On May 6, the latest feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise hits movie theaters. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the second stand-alone film to star the Master of the Mystic Arts, but it’s also looking like it will incorporate some very unique interactions from both within, and even outside, the MCU. That’s because Steven Strange has to deal with a threat that could destroy not just the MCU, but the entire multiverse.
Even if you are a fan of the Marvel films, it might be a good idea to check out some key movies and MCU TV shows before you head to the theaters to see Doctor Strange 2. Here are our picks of what movies and shows to watch beforehand. Thankfully, most of our choices are available at one source, Disney Plus. You can sign up for the service at the link below.
Disney Plus bundle
The movie that introduced Doctor Strange to the MCU is the perfect place to start. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfectly cast in the role of Dr. Steven Strange, a skilled but extremely arrogant New York City surgeon. When a car accident damages his hand so severely that he can’t operate anymore, Strange travels the world to find any way to get back his skills. He finally makes his way to Tibet, where he learns that not only is magic real, but he can learn to cast his own spells. He will need to learn quickly as some renegade magic users are trying to destroy the world. This movie has some truly awesome visual effects, and lays the groundwork for what we should see in Doctor Strange 2.
Avengers: Infinity War / Endgame
Cumberbatch is back in this duology of films, which is also the end of the MCU’s Infinity Saga. Dr. Strange has some pretty cool battles in Infinity War, particularly against the main villain Thanos. He doesn’t have as much to do in Endgame, but he does help out in the final battle against Thanos and his army.
(LR): Doctor Strange Supreme and Christine Palmer at Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney +. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
This Disney Plus animated show is all about how the MCU might have changed if one event had happened in a different way. The series includes one devoted to Doctor Strange, as he tries to save his girlfriend who keeps dying, no matter how many times he goes back in time to change things. He feels that he has to gain more power in order to prevent her death. Cumberbatch returns to voice Dr. Strange, and you might see some other characters in episodes of this show that could return in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Cumberbatch returns again to the role in what turned out to be the biggest box office movie hit of 2021. Strange agrees to help Peter Parker because his Spider-Man identity has been revealed to the general public. Dr. Strange tries to create a spell that is supposed to make everyone forget that Parker is Spider-Man. However, the spell goes wrong, and instead brings forth a ton of Spider-Man villains from other universes. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, we won’t spoil anything else, but it’s certainly a big setup for next week’s Doctor Strange 2.
The co-lead of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olson. After a brief post-credits cameo in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Wanda makes her full debut in this second Avengers movie. Alongside her brother Pietro, Wanda at first helps the main villain, the evil AI Ultron, in its quest to take out the Avengers. She eventually switches sides, and we see just a hint of what her full hex-based powers are like.
Captain America: Civil War
Wanda returns in this film, which sees two teams of superheroes battling against each other. However, it’s also where we see Wanda start her relationship with the android Vision (Paul Bettany) that would become crucial in her character development. Wanda has a big role to play in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame as well.
The acclaimed and Emmy Award-nominated Disney Plus series stars Olson and Bettany as Wanda and Vision, but the first few episodes seem to show the happy couple living life in a series of shifting TV show sitcoms, from the 1950s to modern times. As it turns out, its Wanda that’s doing all of this, but the question is why? We also see her be called by her Marvel Comics superhero name, The Scarlet Witch, for the first time, and the events in this series lead right into Doctor Strange 2.
Tom Hiddleston returns as Thor’s half-brother Loki, as he gets introduced to the Time Variance Authority, which is supposed to clean up the timeline of any “variants” in alternate universes. As the Disney Plus series shows, the TVA isn’t what it first seems. We also see a number of different Loki variants, including a woman, a child, and even an alligator. The ending of the series also seems to be tied to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.