rumor you read, Multiverse of Madness could feature cameos from Tom Hiddleston as variant Loki from the Disney+ show; OG X-Men actors like Stewart and Hugh Jackman; Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool; a two-punch turn from Chris Evans as Steven Rogers and Johnny Storm; and even Tom Cruise as a variant of Tony Stark/Iron Man (since he was once interested in the role). Yeah, there are a lot of rumors out there and nothing is off the table right now.
Watch the new trailer below:
Picking up after the reality-breaking mayhem of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the titular Master of the Mystic Arts finds himself on an epic journey across several different planes of existence when Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) shows up punish the sorcerer for his "desecration of reality." A big question that still needs to be answered is how anyone remembers what happened when Strange specifically cast a memory erasure spell in order to make the world forget that Peter Parker and Spider-Man are the same person. But hey, when you're dealing with magic, anything — and everything — is possible.
And Mordo's not the only one out for blood. Based on the first teaser trailer attached to theatrical screenings of No Way Home, Stephen must also confront an evil version of himself. It's a situation that's going to require all hands on deck, which means seeking out Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, fresh off her little hostage crisis in Westview. It sounds as though she discussed the concept of the multiverse with the late Vision (Paul Bettany), and isn't too pleased about being branded a villain for breaking the rules when Strange is heralded as a hero for doing the same exact thing.
Ok, so maybe Wanda isn't a friend after all. Who can Strange rely on? His core team of allies is comprised of Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong), America Chavez/Miss America (Xochitl Gomez), and his old hospital pals: Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) and Nicodemus West (Michael Stuhlbarg).
Opening in theaters this May, Multiverse of Madness was helmed by Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, who boarded the highly-anticipated follow-up after Scott Derrickson decided to part ways with the project over creative differences. Principal photography kicked off in late 2020 and wrapped in the spring of last year. That was followed by six weeks of reshoots in late 2021. While that might sound like a major red flag, Cumberbatch assured fans that the additional filming was not an indicator of studio meddling, but a way "to realize the full potential of the film — bits we want to do better, but also bits that were just impossible to do on the day because logistics, COVID, etc."
Chatting with SYFY WIRE last summer, screenwriter Michael Waldron (who helped bust the multiverse wide open in his Loki series) teased the movie as "a thriller ride with heart like you'd expect from a Sam Raimi superhero movie." He continued: Sam’s a genius and the way he moves the camera is really exciting and he’s not afraid to take chances. I think it’s gonna be a really cool experience for everybody."
Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Eric Hauserman Carroll, and Jamie Christopher serve as executive producers. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, is a producer.
“I think we’re done, but we just cut everything," Raimi said in January. "We’re just starting to test the picture and we’ll find out if there’s anything that’s got to be picked up. If something’s unclear or another improvement I can make in this short amount of time left, I’ll do it. One thing I know about the Marvel team is they won’t stop. They’ll keep pushing it until it’s as close to being great as it could."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness portals into theaters everywhere Friday, May 6.