Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, probably the largest solo picture in MCU history, is nearing completion as Marvel Studios’ first big screen excursion of 2022. The Multiverse will be unleashed, taking the franchise’s use of magic and sorcery to new heights as numerous worlds’ worth of heroes and villains merge into one plot. Simply said, “the Multiverse is a notion about which we know disturbingly little,” yet with the snap of a finger, this new solo initiative hopes to alter that.
Doctor Strange 2 is one of the most distinctive solo films in MCU history, thanks to its epic size and the possibility for the most characters in any non-Avengers adventure to yet. Furthermore, although the film is planned to bring a number of new characters to the MCU, its status as a sequel means that it adds to an experience that has already been constructed over the last several years.
Characters from Doctor Strange 2
While it lacks two main protagonists with significant prior franchises to draw from, such as Spider-Man: No Way Home, Strange’s MCU history is full of twists and turns. Add in a prominent supporting role for Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff and other key individuals, on top of other Marvel worlds from the past, and there will be even more MCU experiences to explore before the first film of 2022 hits theaters.
With that in mind, here is a list of every Marvel film and television series should see before viewing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. They are divided into three tiers based on their importance in relation to the Doctor Strange sequel:
1.) Highly Recommended: Films whose plots have a direct bearing on the events of Multiverse of Madness.
2.) Films that depict the whole narrative of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange and Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff are recommended.
3.) Projects recommended for die-hards whose tales may have an indirect influence on events in the Multiverse of Madness.
The two “Recommended” categories are made up of six MCU movies and one series, a realistic amount of projects that casual fans may brush up on before seeing Doctor Strange’s sequel in cinemas.
MCU Projects We Love
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will center on Doctor Stephen Strange, Wanda Maximoff, and the Multiverse of the MCU. As a result, it’s only natural that the three most significant previous MCU excursions to see ahead of this new sequel are the two solo efforts for these characters to far, as well as the first film to fully establish the Multiverse.
Strange Doctor (2016)
There’s no better place to begin before Benedict Cumberbatch’s second MCU solo film, Doctor Strange, than with his first. This was not just Cumberbatch’s first appearance in the MCU, but also Strange’s first debut as a character; he had previously been listed as an Easter egg on Hydra’s target list in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Doctor Strange presented the traditional origin narrative for Stephen Strange, a brilliant but somewhat egotistical neurosurgeon who lost the use of his hands as a result of a horrific automobile accident. He discovered the sorcerers in Kamar-Taj and mastered the secrets of the Mystic Arts after exhausted every available recuperation option and almost going bankrupt in the process.
Strange grows into a formidable hero as he battles Kaecillius and his Zealots before battling Dormammu and the Dark Dimension. By the conclusion, he had become one of the MCU’s most powerful heroes, and he was primed for a long run into Phase 3 and beyond.
Wanda Maximoff, Elizabeth Olsen’s character, had a long time to acquire her first solo assignment, but once she did, she stole the show for two months straight. This arose as a result of her collaboration with Paul Bettany’s Vision in the Disney+ series WandaVision, which allowed Wanda to completely blossom into her full heroic role as the Scarlet Witch.
Six of the first seven episodes of the program paid respect to prior periods of American comedy history as Wanda strove to live a normal life with the love of her life by using Chaos Magic to establish her own Hex reality in Westview, New Jersey. She had her twin twins, Billy and Tommy, but she also had to battle SWORD and Agatha Harkness to maintain her new reality.
By the end, Maximoff had learnt about the tale of the Scarlet Witch in the Darkhold before adopting her identity and gaining more power than ever before. Wanda was left researching the Darkhold in pursuit of her family in the show’s post-credits sequence, putting her on her new path ahead of the Doctor Strange sequel.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
While Doctor Strange only has a minor involvement in Spider-Man: No Way Home, this threequel introduces the Multiverse to the MCU for the first time.
Strange was visited by Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in an effort to improve his life, but things went horribly wrong when the young Spidey unwittingly changed Strange’s spell. This caused the fabric of reality to split apart for roughly a minute, enabling villains from other worlds who knew Spider-secret Man’s identity to enter the MCU, resulting in the first references of the Multiverse being actually real.
During the climactic fight of No Way Home, the Green Goblin blew up the box containing the spell (La Macchina di Kadavus), producing massive purple rips in the Multiverse above them. Even though Strange tried his best to fill the gaps, once the door to parallel realms was opened, there was no turning back.
Although it’s unknown how the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home will affect Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man: No Way Home plays as important a part as any in Doctor Strange’s upcoming solo tale.
MCU Projects Suggestions
The next four films include Doctor Strange and/or the Scarlet Witch and explain their whole narrative within the MCU. These don’t necessary have a bearing on the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but they do round out Strange and Maximoff’s trips by including them in other team-up endeavors.
Age of Ultron (2015)
The MCU’s first film in which Olsen completely embodied Wanda Maximoff was 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Making her debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s mid-credits sequence with Aaron Taylor-Quicksilver, Johnson’s viewers only got a taste of what Maximoff would provide for years to come.
