But revealing an infinite series of alternate dimensions may not be the weirdest thing that happens in this MCU sequel. According to one new leak, the multiverse could look downright boring compared to some of the other stuff in Doctor Strange 2.
Aside from a change in directors and some vague casting news, we know very little about Doctor Strange 2, but a recent tweet could blow the plot wide open. On October 27, KC Walsh (the editor-in-chief of comics blog Geeks Worldwide) retweeted a few images from the comic book run Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme while adding this cryptic message:
"I would highly suggest checking out this run before the next Doctor Strange movie."
Published in 2017, Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme was a 12-issue series that told the story of a group of powerful wizards led by Strange. The team included Merlin (yes, the Merlin from King Arthur legend) along with standby Marvel magic-users like the Ancient One and Wiccan. It also got weird, mixing in other "wizards" from Sir Isaac Newton to a version of Ghost Rider from the 1800s.
With Doctor Strange 2 set to explore the multiverse, it's not unreasonable to think that we could see a team-up on the scale of this comic. But that might still be thinking too small. Sure, it would be fun to see the ranks of wizards in the MCU expand beyond what we have now, but Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme did much more than that.
In the sixth issue of the comic, Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme treated fans to something highly unusual. It let them decide how the story would play out in a format similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. The issue was met with mixed reviews, though most critics were at least impressed with the idea — if not the execution.
The question is: could Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness possibly be Marvel's first movie that let audiences decide how the story goes?
The obvious answer is: no way. It seems extremely unlikely that the MCU is about to let fans dictate how a movie plays out. From a technical standpoint, there's no precedent for this type of experience in a movie theater. (Netflix offers a similar feature for streaming, though, so maybe on Disney+?)
From a narrative perspective, it also doesn't make much sense. The MCU's interconnected nature means each movie needs to fit tightly within the larger narrative. So if fans get to control how the story goes in Doctor Strange 2, it could create bigger inconsistencies in future films.
That second problem has an easy fix: just make the choices in Doctor Strange 2 insignificant to the plot. In other words, give audiences the illusion of choice, without actually letting the change anything that matters.
As for the technical issues, that's a tougher problem to overcome. Then again, we're still years away from the scheduled release of Doctor Strange 2, and that's assuming it doesn't get delayed again due to Covid-19. By then, Disney might be able to figure out a way to make this work in theaters — or, if things really don't improve, on Disney+.
And, more importantly, by then, Disney might be desperate enough to try something truly outrageous.
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled for release on March 25, 2022.