doctor strange dans Spider Man No Way Home

Is Doctor Strange the new leader of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

As the historic Avengers take turns retiring, can the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch impose himself as the leader?

Kevin Feige has just spent a few days drawing the future of his Marvel Cinematic Universe. 14 years after the first Iron Man, the franchise must reinvent itself with new characters. The backgrounds go away in turn, and some characters hitherto relegated to the background could well take on more importance.

After a remarkable appearance in the third film Spiderman, Doctor Strange seems to be the designated candidate. In the midst of a promotional campaign for the release of In the Multiverse of MadnessBenedict Cumberbatch looks back on Stephen Strange’s journey to the big screen.

A not very effective babysitter

In No Way Home, Peter Parker suddenly finds himself in the spotlight. His true identity was revealed to the world by Mysterio, he is public enemy number one. These revelations have serious consequences on his life and those of his relatives; he therefore decides to call on Doctor Strange to reverse the course of time.

But Strange’s fate didn’t quite go as planned. Enemies from elsewhere land in New York, Spider-Man has his work cut out for him. These characters come from other universes. Peter will thus come across alternative versions of himself, camped by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

A way to develop the protagonist camped by Tom Holland, but not only according to Benedict Cumberbatch. “It was him trying to become an adult. He’s trying to be a keeper, I guess, and he’s wrong to be honest. There’s bad parenting advice in this movie (laughs),” he confides during a press conference.

But for Marvel, it was mostly a chance to explore the upheaval Strange faces. Rather solitary at first, Stephen learns that he is much more effective when working as a team.

Doctor Strange 2
Ready to decide in case of thorny question… Credits: Marvel

A leader in the making?

Until now, it was rather Iron Man who worked as the leader of the Avengers. It must be said that with his fortune, and his rather natural leadership, the character had all the keys in hand to establish himself as the leader. Add to that that he was the first character integrated within the MCU, and his position as a figurehead is no longer in doubt.

But now, more than ten years after his arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr wants to devote himself to other projects. So he said goodbye to Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame. Now we need to find a replacement. The similarities between his character and that of Benedict Cumberbatch make the master of the mystic arts the ideal candidate. But for the actor, it is not so simple.

“He’s an underdog. He doesn’t appear directly to you as a leader, despite his prominence in the MCU right now. That’s what makes it interesting. He is in conflict with himself, as a hero. As Sam (Raimi editor’s note) says so well, what brings viewers back is the character. This film really talks about his questions. Finding his weaknesses, his mistakes, his humanity, but also his strength.”

A necessary course to bring him to take the lead of the Avengers and it went rather well according to Benedict Cumberbatch. “He is a much better collaborator, much better at working with others. He realizes he can’t always be the one holding the knife and controlling everything. So I would say those are pretty essential qualities for a leader in my opinion.”

A third film on the program

Doctor Strange’s journey isn’t going to end just yet. The character must already return, Marvel confirmed it at the end of the feature film. Yes Doctor Strange 3 has not been formalized, it must be admitted that at a time when Marvel opens the doors of the multiverse, it is of paramount importance in these new phases. Benedict Cumberbatch does not really seem to be ready to say goodbye to him.

“I am incredibly grateful to be able to play this rich and complex character. It’s really rewarding and fun to do. Does this define my career? I do not know. But it’s one hell of a trip.”

To discover Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness it’s in the cinema that it happens. The film was released last Wednesday, and promises to stay in theaters for quite some time. It remains to be seen if he will manage to exceed the score of No Way Home, meteoric success across the globe. One thing is certain, we haven’t finished hearing about Benedict Cumberbatch and Doctor Strange.

Watch or rewatch Doctor Strange on Disney+

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