It’s almost time to return to the Sanctum Sanctorum. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson has shared a new photo from the film’s set in Kathmandu, Nepal. This is days ahead of Marvel’s reveal of its Phase 4 movies, which may or may not include a direct sequel, Doctor Strange 2.
To commemorate his July 16 birthday, Derrickson shared a previously never-before-seen photo on Instagram from the Nepalese set of 2016’s Doctor Strange. The image depicts cinematographer Ben Davis behind the camera (wearing an exclusive Doctor Strange crew hat) overlooking a street in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.
His caption simply reads, “Behind the camera in Kathmandu.”
This location was seen in the beginning of the film, when Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange travels to Nepal to seek the help of someone called “The Ancient One” (played by Tilda Swinton).
While the image doesn’t confirm Doctor Strange 2 is real, let alone starting production — star Benedict Wong, who plays “Wong,” suggested that filming begins “next year” in 2020 — the timing on the part of Derrickson is curious. With San Diego Comic-Con set to take place this weekend, Marvel Studios is expected to reveal its next major line-up of movies by Saturday evening.
“Phase 4,” as its come to be known, is expected to include Doctor Strange 2, which Derrickson is signed on to direct. Other movies in Phase 4 include Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson, a sequel to Black Panther, as well as the first movies depicting Shang-Chi and the Eternals.
The plot of Doctor Strange 2 is as much a mystery as anything else in this vast multiverse, though one can expect the story to take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Now the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange will protect the Earth from yet another mystical threat.
In addition to Cumberbatch and Wong, Rachel McAdams is expected to return for the sequel as Christine Palmer, Strange’s ex who discovered his new mystical powers at the end of the first film. It is unknown whether or not Chiwetel Ejiofor, who played Baron Mordo, will return, but the first film’s post-credits scene teased his transformation into Strange’s next nemesis.
In a March 2017 tweet, Derrickson expressed his wish to adapt the character Nightmare into a villain for Doctor Strange, but admitted Nightmare is “a tricky villain to get right.” He also hinted at Clea, Strange’s wife in the comics.
Doctor Strange 2 is expected to release in fall 2020 or later.