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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is approaching its May 6 release date, and Marvel fans should expect it to become one of Phase 4’s biggest installments yet. Stephen Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) latest adventure promises to upend the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. As such, it will bring in characters and storylines from several other Marvel movies and shows. So, what should fans watch before heading out to see Doctor Strange 2?

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) will play a major role in Doctor Strange 2, so it may behoove fans to watch her origin story before seeing the sequel. Her character was introduced back in Avengers: Age of Ultron. So, fans can get a refresher on her backstory and powers by revisiting the 2015 film.

One of Marvel’s trailers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also suggests Ultron variants will make an appearance in the movie. It’s unclear if they’ll be important to the plot or just another nod to the MCU’s history. Still, those hoping to know what’s going on may want to squeeze Age of Ultron into a rewatch.

‘Doctor Strange’

Speaking of refreshers, Marvel fans will definitely want to give Doctor Strange another watch before seeing its sequel. Not only will it remind them how Stephen discovered the Mystic Arts, but it will recap what his powers entail. All of that will be important heading into the new movie, as will Stephen’s relationships.

Several characters from the first Doctor Strange will make a comeback in Multiverse of Madness, including Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) and Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). It’s been a while since we’ve seen either of them, so rewatching their introductions wouldn’t hurt.

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Making time for an Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame rewatch is no doubt taxing, but it could be worthwhile before seeing Doctor Strange 2. The pair of Avengers movies had a massive impact on Phase 4, and we’re likely to see references to that as Stephen encounters the multiverse.

Likewise, Stephen’s own character arc is an important part of Avengers: Infinity War — and even Endgame, though he’s in it significantly less. Both films help him develop into the character he is today. Plus, they reveal what happened to the Time Stone — something that could come up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.


Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in 'WandaVision.' She's wearing a sweatshirt and about to use her powers, but she looks upset about something.
Elizabeth Olsen in ‘WandaVision’ | Marvel Studios

Watching Wanda Maximoff’s origin story might be a good idea before Doctor Strange 2, but giving WandaVision another go is arguably more important. Much of Wanda’s storyline in the upcoming sequel centers on her grief. That’s explored in-depth in her Disney+ series, which also introduces characters who reappear in Multiverse of Madness.

Judging by Marvel’s recent trailers, Wanda and Vision’s (Paul Bettany) sons Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne) will show up in Doctor Strange 2. Likewise, fans spotted a Captain Marvel variant that looks a whole lot like Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) in Marvel’s latest look at the film. All of these characters get their MCU start in WandaVision.


There’s no telling if Loki will actually connect to Doctor Strange 2 in a significant way, but those who have time to watch the Disney+ show before the movie comes out may want to do so.

After all, the trickster’s series establishes the rules of the multiverse in depth. Plus, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie’s (Sophia Di Martino) actions at the end of the show could impact what happens in Stephen Strange’s next adventure. Some fans are even hopeful the pair will make an appearance. We’ll have to wait to see if that actually happens.

Marvel’s ‘What If…?’

More so than Loki, Marvel’s What If…? takes a deep dive into the multiverse, showing viewers what different timelines might look like. Giving What If…? a watch before Doctor Strange 2 could help fans visualize and understand the workings of the multiverse. Plus, it appears that live-action iterations of What If…?‘s characters will be in the sequel.

Although Benedict Cumberbatch told Total Film (per Games Radar) that Sinister Strange is not the same as Stephen’s What If…? variant, a recent trailer featured Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell). There could be other references to the animated series as well. Perhaps the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) will even make an appearance.

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’


‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Benedict Cumberbatch Improvised 1 of Doctor Strange’s Snarkiest Moments

Stephen Strange’s most recent appearance in the MCU takes place in Spider-Man: No Way Home. And his actions in the 2021 blockbuster are likely to haunt him in his sequel story. In fact, that may be why he’s dragged before the Illuminati. Toying with time and space to help a kid get into college isn’t likely to go unpunished, even in the MCU.

Given how close the two movies are to one another — and the fact that they place a heavy emphasis on the Mystic Arts and the multiverse — Doctor Strange 2 and Spider-Man: No Way Home could have further overlap as well. It’ll be interesting to see how they bounce off of one another.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness comes out on May 6, 2022.