Warning: this story contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Screenwriter Michael Waldron has an eye on Stephen Strange's future. In horror movie fashion, the Sam Raimi-directed Doctor Strange 2 ends with a chilling cliffhanger: a screaming Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) suddenly sprouting a third eye from his forehead, a consequence of using the damned Darkhold against a villainous Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). (In the Marvel comic books, Strange summons the third eye using the Eye of Agamotto.) But as the disillusioned sorcerer Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) warned in 2016's Doctor Strange, "The bill comes due."
"That's the bill coming due. As Wong says, 'You used the Darkhold to possess your own corpse.' Surely, there must be some fallout," Waldron exclusively told ComicBook's Jenna Anderson. "It was a little bit of a throwback to [Raimi's] old Evil Dead, and that groaner of an ending, or it's just like, 'Oh my God, things turned out bad in the end.' So, yeah. We'll see what all that means for Stephen."
Strange uses the dark magic of the Darkhold to Dreamwalk into the corpse of a variant Stephen Strange, drawing from the same kind of corrupting power that the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) called on as the former Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the Ancient One said in Doctor Strange, "Sometimes one must break the rules in order to serve the greater good."
"The Multiverse has forced a mirror up in front of his face, and has made him do some self-reflecting, that I think he's refused to ever do," Waldron said. "Even when he got into that initial [car] accident [in Doctor Strange], instead of really thinking about who he was, instead he went and just became the most powerful sorcerer alive. This is a guy who doesn't want to go to therapy. I think now, there's been some forced self-reflection over the course of this adventure, and I think he's probably more capable than ever at working as part of a team."
After fighting alongside Earth's mightiest heroes in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and emerging as a trusted mentor of America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) in Multiverse of Madness, Waldron teased Strange is "maybe better suited than ever to really be an anchor of the Avengers, and everything moving forward. He's also got that third eye. That might be bad news, so who knows?"
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stühlbarg, and Rachel McAdams, Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing only in theaters.