In another universe, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness reportedly released a year ago, long before Spider-Man got his own multiversal adventure.
It never worked that way in this universe though the strange doctor the sequel had some release date changes to end in May 2022, while Spider-Man: No Coming Home entered cinemas before it in December 2021.
Given that No coming home also introduced Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the general interconnectedness of the MCU, you’d think it would have given writer Michael Waldron a headache. But it turns out that the release date change didn’t cause as much trouble as expected.
“When it happened, it was like, ‘Oh, shit. Okay. So now this is the first multiverse movie.’ Then we had to figure out how it affected us. But the truth is, we’ve always been a strange doctor movie before we were a multiverse movie,” he says. digital spy.
“There’s never been anything so baked in our history that release dates or anything have affected it so much because what matters is that it’s Stephen Strange’s story . And luckily, we were fine, in that sense.”
It’s probably lucky that Waldron had MCU experience as the editor and executive producer of Loki. It was while he was working Loki that he received the call to join Doctor Strange 2 in February 2020.
While he expected it to be a “relatively short and intense rewrite process” before the sequel was filmed in May 2020, world events caused the timeline to change. It also meant that the potential rewrite became something bigger, as Waldron, along with new director Sam Raimi, now had more time to work on the film.
“Initially, there were things that Jade Bartlett worked on when Scott Derrickson was directing, and that’s what we kind of worked on,” he recalled.
“And then when COVID came along and the movie got pushed back to the end of 2020, that’s when we said, ‘Okay, let’s put all that aside. Now that we have time, let’s find out what our vision for the film is. That’s when we really started from scratch. It was daunting, but once we figured that out, it was exciting.
While Loki was more of a time-jumping adventure than a journey through the multiverse, it always came in handy for Waldron when it came to setting Doctor Strange 2the epic story together.
After all, No coming home might have come out before the sequel, but it was Waldron who helped establish the MCU’s vision for the multiverse – for better and for worse.
“On Loki, I had gone through the process of figuring out, ‘OK, how do we communicate a bunch of sci-fi bullshit in a way that doesn’t put the audience to sleep?’. I figured out how to get through part of the exhibit and get to the heart of the story,” he explains.
“We have worked hard enough to Loki to make it as airtight as possible. But there were times when I was like, ‘Oh, shit, I wish I hadn’t defined this so clearly. I don’t know why I had to be so specific in my time travel TV show about the rules of the multiverse.
“But, I was glad that I came with institutional knowledge of the multiverse and was able to get the creative team from strange doctor on the same page as me on everything. Because as with Loki, that’s the most important thing when you’re dealing with this. You all need to have a common language for all of this, otherwise it can get quite confusing.”
Little is known about what will actually happen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. We know it will address the fallout from No coming homeand that it will see Strange heading to the Multiverse with America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) to face a new threat.
However, as always with MCU movies, Marvel has done a good job of keeping most of the secrets under lock and key, except for the weird teasers. For example, fans are almost 100% convinced that Patrick Stewart will resume his x-men role as part of the Illuminati.
The sequel’s multiverse setting is exciting for Waldron, but there’s no doubt that it came with its own set of challenges.
“You have what looks like an absolute blank slate. Your first instinct is, ‘Okay. Shoot all the bullets. I’ll put ninja turtles here. And then you have to step back and remember that this is the Doctor Strange story,” he notes.
“What’s going to be exciting is seeing the people who can affect his adventure. So, yeah, it’s great, but the multiverse is only as cool as the human struggles that take place there. It has to be a priority.”
After the cameos of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in No coming homespeculation about who might appear in the sequel has been intense – even by Marvel standards.
We won’t know for sure which rumors were true until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness comes out this week. But if certain rumors (like, for example, Deadpool) turn out to be true, does Waldron care that the film was spoiled before its release?
“Well, I don’t want it spoiled for people who don’t want it spoiled for them. As long as nobody does a ‘Snape killed Dumbledore’…God, I hope I don’t. didn’t spoil it for anyone reading this,” he jokes.
“I think people who want spoilers and want to be a part of it are going to join in on this talk and this speculation. That’s the fun, and that’s a way to experience this stuff. Then there’s has people who don’t. I don’t want to know anything about it and I think they can, on the whole, isolate themselves.
“We’re lucky to tell stories in a sandbox where there are so many different factions of fans and different ways people consume this stuff. So it’s all gravy to me.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits UK cinemas May 5 and US cinemas May 6.
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