What does the title for the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, really mean? Director Scott Derrickson has confirmed that the follow-up film will be the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first horror movie, but said nothing of the movie's storyline or horror audiences should expect.
While the character of Doctor Strange is a sorcerer, his adventures would be more appropriately shelved next to Stephen King's IT Than J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in a bookstore. The stories crafted by Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee rake back to the days of the pulps and Weird Tales magazine. While the word "weirdit has come to refer to something unusual in modern times, it is appropriate to the supernatural and otherworldly, with creatures that human minds can barely comprehend.
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This weird brand of horror is the stock-in-trade of H.P. Lovecraft, who seems to be a source of inspiration for the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. The subtitle "In The Multiverse of Madness" seems to be a nod to one of Lovecraft's most famous novellas, At The Mountains of Madness, which detailed a disastrous expedition into the uncharted wilds of Antarctica which uncovered evidence of a fall civilization and alien monsters. While never directly adapted for film, At The Mountains of Madness did inspire aspects of the movies Alien and The Thing, Guillermo del Toro worked on an adaptation of the story for several years, but it has become one of his 17 abandoned movies.
Much of Lovecraft's work, which has now fallen into the public domain in the United States, has just been referenced in the cosmology of Marvel Comics. Eldritch beings created by Lovecraft, as Yog-Sothoth and Nyarlathotep, have appeared alongside creatures inspired by his writing and menaced the likes of Thanos. Chief of these is the Old One of Shuma-Gorath, who made his first appearance in an issue of Marvel premiere centered around Doctor Strange and went on to become a playable character in the Marvel Vs. Capcom games.
Between the original Cthulhu myth Marvel Comics, there is a wealth of material for the Doctor Strange sequel to draw upon. But what of the other half of the title and the mention of a multiverse? Moviegoers are already familiar with the concept after both Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verses and Spider-Man: Far From Home, which had Mysterio spin a story of having an earth as part of his faked background. But while Mysterio may have been lying, that does not mean MCU multiverse does not exist, and Doctor Strange would be the ideal character to explore it.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness It could have been a considerable crossover potential with the rest of the MCU's phase 4. It has been confirmed that Elizabeth Olsen wants to star in Doctor Strange 2 Scarlet Witch wants to connect directly to her upcoming Disney + series, Wanda vision, It could be tie into the upcoming What If …? Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. The only certainty in this is the possibility of the future adventures of Doctor Strange.
Next: Why Marvel Did not Announce Plans For 2022 Or Beyond At SDCC
Key Release Dates
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
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