Marvel Studios brought the goods at San Diego Comic-Con this year by revealing their entire Phase 4 movie and TV slate. That slate includes Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the long-awaited sequel to 2016's Doctor Strange. And, according to director Scott Derrickson, this is going to be the first horror movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So get ready for things to get trippy and scary.
Scott Derrickson is returning to helm the sequel and he was brought out on stage by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige during the studio's Hall H presentation at SDCC. The studio, at this stage, wasn't ready to reveal much, but they were happy to set a certain expectation. Derrickson, who has previously directed horror movies such as Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, explained that Doctor Strange 2 will lean into "the gothic, the horror." Speaking a bit further, though not in great detail, Derrickson doubled down, saying this shortly after the news was dropped like a bomb at Comic-Con.
"We're going to make the first scary MCU film"
This is a pretty fascinating development. Marvel has experimented with various genres in their many solo franchises before. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a heist movie. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a coming-of-age John Hughes-esque high school movie. But the studio has never gone full-blown horror. Yet, we're heading into phase 4 of the MCU and part of what has helped this universe become so successful is its willingness to evolve, experiment and change. To further illustrate the point that the studio is ready to dive head-first into the horror genre, the panel concluded with the announcement of a Blade reboot that will star two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali.
As far as specific details go, Benedict Cumberbatch is returning as Stephen Strange. It's expected that Benedict Wong will reprise his role as Wong, as will Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo. The surprise came when it was revealed that Elizabeth Olsen will be joining in on the Multiverse madness, reprising her role as Scarlet Witch. It was also confirmed that Nightmare will be the main villain. This had been previously indicated by writer C. Robert Cargill, who explained last year that he and Scott Derrickson intended to use Nightmare, should they get the chance to make a sequel.
Other Phase 4 movie reveals included Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Black Widow and Thor: Love and Thunder. Kevin Feige also confirmed other projects that are in development, but not quite as far along, such as Captain Marvel 2, Black Panther 2, and reboots of the Fantastic Four and X-Men On the TV side, Disney+ shows such as The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye and What If? were also confirmed. The WandaVision series, which will also center on Scarlet Witch, is said to lead her to "Doctor Strange's doorstep." Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to arrive in theaters on May 7, 2021. This news was previously reported by Variety.