After losing his mentor in Avengers: Endgame with the death of Tony Stark/Iron Man, Peter Parker’s Spider-Man will have a new superhero to look up to, as Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast in the third Spider-Man film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast to reprise his role of Doctor Strange in the upcoming Spider-Man 3. Considering Cumberbatch’s take on Doctor Strange is occasionally cocky and has a penchant for thin goatees, this replacement for Parker’s mentor isn’t a major stretch for Spider-Man.
But putting Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in a third Spider-Man film does illuminate another recent rumor. Also announced by The Hollywood Reporter, Jamie Foxx was cast earlier this month to reprise his role of Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Many questioned how Electro could make an appearance in yet another Spider-Man timeline, but Doctor Strange’s involvement in this third film makes this far more understandable.
2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – as the name hints – suggests that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange will be exploring all sorts of alternate dimensions. We’ve already heard rumors that Captain America and Iron Man could theoretically look a little different in the multiverse, and that Robert Downey Jr. could theoretically play Tony Stark again in a different version.
These have all been hints that we will see unique versions of these characters, but the introduction of Foxx’s Electro implies that we might even see versions of characters from other worlds. Who knows, maybe Andrew Garfield could swing into Spider-Man 3, Tobey Maguire could dance through New York once again, or most importantly, maybe this implies the return of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Spider-Ham. One can dream.
Kevin Feige has stated in the past that while the Fantastic Four and the X-Men will eventually come to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, their reveal might take some time. However, it’s also been rumored that the Fantastic Four would eventually appear in an upcoming Spider-Man film. They’ve never appeared in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film before, but a few tricks from Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, and we could see Reed Richards alongside Spider-Man in no time.
With so many rumors about alternate realities appearing in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – scheduled for release on March 25, 2022 and marking the end of Marvel’s Phase Four films – it’s notable that the upcoming Spider-Man film actually predates the Doctor Strange sequel, as it’s planned for release on December 17, 2021.
In between is also Thor: Love and Thunder, scheduled for February 11, 2022, which has already announced that Natalie Portman will be taking up the Thor title. It’s been assumed that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would deal with alternate realities, but if Benedict Cumberbatch’s casting in Spider-Man 3 is any indication of what is to come, we might see alternate realities all throughout the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In addition to his appearances in this third Spider-Man film and his starring role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Benedict Cumberbatch’s next few years are packed with new projects. October 16, 2020 will see the release of The Courier, which also stars The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan and I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ Jessie Buckley.
Benedict Cumberbatch also has three other films already in post-production: Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, costarring Kristen Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Thomasin McKenzie, the biopic Louis Wain with Claire Foy and Andrea Riseborough and an upcoming film by Black Sea director Kevin Macdonald, with Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim and Shailene Woodley.