Rachel McAdams is making her return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has been confirmed that the actress will be back as part of the ensemble in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. McAdams previously played Christine Palmer in the first movie centered on the Sorcerer Supreme alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in 2016. Though previous reports indicated McAdams would be sitting this one out, that has since changed.

According to a new report, Rachel McAdams has closed a deal to star in Doctor Strange 2. There is no word yet on how large her role will be but it cements another important returning member of the cast. Benedict Cumberbatch will be suiting up once again as Stephen Strange, with Benedict Wong expected to reprise his role as Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor also expected to return as Mordo. Xochitl Gomez is also aboard as a newcomer in a mystery role. Filming is expected to begin soon, after Cumberbatch finishes filming his role in the upcoming Spider-Man 3, which is already in production. Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, The Evil Dead) is directing the MCU sequel.

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It had previously been reported that Rachel McAdams was not to return in the follow-up. But much has changed since that initial report. At the time, Scott Derrickson, who directed Doctor Strange, was slated to return. This was also before Hollywood had its foundation shook by 2020. Disney has since had to shift around its production schedule quite a bit. That may have freed up McAdams to return. Not only that, but Derrickson departed the project over creative differences, which paved the way for Sam Raimi to take over. It's possible, if not likely, that the script changed quite a bit once Raimi boarded the project. That also could have influenced the return of Christine Palmer, who was one of Strange's most trusted confidants in the first movie.

Plot details for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness largely remain under wraps. Though, as the title suggests, we are going to be digging into the Marvel multiverse. Elizabeth Olsen will also be getting in on the action as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has previously stated that the upcoming live-action series WandaVision, which debuts on Disney+ in January, will directly connect to the events of the sequel. When Scott Derrickson was going to direct, the villain was expected to be Nightmare. For the moment, it remains unclear who the big bad will be in Raimi's version.

This will mark the longest gap in MCU history between solo movie installments, with more than five years between the original and its sequel by the time it arrives. Despite the long wait, Doctor Strange has appeared in several major movies during that time including Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness release date is currently set for a threatrical premiere on March 25, 2022. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.