Doctor Strange might currently be one of the most popular (and recurring) characters in the MCU, but that doesn't mean that Benedict Cumberbatch doesn't have his own concerns about the pressures of a sequel.
Sequels used to bring nerves from fans, filmmakers, and its stars, but times are changing. As projects are constantly greenlit due to long-running franchise names, reboots, revivals, and sequels maintaining a reputation has changed in the medium throughout the last two decades. With ideas like the MCU or DC's reframed expansive universe, superhero films have also taken on a new challenge – where many sequels have the potential to overcome the expectations of their predecessors.
After the success of Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme has become one of Marvel's strongest characters and popped up several times in a cameo capacity. Still, his upcoming film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will act as the second Doctor Strange-led film. In a new interview with Esquire, Cumberbatch discussed his return to the role and the nerves he once associated with sequel films.
The Marvel actor detailed, "I've got the 'Second Album Fear' with this one like anyone should because the first one was such a riotous success, and he's become a much-loved character." He later added, "They're very good at exceeding expectations when expectations are low. I think it's always harder to exceed them when they're high. I'm not saying they make them low. 'We're going to do Ant-Man!' It's just the way they make these things work. On paper, you think, 'Is that exciting?' They're starting to take more risks now, I think. I mean, their directors are very tied into the house style. But, you know, Taika Waititi, they were, like, 'Are we…? Is this going to work?' And it's fucking so funny, Thor: Ragnarok."
Thor: Ragnarok is one title that has managed to prove the star's point about sequels, but there are always at least a few films out there that are arguably able to accomplish the daunting task of elevating a world.
Do you have high hopes for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?