Since his initial appearance as the title character in Scott Derickson’s 2016 film Doctor Strange, which grossed about $678 million at the box office, Cumberbatch has played Doctor Stephen Strange across the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Doctor Strange has gone on to become a key character in the Marvel films, with his command of the occult placing him as one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe.
Cumberbatch is expected to feature in the highly anticipated Spider-Man threequel, Spider-Man: No Way Home, in which Strange appears to open up the multiverse by accident when Peter Parker urges him to forget he is Spider-Man.
Of course, it remains to be known how the events of this film will unfold, but Strange will return next year in the long-awaited sequel to his stand-alone feature
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which has been dubbed the MCU’s first-ever horror film.
While the plot of the sequel remains unknown, fans now know that Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) will appear alongside Strange as the final minutes of Wandavision appeared to show her using her chaotic magic.
Now, Cumberbatch has expressed concern that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will not be as “riotous” as the first Doctor Strange picture.
In an interview with Esquire, the actor admitted to having “second album worry” for the sequel and commented on Doctor Strange’s massive success.
He went on to say that Strange has become a “much-loved” character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Cumberbatch’s entire quote can be found below.
“I’ve got the Second Album Fear with this one, like anyone should, because the first one was such a riotous success and he’s become a much-loved character.”
Cumberbatch also mentions how Marvel is “quite excellent at exceeding expectations,” but that doing so when expectations are already high is far more difficult.
To add to the excitement around this film, the sequel will be directed by Sam Raimi, the filmmaker of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy.
This undoubtedly elevates the stakes, as many people hold the original Spider-Man flicks in extremely high regard.
With speculations circulating that Maguire himself may appear with Cumberbatch in Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s easy to understand the web of anticipation that surrounds these upcoming Marvel films.
When you consider the size of the audiences that the Marvel films have accumulated over the last 13 years, intense fan speculation is unavoidable.
When you consider the grandeur of the storytelling within the comic-book storylines that the MCU films are based on, it’s clear to understand how a film can’t possibly please everyone.
While Cumberbatch’s concerns are valid, fans will have to wait until mid-next year to see what Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has in store
And while the Marvel world rarely suffers from sequel-itis, audiences will have to wait until the mid-next year to find out.