Benedict Cumberbatch is set to make his return as Doctor Strange in Avengers: Endgame, and here’s everything we know about his role so far. After making his debut as the future Sorcerer Supreme in a 2016 Doctor Strange solo film, Cumberbatch has quickly become a recurring hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This will continue later this year when he is brought back for his fourth MCU appearance.
His solo movie largely focused on setting up the magical side of the shared universe. The introduction of magic also expanded what the MCU had previously set up, as Doctor Strange revealed the Time Stone was housed in the Eye of Agomotto. Strange masters the power over the course of his studies and proves his ability by trapping Dormammu in a time loop. He continued to become more proficient as a wizard and briefly showcased this in Thor: Ragnarok, but we arguably saw the best use of Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War last year.
Strange proved to be as important of a player in how Infinity War played out as anyone. His journey is heavily tied to his facial hair bro Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), but they rarely saw eye-to-eye on anything. This was true even when it meant Strange going against his previous word and gifting the Time Stone to Thanos (Josh Brolin) in order to spare Tony’s life. This decision came at a cost, with Thanos not too long after snapping away half of the universe’s population. This included Strange and gives him quite a fascinating role to play in Avengers: Endgame.
- This Page: Endgame Is Strange’s Plan & He’ll Return
- Page 2: Doctor Strange’s Post-Endgame Future
Endgame Is Doctor Strange’s Plan
Before Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and most of the Guardians of the Galaxy battle Thanos on his original home planet of Titan, Strange uses his magical powers to try and gain an advantage. He explains to the crew on Titan,“I went forward in time to view alternate futures, to see all the possible outcomes of the coming conflict.” He is prompted by Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) to reveal how many possible futures he saw, confirming he’s witnessed 14,000,605 outcomes – but the heroes only beat Thanos in one of Doctor Strange’s futures. This is important to keep in mind, as Infinity War ends with Strange telling a confused Tony, “We’re in the endgame now,” and then further telling him, “There was no other way,” right as Strange fades to dust himself.
His dialogue directly sets up the title for Avengers: Endgame and hints that we are in the only future where the Avengers are able to properly defeat Thanos. So, even though the first Avengers: Endgame trailer showed Tony and Nebula (Karen Gillan) stranded in space, the Earth-based Avengers in tears, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) as Ronin, and Thanos currently happy on Titan-2, this all leads to a path of victory… somehow. The prevailing theory is that this will come through time travel, but whatever it is, the timing of Strange giving up the Time Stone and everything else that happens afterwards is the direct result of Strange’s knowledge of the future and plan.
Doctor Strange Will Be Resurrected In Avengers: Endgame
Surely part of his plan involves himself and all the other people in the MCU that are currently dead being brought back to life. It is not clear how Marvel Studios and the surviving heroes will attempt to pull this off, but there’s no doubt that it will happen in some form. The Russo Brothers previously confirmed to Screen Rant that there aren’t any alternate realities in the MCU, so Avengers: Endgame will likely see the heroes reverse Thanos’ snap (aka the Decimation) entirely or reveal that they aren’t even dead at all. One popular theory suggests the snap victims are trapped inside the Soul Stone or some other realm for the time being, and it is simply going to be up to the reformed Avengers to figure out how to get them out. When they do, Spider-Man, Black Panther, and many other future faces of the MCU will join Strange in being alive once again.
Although we know that he will be brought back, it’s not yet clear when that will happen in Avengers: Endgame. It’s unlikely that the dead heroes will return in the first act of the film, but Strange could begin to pop back up through time travel once that plot thread begins to be explored. If the Avengers are traveling time and space to gather their own Infinity Stones, they may very well cross paths with Strange in order to get the Time Stone for themselves. There’s also the possibility that, if the snap victims are in a different realm, that Endgame could show them attempting to get out on their own and use these characters that way. That said, the most likely option is that Strange and the other heroes will truly make their returns near the end of Endgame. This could be for one giant MCU fight or maybe even as a goodbye to some of the original members. Either way, Strange is making a comeback in Avengers: Endgame.
Page 2 of 2: Doctor Strange’s Post-Endgame Future
Wong Is Back In Avengers: Endgame
With Strange coming back at some point, we also know that his pal Wong (Benedict Wong) will make a return in Avengers: Endgame too. Wong was heavily involved at the start of Infinity War but quickly bailed from the action when Ebony Maw was able to take Doctor Strange off planet. Wong elected to go back to the Sanctum Sanctorum and protect it, which (to be fair) is his duty. That said, it also leaves the Earth’s greatest combined defenses in Wakanda battling an alien army without a true wizard, which may have potentially helped.
There hasn’t been any indication in the marketing or Infinity War‘s ending itself that suggests Wong’s fate, but since we know that he will return, it is at least possible that he is still alive – unless Marvel dusted him off screen. If Wong is alive, he could help the remaining heroes figure out a game plan, but could also show them how the snap impacted the entire multiverse. He would likely be the new Sorcerer Supreme with Strange gone, especially if there is a time jump at any point in the film. If Wong is dead, then he too could return through time travel or just at the very end with all the other heroes.
Doctor Strange 2 Releases After Avengers: Endgame
Marvel Studios has yet to confirm any of their plans for what comes after Avengers: Endgame (other than Spider-Man: Far From Home), but Doctor Strange 2 is on the way. The sequel has long been expected to be part of the MCU’s future and became a matter of when not if. Scott Derrickson recently was reported to have closed a deal to return to direct a sequel to Doctor Strange. There is currently no known writer attached to the project, but Cumberbatch, Wong, and Rachel McAdams are all expected to return. The sequel will reportedly start filming in early 2020, putting it on track for a likely May 2021 release date.
It has previously been said that the deaths in Infinity War will affect future MCU movies, so it is likely that the events of that movie and Avengers: Endgame will still be felt in Doctor Strange 2. Barring a surprise appearance in Black Widow or The Eternals, this will likely be the first time audiences see Doctor Strange since his return to life. Strange was already a watchful protector of Earth before the snap, but his return could give him a whole new perspective. He could even be without the Time Stone entirely if they are destroyed at the end of Endgame. Whatever happens to him at the end of Phase 3, Doctor Strange 2 will continue to show how he’s grown and changed as a result of Avengers: Endgame.