Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be the first horror movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to director Scott Derrickson. Marvel Studios revealed part of the titles for the upcoming Phase 4 at their panel in San Diego Comic-Con, and among those is a sequel to Doctor Strange.
After his cinematic debut in 2016, the Sorcerer Supreme has appeared in four films in the MCU, including a cameo in Thor: Ragnarok, but a sequel wasn’t confirmed until now. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will have Scott Derrickson back as director, as well as Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character, and it all points at the story taking a darker turn than anything we’ve seen in the MCU so far.
During Marvel Studios panel in Hall H, Derrickson stated that they are “going to make the first scary MCU film.” In addition to Derrickson and Cumberbatch teaming up once more, the sequel will include Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, connecting with the upcoming series WandaVision, which could also add to the “scary” vibe they are aiming for.
Although some Marvel films have addressed some dark topics, none of them can be considered as horror films – but if there’s a character in the MCU with the potential to bring some horror to the mix, it’s Doctor Strange. With Avengers: Endgame creating alternate timelines and universes, Strange and company will have the chance to explore some unseen, darker universes, which surely hide some true horrors – more so if Derrickson’s desire of including Nightmare in the sequel comes true.
Speaking of Derrickson, he is one of the few Marvel directors with experience in the horror genre, so we can be sure that, if the sequel really goes on a more horror-oriented route, it will be done masterfully. Prior to joining the MCU, he wrote and directed various horror films, such as Hellraiser: Inferno, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and Sinister. He’s no stranger to the genre, and could easily bring a dose of horror to the Marvel Universe.
Of course, plot details won’t be revealed until after production starts (or maybe not even then, considering Marvel’s legendary secrecy), and with no clue on which other characters will join Strange in this new story, we can only speculate and imagine what kind of horrors Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness could bring based only on the title, the events in the first film, and in Avengers: Endgame.