Benedict Cumberbatch has quickly become an MCU mainstay, with 2016's Doctor Strange setting the stage for the Sorcerer Supreme to make his presence felt in The Avengers, Thor, and Spider-Man franchises. Most recently, we saw the hero in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a movie that laid the groundwork for Stephen to head down a darker route.
Like most Marvel Studios movies, we know the production was somewhat chaotic. Reshoots are believed to have reshaped significant chunks of the blockbuster, and it turns out Cumberbatch also rewrote key scenes while on set.
"I got to write some of those scenes," the actor told Prestige when asked about playing all those Variants. "I suggested that it needed to get darker at a point. There was a slightly more saccharine version at one stage and I’m really happy with the way it evolved. Sam Raimi was so game for it and Michael Waldron really supported me to write it as well."
"We turned what was a very small combat between the two into a sort of very bizarre and inventive battle in that moment," Cumberbatch said, presumably referring to that final battle between the Stranges. "It was how the original was pitched to me a long while back when Scott Derrickson was still working with us: Strange would meet versions of himself. It was something I wanted to lean into."
After teasing potentially playing more Variants in The Multiverse Saga, Cumberbatch was asked if he feels a sense of familiarity with Strange now. His response was yes, though it sounds like he may have clashed with Marvel Studios about how this character's story should unfold.
"It’s strange, apart from some of the crew, I think I was the only person continuing the story and sort of safeguarding Strange," Cumberbatch said, "guiding his character into being and sometimes even educating people about another, which is a very weird responsibility because I still feel like I’ve got a lot more to discover. There’s so much lore in the comics to bring into the MCU and that’s just the beginning for his character."
We're not sure how to unpack those comments, though there are various ways to interpret them. Cumberbatch is clearly happy with his place in the MCU as he talked about the future a lot in this interview, so there's no reason to be concerned about the actor walking away from the role.
What would you like to see from Doctor Strange in the MCU in Phase 5 and beyond?