Doctor Strange 2 Star Reveals Major Change to Heartbreaking Opening in Reshoots

Warning: this story contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. "I'm so sorry," Defender Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) tells multiverse-traversing teen America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) in the opening minutes​ of Doctor Strange 2. "This is the only way." The Strange of Earth-617​ attempts to steal America's power to keep it away from a demonic creature summoned by the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), even if it means betraying — and killing — his friend. "In the grand calculus of the Multiverse, your sacrifice is worth more than your life," this Variant Strange says, only to be killed by the monster​ moments later. 

The betrayal causes America to distrust the Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) of Earth-616, where the teen with the unique power to travel the Multiverse ends up after inadvertently opening a portal into the mainstream Marvel Cinematic Universe. In an interview with SlashFilm, Gomez revealed the dramatic change happened during the movie's extensive reshoots​.  

Reshoots "changed lots of things," Gomez said. "The main thing about Marvel is that they do test screenings so that they can get the movie to be what fans want, make them be what Marvel movies are. We did lots of changes for that reshoot, it was pretty insane."

She continued, "Lots of work, but it was really fun and it was a challenge, but it was also really fun to do wirework again of the stuff that I already had done, to do it in a different style with different intentions and stuff."

In one version of the Doctor Strange sequel, the movie opened with America mourning the ponytailed Strange after he died defending her from the Scarlet Witch's demon. 

"One main thing that got changed is that Defender Strange was actually saving me at the beginning and it was a turning point, that when he died it was me being heartbroken over the fact that someone who cared and was protecting me had passed away," Gomez explained. "Then, when we did reshoots it was this main drastic change that Defender Strange was actually betraying me and trying to take my power away from me." 

The change gave Gomez and Cumberbatch "a lot more to work with" as characters who, ultimately, develop a friendly bond. "I'm glad I fell into your universe," America tells Strange, ending the movie as an apprentice of the Masters of the Mystic Arts at Kamar-Taj. He replies, "So am I, kid. So am I."

"It's a completely different perspective on her and her trust issues," Gomez said. "Because, before, it was this whole other thing. A little, simple thing like that can change so much." 

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now available to own and streaming on Disney+.