Image: Marvel Studios

The next Doctor Strange movie won’t hit theaters until 2022, but we’ll be seeing the Master of the Mystic Arts back on the big screen before then. In an exclusive report, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch will return as the Sorcerer Supreme for Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios’ third Spider-Man film, which will begin filming shortly for a December 2021 release.

“The move puts Cumberbatch in the mentor role that was previously occupied by Robert Downey Jr., who played Tony Stark/Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and by Samuel L. Jackson in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the latter reprising Nick Fury,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote. “The role gives Holland a chance to play opposite seasoned actors, gives Peter Parker a father figure and gives the movies extra star power while also tying them to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

With Tony Stark being [spoiler] dead, that makes a lot of sense, but we’re willing to bet that Doctor Strange is being thrown into the mix specifically for his wizardry and ability to peer into other universes. That is, Marvel wants to use Spider-Man 3 as a springboard into the multiverse, a collection of alternate universes that would allow writers to go just about anywhere.

Jamie Foxx’s surprise return as Electro seems to confirm this. There are two problems with Foxx’s involvement – one, Electro is dead, and two, he’s from a completely different film universe (Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man) – but neither is an issue if the multiverse concept comes into play.

Doctor Strange’s role could also open up the possibility of a Spider-Verse, which would bring together all three generations of the web slinger: Tobey Maguire (Raimi), Andrew Garfield (Webb), and Tom Holland (Watts). Maguire, a fan favorite, would really get people in the seats, as Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 are regarded as two of the greatest superhero movies ever.

Marvel may also be in a rush to beat Warner Bros.’ own multiverse plans with The Flash, which will bring multiple Batmen together. Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck have already signed on for the film, which is scheduled for a November 2022 bow.

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  1. I admit I haven’t really read many comics in the last 5-10 years but it sounds like they’re substituting Madame Web for Doctor Strange now. Even though he often had many cameos she was the one usually mentoring Peter through the multiverse from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Either way, I’m pretty excited about this and I think it’ll be an awesome movie.
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