Benedict Cumberbatch admits the thought of filming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made him nervous. The sequel to 2016's Doctor Strange features Benedict Cumberbatch reprising his role as the titular Marvel hero, after co-starring in December's Spider-Man: No Way Home. As the title suggests, the Doctor Strange sequel will take the Marvel Cinematic Universe deeper into the ever-growing multiverse, following the setups in the Loki and What If...? Disney+ series' and No Way Home. Benedict went into detail about what fears he has regarding Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
In a long-ranging interview with Esquire, Benedict discussed how he was recruited by Marvel Studios to join the MCU as the Sorcerer Supreme. "I kind of had my doubts about it, from just going into the comics. I thought 'This is a very dated, sexist character'. And it's very tied up in that crossover, that kind of East meets West occultism movement of the Sixties and Seventies," the actor said. He also added how initially his work schedule didn't line up with Marvel's dates to shoot Doctor Strange, and how the studio shifted the shoot back six months just to secure him. "They flirted with a couple of other options, then they came back and said 'We don't want anyone else to do it,'" Benedict said.
As for his sequel fears, they came down to trying to replicate the success of the original film. "Completely," Cumberbatch replied when asked if he was nervous about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. "I've got the Second Album Fear with this one, like anyone should, because the first one was such a riotous success and he's become a much-loved character."
He continued: "They're very good at exceeding expectations, when expectations are low. I think it's always harder to exceed them when they're high. I'm not saying they make them low. 'We're going to do Ant-Man!' It's just the way they make these things work. On paper you think 'Is that exciting?' They're starting to take more risks now, I think. I mean, their directors are very tied into the house style. But, you know, Taika Waititi, they were, like, 'Are we…? Is this going to work?' And it's fucking so funny, Thor: Ragnarok."
Aside from the multiverse, there is very little known about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. We know it's directed by Sam Raimi and will guest-star Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Benedict Wong as Wong, Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, with Tom Hiddleston's Loki rumored to appear as well. The film will also introduce Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness lands in theaters on May 6, 2022.