Disney did a lot of reshuffling with its release calendar recently. Specifically, all of the Marvel Studios Phase 4 movies have been pushed back, including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The highly-anticipated sequel, which was officially announced last summer, has been delayed a full six months. Though, given the situation at hand right now in Hollywood, this doesn't come as much of a surprise.
Doctor Strange 2 will now hit theaters on November 5, 2021. It had previously been dated for May 7, 2021. That date now belongs to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This came about, in part, as a result of Black Widow being delayed. Scarlett Johansson's first solo movie in the MCU was supposed to arrive in May, but had to be pushed back, given that the vast majority of movie theaters around the world are closed right now. Black Widow was bumped to November, where Eternals was slotted, and the domino effect went from there.
Little is known about the sequel currently. Scott Derrickson, who directed the first Doctor Strange, had been set to return. However, he parted ways with the project over creative differences several months back. Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, The Evil Dead) was reported to be in negotiations to take over the director's chair, but no confirmation on that front has been provided yet. The movie had been scheduled to shoot this summer. It's quite possible production would be delayed as well, which might affect things. Interestingly, with the release date shift, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will now open almost exactly five years after its predecessor, which makes it the longest gap ever in the MCU for a solo sequel.
Benedict Cumberbatch will return as Steven Strange, with Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejifor also expected to return as Wong and Mordo, respectively. Rachel McAdams, last we heard, will not be coming back as Christine Palmer. Back when Scott Derrickson was supposed to direct, it was expected that Nightmare would be the main villain. It's unclear at this time if that is still the plan. For the most part, details have been kept under wraps by the studio. Elizabeth Olsen will appear as Scarlet Witch alongside Stephen Strange. The movie will also link up directly to the show WandaVision, which is set to debut on Disney+ in December.
Doctor Strange was released in November 2016 and proved to be a big success, especially considering that many people outside of hardcore comic readers were, at best, only vaguely familiar with the character. The Marvel Comics adaptation grossed $677 million worldwide and garnered largely favorable reviews from critics and viewers alike. Benedict Cumberbatch has since reprised his role in Thor: Ragnarok, Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Marvel.com.