Ahead of the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, writer Michael Waldron shared details about the scope and opportunities in creating the multiverse in Marvel Studios’ highly-awaited sequel.
In an interview with SFX Magazine, the Rick and Morty producer and Loki scribe shared the pros and cons of dealing with the multiverse.
“The danger is you can expand your scope too wide, and you can actually reduce the stakes if you don’t make it personal as you go bigger and wider," he said. "But the opportunity in the multiverse is to have characters confront literal ‘What ifs?’ and alternate versions of themselves and perhaps others in their lives. It’s an interesting way to hold up a mirror to characters.”
He furthered: "In every way, it shapes the emotional heart of the story. It has to. The multiverse isn’t just a MacGuffin where we’re like, 'Okay, this is just a kitschy thing that we’re playing with in this movie.’ If you’re faced with alternate realities and with alternate versions of yourself that has to become the emotional heart, exploring who you might be if you were a different version of yourself, if you made other choices, the right choices or the wrong choices. It’s complex stuff, emotionally, and that’s exactly why it’s so thrilling and so great for a cast as dramatically talented as this one."
Additionally, Waldron also discussed how he prepared for the sequel, sharing that he had to watch the first installment to fully understand the character of the Sorcerer Supreme.
"We looked to that first film more than anything else," he said. "because this is Doctor Strange’s story above all else. He’s been in a lot of other movies but this is his story, and his franchise. One of the first things that I did was go back to that first movie and watch it several times, really become a student of it. "I wanted to figure out, ‘Okay, who was that character in that movie? Who was he at the end of it?’ And then, ‘Alright, so what has he been through over the course of these Avengers movies and everything else, leading through to Spider-Man?’ And that’s really where we picked up."
The upcoming Marvel tentpole follows the events after Tom Holland’s Spider-Way: No Way Home, with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Stephen Strange teaming up with Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in a bid to fix the disarrayed multiverse.
Aside from Cumberbatch, additional cast members for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness include Benedict Wong (Wong), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff) and Xochitl Gomez, who will portray Marvel comics’ new fan-favorite, America Chavez.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2022.