Benedict Cumberbatch Improvised Iconic Avengers: Infinity War Moment With Iron Man

The contentious relationship between Iron Man and Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War was a fun, Marvel-specific take on the idea of a "science versus magic" debate. The relationship was one of the pleasant surprises in the last two Avengers movie, and paid off significantly later, when Doctor Strange was the one Iron Man had to trust in order to defeat Thanos and save the universe. Apparently, though, one of the audience's favorite moments in the movies was something that Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch came up with on the spot, in part because he was tired of being Iron Man's punching bag.

There's a moment in Avengers: Infinity War when Iron Man quips, "What exactly is your job, besides making balloon animals?" Doctor Strange answers, "It's protecting your reality, douchebag." And...yeah, that was not scripted, as it turns out.

"I remember on the set when I called him a douchebag, there was this sort of ripple effect. 'Oh my God. Did you just call Iron Man a douchebag?'" Cumberbatch recalled for The Hollywood Reporter. "They kept it, good for them. And then, it got the same kind of response at the cinema. I was just ... I got bored of being compared to Liberace or whatever other retorts the guy with the same camp goatee had opposite me, so I tried to knock him down. It's great fun to play with that stuff. You find your feet. The more times you do it, the more familiar it becomes."

The Marvel multiverse is still a mysterious animal; while it was glimpsed in Avengers: Endgame and seen in a tiny bit of detail in Loki, fans still have a lot of questions. The What If...? animated series currently airing on Disney+ gives fans a look into alternate Marvel Universes, but since it's animated, and thus untethered from the production limitations of most movies, it's impossible to know which, if any, of those worlds are likely to show up in a future live-action movie.

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to be directed by Sam Raimi, who first helmed a trilogy of Spider-Man movies between 2002 and 2007. In the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, which was released this week, fans got their first glimpse at Doctor Octopus -- played by Alfred Molina from Raimi's Spider-Man 2 -- in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.