Doctor Strange 2 Originally Had A Completely Different Opening Scene

That could've been great!

By Douglas Helm | Published

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doctor strange 2

Doctor Strange 2 properly threw us into the vast multiverse that was introduced in Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The movie starts off by dropping us in the middle of the action, with a Strange variant (with a ponytail) protecting Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez from a multidimensional monster before betraying her to prevent her powers from falling into the wrong hands. However, according to Gomez herself, that intro scene wasn’t always set in stone.

In an interview with Slash Film, she talks about how the opening scene of Doctor Strange 2 was tested with audiences multiple times, leading to multiple reshoots. According to her, the betrayal wasn’t always planned, saying “One main thing that got changed is that Defender Strange was actually saving me at the beginning and it was a turning point, that when he died it was me being heartbroken over the fact that someone who cared and was protecting me had passed away. Then, when we did reshoots it was this main drastic change that Defender Strange was actually betraying me and trying to take my power away from me… A little, simple thing like that can change so much.”

She definitely makes a good point. If the alternate Strange didn’t betray her, America Chavez wouldn’t have had as much conflict working with another Strange. As we saw later in the movie, Strange variants can be a pretty extreme bunch, with one Strange being straight up evil and another Strange sacrificing billions to stop Thanos. Overall, the opening scene that they settled on for Doctor Strange 2 seems like the right choice, as it definitely helped set a darker tone for the movie.

The opening scene wasn’t the only aspect of Doctor Strange 2 that underwent major changes. For one, the original director left the project and was replaced. Scott Derrickson was initially onboard but left over creative differences. Fortunately, Sam Raimi stepped up to direct and Michael Waldron was hired for script duties, starting the project over.

Another big change to the movie was the ending. While the change to the opening of the movie wasn’t particularly major, the alternate ending would have left Doctor Strange’s character in a much different place. In the ending we got, Doctor Strange had a third eye open on his forehead as a consequence of messing with the Darkhold. He also is seen jumping through a portal with the sorceress Clea (Charlize Theron) to go on another adventure. However, the original ending would have seen the original Strange trapped in the incursion universe and the Sinister Strange replacing him in the main Marvel universe. The third eye would have opened and featured an iconic laugh from Vincent Price, showing that an evil Strange is now running free in the prime MCU.

doctor strange 2

Overall, it seems like the Doctor Strange 2 final product worked out for the best. While the evil Strange ending would have been interesting, it would have been tricky for the MCU story at large. And the change to the beginning scene helped to make America Chavez a better character. Audiences seem to agree, considering Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently the second highest-grossing movie of the year. It’s also the top-grossing Marvel film of the year and will likely hold that title for a while, beating out Thor: Love and Thunder. Of course, it could easily be dethroned when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters in November.