It is going to be nearly two years until we see Stephen Strange return to the big screen. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the highly-anticipated sequel that was originally announced by Marvel Studios last summer, has been pushed back by four months and is now set to arrive in spring 2022. This comes mere weeks after the movie had already been delayed by six months.
Disney now has Doctor Strange 2 set to hit theaters on March 25, 2022. When it was originally announced, the movie had been set to arrive on May 7, 2021. With theaters closed in the U.S. and around the world, Marvel's Black Widow was delayed from May of this year to November, which created something of a domino effect and pushed back the entirety of the MCU's Phase 4 slate. That initially bumped the sequel to November 5, 2021. That date was previously held by Thor: Love and Thunder. That title is now set to arrive on February 11, 2022, which is a week earlier than its previously announced February 18, 2022 date. It seems Disney wants to give a little bit more breathing room between them.
This shuffle was brought on by another shift in the MCU, as Sony delayed the currently untitled Spider-Man 3, which had been set to hit theaters in July 2021. Instead, it is now taking over the spot previously held by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and will arrive on November 5, 2021. Tom Holland was supposed to suit up as Spidey once again in July, but it's expected that the production will be delayed. Movie and TV production has been at a standstill since mid-March and isn't expected to resume again anytime soon.
Sam Raimi will direct the second Doctor Strange movie. Previously, Scott Derrickson had been set to return after helming the first installment, but departed over creative differences. Derrickson is set to remain on board as an executive producer. Benedict Cumberbatch will return as Stephen Strange, with Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor expected to reprise their roles as Wong and Mordo, respectively. Elizabeth Olsen will appear as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch as well. Rachel McAdams will not be returning as Christine Palmer.
Plot details are largely being kept under wraps for the time being, but it is expected that Nightmare will be the main villain. No actor has been cast in the role yet. Though, with the release date now nearly two years away, Marvel and Sam Raimi have plenty of time to get things together behind the scenes. It was also revealed previously that the movie will tie in directly with the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.