Wanda, who was once on Hydra’s side before joining Ultron, would later abandon the robotic villain after learning about his intention to destroy Earth. She assisted the Avengers in saving passengers on a runaway train in Seoul, South Korea, and she attempted to prevent Bruce Banner and Tony Stark from bringing Vision to life, but she felt an immediate connection once the android came to life.
Wanda later joined the Avengers on their Quinjet to defeat Ultron in Sokovia, and although she assisted in the rescue of citizens, she experienced a huge setback when Ultron murdered Pietro. At the conclusion of the film, she pulled Ultron’s “heart” out of his body, becoming a formal member of the New Avengers with Captain America, Black Widow, War Machine, Vision, and Falcon.
Civil War, Captain America (2016)
Wanda Maximoff became the subject of huge controversy a year after joining the Avengers after she mistakenly murdered 12 Wakandans during the search for Crossbones in Lagos, Nigeria. This event was the last straw for the UN, as the world adopted the Sokovia Accords, which placed the Avengers under UN control and divided the team.
After Vision imprisoned Maximoff in the Avengers facility to protect her and others around her, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye freed her and transported her to Captain America’s side of the war. She used her talents, together with Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, Clint Barton, and Scott Lang, to transport Cap and Bucky to their Quinjet in order to stop Helmut Zemo.
After War Machine defeated Maximoff, she was sent to the Raft with Barton, Wilson, and Lang. Maximoff was placed in a complete straight jacket and bodysuit in her cell, but by the conclusion of the film, Cap and the rest of the team had broken her and the rest of the team out of the jail and freed her.
Infinity War (Avengers: Infinity War) (2018)
Doctor Strange made his first appearance in Avengers: Infinity War when the Hulk burst through the ceiling of the Sanctum Sanctorum, informing Strange of Thanos’ oncoming invasion on Earth. After informing Tony Stark to Thanos’ hunt for the Infinity Stones, Strange battled Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian, but Maw beamed Strange up to his Q-Ship to get the Time Stone.
Strange contracts with Tony to travel to Titan to entice Thanos and prevent him from completing his plot to obtain all six Stones. When this party arrives at Titan, he employs every magical trick in his armory, together with Iron Man, Spider-Man, and four Guardians of the Galaxy, to fend off the Mad Titan, but he is forced to give him the Time Stone after viewing it as the only way to succeed.
Meanwhile, Wanda Maximoff had returned to Earth and was hiding with Vision. After Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive stabbed Vision and attempted to take the Mind Stone from his brain, the two are seen battling. They were subsequently rescued by Captain America’s renegade Avengers, and after hiding out in the Avengers Compound, they all go to Wakanda in search of assistance in securely removing the Mind Stone from Vision.
Wanda is forced to shield Vision during the alien invasion, but she eventually joins the battle and uses her extraordinary abilities to help Okoye and Natasha Romanoff repel Thanos’ troops. In the end, she must use all of her might to shatter the Mind Stone while fending off Thanos, despite the fact that Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse the effects and still manages to complete the Infinity Gauntlet.
When the Mad Titan snaps his fingers, Strange and Maximoff, along with half of all life in the cosmos, are reduced to dust.
Endgame (Avengers) (2019)
Although neither Strange nor Maximoff are crucial to the narrative of Avengers: Endgame, the film shifts the MCU ahead five years before Earth’s Mightiest Heroes go back in time to acquire the Infinity Stones and resurrect half of the cosmos. Strange then creates portals around the cosmos that lead to the shattered Avengers Compound, where he and Wanda join the fight against Thanos.
Maximoff ultimately exacts her vengeance on Thanos, hurling large quantities of rubble at him and unleashes her full power; she even almost defeats him by herself until the villain sends his ships to “rain fire” over the whole battlefield.
Meanwhile, Strange employs his own magic to assist in the battle against Thanos’ army, even telling Tony Stark that he knows exactly how everything is going to play out. In the end, Strange raises a single finger to Stark before he obtains the Infinity Stones, snapping his fingers and destroying Thanos’ army before suffering his own horrible death.
Strange and Maximoff both attend Stark’s funeral with the rest of the Avengers, and Maximoff reunites with Clint Barton to grieve the deaths of Vision and Natasha Romanoff before the Infinity Saga concludes.
What Would Happen If…? (2021)
At the present, it’s unclear if the animated Disney+ series What If…? will be completely incorporated into the MCU. However, given its usage of the Multiverse and the way it brought characters from multiple worlds together in one main conflict, viewers get a sense of what to anticipate from Doctor Strange 2.
Furthermore, reports suggested that Hayley Atwell’s Captain Carter will have a minor part in this Multiversal sequel, which would formally link the two projects. Fans recently spotted Carter in a TV advertisement for Multiverse of Madness, and although the scope of her participation is unknown, she’ll be there holding her shield and making her presence known.
