CinemaBlend posted an informative interview with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, in which he discusses Marvel’s film release strategy, scheduling challenges, Phase Four plans for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Doctor Strange.
In Strange‘s case, fans have been clamoring for news on a possible sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange, a modest hit (by Marvel standards) that a majority of audiences and critics enjoyed. The events in Avengers: Infinity War only made Strange’s fate more confusing (if you somehow haven’t seen the movie, let’s just say that Strange plays a large part, and things end on a downer), and the fact that a Strange sequel hasn’t been officially announced as part of Phase Four has left Marvel fans in the lurch.
“When you’ve got, what is it now, six, seven separate franchises? It’s part of the scheduling process,” Feige said. “Sometimes when people ask, ‘What about this character, what about that character?’ I go, ‘Well, it’s scheduling.’ And they go, ‘What’s he talking about?’ Scheduling. How many years between movies can you have? You know, [Thor:] Ragnarok was four years. There’s four years between, right? He had an appearance in between there. So that seems to be maybe okay – sometimes, though, you want it to be less. Sometimes it can be more.”
Strange will clearly play a role in the next (still untitled) Avengers sequel in May of 2019, but now we finally have confirmation that Doctor Strange will definitely have a sequel. Where the sequel fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe release schedule remains a mystery.
“Sometimes it’s where do those characters pop up?” Feige stated. “[Doctor] Strange, you know, whenever we do another Strange one, which we will do, it will be a number of years from the first Strange, and yet he’s a very big part of [Avengers:] Infinity War. So it is just a good problem to have when you have too many beloved characters that people want to see more of, whilst keeping to our core belief that we need to keep exploring nuance and keep doing different types of things.”
Doctor Strange 2 will bring back Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange. Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams will likely return, while Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Karl Mordo will probably move into a more villainous role (assuming C. Robert Cargill and Scott Derrickson, writer and director from the first film, return). Cargill previously stated that he and Derrickson have plans for a sequel that features Strange using his mystic arts to battle Nightmare, ruler of a Dream Dimension.
There you have it. Doctor Strange 2 is happening, and it can now safely join Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Black Widow in the nebulous MCU Phase Four, where we have little concrete information but implicitly trust that Kevin Feige and company have things meticulously planned and under control.