Doctor Strange might not dive into the Multiverse of Madness until next spring, but madness is surely running amok as the cast and crew of the sequel to Doctor Strange head back on the set for the third time. It was recently confirmed that the production would be spending the holidays back on the set filming reshoots for the anticipated film. But with a change in directors and multiple setbacks, some are nervously questioning these reshoots. And given the recent shortcomings of Marvel Cinematic Universe films like the recent Eternals, some believe that Doctor Strange 2 could possibly be in trouble, with one source stating the reshoots are “like a whole other movie”.
Originally announced by MCU president Kevin Feige at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, Doctor Strange 2 would follow the timeline of events set up at the end of Avengers: Endgame. As Dr. Stephen Strange continues to research the time stone, a former ally-turned-enemy (assumingly Karl Mordo) will put an end to his plans and cause Strange to unleash unspeakable evil. The film hit its first major snag in production when director Scott Derrickson, who directed Doctor Strange as well, stepped away from the sequel in January 2020 citing, what he called, creative differences. Marvel Studios quickly brought in the man responsible for the turn of the century hit Spider-Man trilogy, Sam Raimi.
Filming for Doctor Strange 2 started in the U.K in November 2020 but paused just a few months later due to a worsening pandemic. After the snag in filming, the cast and crew wrapped things up this past April. However, it was recently reported from multiple outlets that further reshoots were needed, and the cast and crew would be working diligently to get them done through this November and December. The Supreme Sorcerer himself, Benedict Cumberbatch spoke lightheartedly about the reshoots this past Thursday on Jimmy Kimmel Live where he was asked if he knew what the reshoots were going to be. “Like everything with Marvel, it comes in fresh, pretty much, most mornings,” Cumberbatch said with a laugh when questioned. “It’s really exciting and the film is shaping up to be something special.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, one source is describing the Doctor Strange 2 re-work as “significant”, including both additional photography and reshoots that will put the cast and the crew through six-day-a-week workdays over the next six weeks. Yet other sources are quick to downplay these reshoots, stating that much of the principal photography will be done during this time. Likewise, sources point to the pandemic shutdowns and actor availability as another need for extra time in reshooting.
Given the widespread attention comic rival production house Warner Bros. and DC received after the debacle concerning Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the Snydercut, it’s easy to see why so many are quick to point fingers and assume the setbacks surrounding Doctor Strange 2 are a sign that the movie is in trouble. Reshoots are often due to a complete change in the story’s directive. But ultimately, it’s important to remember that reshoots are also a normal part of filmmaking. Considering the MCU is an ever-growing, interconnected universe, it’s fair to assume that from time to time the studio may need to tweak their stories. As far as the possibility of there being two completely different stories written for Doctor Strange 2, we will just have to wait and see if Scott Derrickson decides to pull a “Snyder” and reveal a different story.