Long gone are the days of Iron Man and Captain America ruling the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will serve as the center of the beloved franchise as it continues into Phase Four and beyond. In fact, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said Monday the beloved sorcerer is the "anchor" of the MCU.
"Benedict has turned this character into an icon, appearing in a historic three of the top six films of all time. It's been quite a journey. I remember our very first meeting was set up as a general, and we wanted to pitch him this great character, and before we could, he said 'So tell me about Doctor Strange,' because you knew," Feige said during the actor's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony (via The Direct).
He added, "Because somewhere you knew what this could be and you've always seen the tremendous potential in this character. Because of that, you've become the anchor of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the only actor capable of guiding us through the madness of the Multiverse."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, of course, is the next movie up Marvel Studios as the franchise works its way to navigate the widening scope of its storytelling.
"We honor each definition of the word 'madness' in this movie," Strange producer Richie Palmer previously said of the movie. "For example, it's not just the craziness of what an alternate universe might look like, feel like, or sound like. When you see that there are infinite versions of yourself across infinite universes and you're a different person in them different facets of you rise to the top."
"Maybe Stephen meets a few of these guys and wonders, "Oh, am I capable of what that person's capable of? Are they capable of what I'm capable of?" And that can be maddening," the producer continued. "Seeing other versions of yourself make decisions that you would not make can, for better or worse, be maddening- whether that's for Doctor Strange, for Wanda, or for any of our characters… Sometimes the scariest monsters are the ones that dwell within us. And with the Multiverse, maybe some versions of us are more monstrous than others."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters May 6th. What other characters do you think will end up appearing in the upcoming feature? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!