A rumor reported by the Mirror indicates that star Benedict Cumberbatch is getting a major pay raise to return for Doctor Strange 2, adding more fuel to the fire that Marvel is making major plans for the Sorcerer Supreme after Avengers 4.
Now, the Mirror is not the most reliable source, so we should take this with a grain of salt, but they have been accurate with their entertainment reporting before.
The report indicates that filming is set to begin in the spring of 2019, meaning Doctor Strange 2 could be looking at a fall release date in 2020, echoing the original film's premiere from October 2016.
It's also believed that Cumberbatch is getting a huge pay increase to return as Stephen Strange, with a $9.5 million salary for the role in the sequel. That could be over $6 million more than what he made for Doctor Strange.
There is, however, a downside to this rumor if it pans out, as fans of the BBC series Sherlock would likely have to wait even longer before getting any new installments.
"Benedict has become a huge player in the Marvel universe," says an unnamed source quoted by Mirror. "But the nature of the shoot for the sequel means we're looking at 2020 for the next time we see the sleuth in a full series – if it happens at all."
While we should not be surprised that Marvel is making plans for another installment in the Doctor Strange franchise, it is curious considering how secretive the studio has been about their plans after Avengers 4.
Industry insiders knew about two "sure things" in the form of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is currently filming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which ousted director James Gunn confirmed he was making shortly after Vol. 2's release. The latter production is now in jeopardy after Gunn's firing, but Marvel Studios is currently looking for another director to replace him.
But Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige reaffirmed his plans to make Doctor Strange 2 while addressing the difficulty of balancing so many popular franchises.
"Sometimes it's where do those characters pop up? [Doctor] Strange, you know, whenever we do another Strange [movie], which we will do, it will be a number of years from the first Strange, and yet he's a very big part of Infinity War," Feige said to CinemaBlend. "So it is just a good problem to have when you have too many beloved characters that people want to see more of, whilst keeping to our core belief that we need to keep exploring nuance and keep doing different types of things."
Marvel Studios has yet to make an official announcement on Doctor Strange 2, but the character can next be seen in Avengers 4, premiering on May 3, 2019.