Benedict Cumberbatch to Film Spider-Man 3 Scenes Before Doctor Strange 2 Starts Shooting

Benedict Cumberbatch returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Spider-Man 3, set to begin filming one week from today in New York City, before jumping into the Sam Raimi-directed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel, which sees Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange step into the mentor role once filled by Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, will also roll cameras in Atlanta, Iceland, and Los Angeles, with filming expected to wrap in February. Raimi, who entered into talks to direct Doctor Strange 2 in February, is now prepping the sequel pairing Strange with Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff.

Word of Cumberbatch's addition to the Spider-Man sequel comes days after the actor confirmed filming on Multiverse of Madness is to get underway in "late October or early November."

In April, after Sony and Marvel shifted Spider-Man 3 from July 16 to November 5 of next year, the Doctor Strange sequel moved off November 5 to March 25, 2022. Months later, Spider-Man 3 shifted dates again, this time to December 17, 2021, where it remains.

While plot details remain under wraps, Spider-Man 3 leads into the Multiverse of Madness as does Marvel Studios series WandaVision. The six-episode series, due out on Disney+ before the end of the year, reunites Wanda with Vision (Paul Bettany) before she returns in the Doctor Strange sequel also bringing back Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor).

"He's coming on," Ejiofor said of original Spider-Man trilogy director Raimi in a June interview with ComicBook.com. "I'm very, very excited about that. Obviously, we've been sort of interrupted as the whole world has been in the pandemic but hopefully, we are back on track with that and continuing quite soon, so I'm very excited about it."

For Spider-Man 3, reuniting Holland with co-stars Jacob Batalon and Zendaya under director Jon Watts, Holland's fugitive Spider-Man is expected to face off with multiple villains, including Electro (Jamie Foxx). The appearance of Doctor Strange suggests the Master of the Mystic Arts could help Spider-Man restore his secret identity, which was exposed by Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) at the close of Far From Home.

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"I'm really wanting to do a team-up with Doctor Strange, because we're both New Yorkers and I just really like the idea of a science guy being teamed up with a guy who does magic," Holland said in a June 2019 interview, some 15 months before Strange was set for Spider-Man 3. "Because it totally contradicts everything he knows. And I like the idea that there is real science that Peter Parker talks about, and then there's Doctor Strange gibberish, where he's like, 'The time rift and the thing and the thing.' So it's kind of fun."

Sony opens Spider-Man 3 on December 17, 2021. Marvel Studios follows with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on March 25, 2022.