2016 was another terrific year for Marvel Studios. Captain America: Civil War as a critical and financial success, going on to become the highest-grossing movie of 2016 worldwide. But even with that, it is arguable that Doctor Strange was a bigger success in some ways. It allowed the studio to take a risk that fans really responded to. So, Benedict Cumberbatch will be reprising his role as The Sorcerer Supreme sooner rather than later. He is certainly going to appear in Thor: Ragnarok and it looks like his role may be a lot more than just a cameo.
An article that was recently posted to Disney's D23 fan site detailed some of the many things that fans of the Mouse House can look forward to in 2017. One of those things was Thor: Ragnarok and what they had to say about it implies that Doctor Strange could have a larger role than some may have expected. Here's what was said.
"If you need even more intergalactic, world-saving action, Thor: Ragnarok in November brings together Thor, the Hulk, and Doctor Strange to face off against intergalactic baddies both familiar and new."
We have known for a very long time that Hulk will be joining up with the God of Thunder for his third solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it was only more recently, with the release of Doctor Strange to be exact, that we got confirmation that Stephen Strange would be appearing in Thor 3 as well. There was a big clue when a set photo surfaced showing Thor holding a piece of paper with the address to Stephen Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum on it, but a post-credit scene in Doctor Strange confirmed it. This statement from D23 makes it seem as though Stephen Strange could wind up having a pretty significant part in the movie, though, since they list him as if he is a core cast member.
Potential spoilers ahead, but the post-credits scene in Doctor Strange revealed that both Loki and Thor will be looking for Odin in New York City and they are asking for Stephen's help to find him. That means that he will be fitting into the narrative of Thor: Ragnarok in an organic way, but it also seems like something that will take more than just a few minutes of screen time. So it seems very possible that we could be getting another pretty big dose of the Sorcerer Supreme long before Avengers: Infinity War.
Doctor Strange has already outgrossed Thor: The Dark World at the box office, which finished its run with $644 million worldwide. Stephen Strange's debut in the MCU was also better received critically, so it would make sense for Marvel Studios to make the most of Benedict Cumberbatch's talents while they can. Thor: Ragnarok is being directed by Taika Waititi and is set for release on November 3.