When the film was first announced last summer, Marvel Studios was originally describing Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness as the first “horror” film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Speaking to the crowd at San Diego Comic-Con, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson expressed a desire to make the film’s sequel “horrific”:
“When I came and talked to [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] about doing a sequel, I said, ‘I don’t want to do just another sequel. If I’m going to do it, it needs to go into the territory that drew me into the Doctor Strange comics in the first place’ – which is how they dipped into the gothic and the horror and the horrific. And we’re going to make the first scary MCU movie.”
However, these days, the film finds itself in something of an unstable position these days, as Derrickson recently stepped away from the project due to “creative differences” with Marvel Studios, thus leaving the sequel without a director (for now).
Nevertheless, the studio is forging forward with the film as what appears to the synopsis has leaked online:
Sites like Backstage, who deal with auditions and the like, have got a synopsis for the film that reads: “After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Dr Stephen Strange continues his research on the Time Stone. But an old friend-turned-enemy puts an end to his plans and causes Strange to unleash unspeakable evil.” [via DigitalSpy]
As previously reported, Nightmare is rumored to be the main antagonist of the film, with Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch also rumored to play some part in the film’s plot.
According to Marvel, Nightmare is the “ruler of his own Nightmare World within the Dream Dimension.”
Nightmare is a Class Three demon who influences the dreams of living beings as they sleep, feeding on humanity’s psychic energies in particular. Nightmare occasionally singles out souls for special tortures, sometimes trapping their dream-selves in his realm. He has even sought to absorb the entire waking world into his own realm, though never with lasting success.
Humanity’s chief defender against Nightmare is the sorcerer Doctor Strange, who has fought the demon so often that Strange routinely casts a protective spell on himself before sleeping. [via Marvel]
Given that Doctor Strange 2 is set to further introduce the concept of the multiverse into the MCU — which is something that possibly changes the entire structure of the franchise — it makes sense that the film’s villain would be someone as consequential and otherworldly as Nightmare.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is set to hit theaters on May 7, 2021.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him firstname.lastname@example.org