Suggested for die-hard fans
What Movies Should You Watch If You’re a Doctor Strange Fan?
The following titles from the Marvel-Verse are included in this list for fans who wish to know all there is to know about Doctor Strange, Wanda Maximoff, or anybody else engaged or possibly connected in Doctor Strange 2. They fill in some details about characters and story elements while also preparing fans for some of the speculated figures that may appear in the next sequel.
While Strange featured in Thor: Ragnarok for a complete sequence, neither he nor Wanda Maximoff were visible at all in Marvel’s Loki on Disney+. Nonetheless, given that Multiverse of Madness is only concerned with different worlds, Loki is significant since its plot opens the door to some of those alternate realities inside the MCU.
When Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie killed He Who Remains at the conclusion of Episode 6, branches started to sprout quickly off of the Sacred Timeline encircling the Citadel at the End of Time. This was the clearest indication yet that the Multiverse was collapsing, and it was already affecting the environment at the Time Variance Authority, with a statue of He Who Remains visible at the agency’s offices.
The Multiverse exists, and it becomes completely realized in Loki before making its full appearance in Doctor Strange 2.
Ragnarok (Thor: Ragnarok) (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok only had one major scene with Doctor Strange after he trapped Loki in a magical purgatory for half an hour. Strange agreed to send Thor and Loki to Norway when Thor approached him in the Sanctum Sanctorum and asked for his help in locating Odin after Loki had exiled him to Earth.
This sequence only offered Strange and Thor around five minutes of total screen time together, but it introduced the two Avengers to each other and aided in the early phases of Thor’s third solo film.
Captain Marvel (2019)
This standalone film does not imply that Captain Marvel or any of her colleagues will appear in the upcoming Doctor Strange solo film. However, based on the promotional tour for this new film, fans have cause to believe that a version of the strong MCU heroine would enter via some form of Multiversal portal.
The Super Bowl teaser and TV commercial hinted at the appearance of a Captain Marvel Variant, one that resembled Lashanna Lynch’s Maria Rambeau rather than Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers. She released a great amount of power on the Scarlet Witch, and one of the scenes looked to take place in the Illuminati’s headquarters.
Fans recently witnessed another Doctor Strange 2 TV promo that proved this figure to be Maria Rambeau in a new job as a superhero at the Illuminati’s headquarters. While she may not have a significant part in the overall narrative of this film, Captain Marvel informs viewers of all they need to know in case this Variant appears.
The X-Men Series on Fox (2000-2019)
Despite the fact that 20th Century Fox made more than a dozen films based on characters from Marvel Comics’ X-Men series, not all of them are mandatory watching prior to Doctor Strange 2. They do, however, feature a few of crucial characters that are either confirmed or suspected to appear in the future film.
The most well-known of these heroes is Patrick Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier, who appears in five of the X-Men films. Stewart is now confirmed to portray, at the very least, a Multiversal Variant of his mutant commander, as shown in both the Super Bowl teaser and more recent TV advertisements that show off a vintage form of his hoverchair from the comics.
Other reports have suggested that Ian McKellan’s Magneto, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, and even a new Wolverine who will not be portrayed by Hugh Jackman would be included. The X-Men films of the past may play a role in the plot of Doctor Strange 2, but more importantly, audiences will get acquainted with these world-famous mutants before of their formal MCU appearances.
Spider-Man Trilogy by Sam Raimi
Before directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness for the MCU, Sam Raimi established himself in the superhero genre as the director of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy from 2002 to 2007. These films are significant not simply because Raimi has credits on all four films, but also because of speculations regarding Tobey Maguire reprising his role as Peter Parker.
Maguire’s involvement in the film is less certain than that of the other characters, with rumors just stating that he will be engaged in some fashion. This would also be his second full MCU cameo after repeating his Spidey in last year’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, in which he also had a brief brush with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange.
If Maguire appears, his three solo films would remind audiences of what he went through fighting villains like the Green Goblin and Doc Ock before joining the MCU with Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield. Given Raimi’s fondness for the previous three Spider-Man films, it wouldn’t be surprising if he used a scene in this upcoming installment to pay homage to his superhero heritage.
Doctor Strange 2 brings together elements from Marvel’s past.
Marvel’s Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness features perhaps the most prior adventures with possible linkages to future projects, both in and out of the MCU, than any other film in Marvel Studios history. However, given that this is not just a big sequel for the series but also one that opens up the Multiverse, it stands to reason that numerous storylines from other worlds would be intertwined.
With just 126 minutes of screen time in this film, fans are understandably interested about how often these previous films will be referenced.
Doctor Strange and Spider-Man: No Way Home are the most significant MCU antecedents for this sequel’s primary character, as is WandaVision for Cumberbatch’s co-star in Olsen. Even yet, there will very probably be nods and allusions to hundreds of significant story lines from previous Marvel films, even while this one blows the door to the Multiverse off its hinges.
Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness will be released in cinemas on May 6.