Phase 4 is going to be exciting but nothing is more exciting than the Doctor Strange sequel.
Marvel’s Phase 4 is going to be an exercise in how far they can take their movie franchises into the weird hole of the unknown. With the Marvel trinity gone, three of the original six Avengers retired or dead and out of the remaining three only one, Thor, making an appearance in the movies with Hawkeye starring in his own series, and we got no idea what Hulk is doing.
Watch: Marvel Phase 4 announcement at the San Diego Comic Con
Shang-Chi is definitely a super hit movie and Thor: Love and Thunder will undoubtedly be the highest-grossing movie in Phase 4, but the film which will be more impactful to the MCU going forward is none other than the long-overdue sequel to the 'Sorcerer Supreme', 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness'.
Released in 2016, Doctor Strange was anchored by a solid performance from Benedict Cumberbatch and sure-handed direction from Scott Derrickson. The unofficial thing about the MCU was every movie got a sequel about three years after the last installment, which was the case for almost all films except Doctor Strange. We were expecting the movie to come out in and around 2019, but with no announcement, the sequel was nowhere to be seen.
Watch: The trailer for Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange made a cameo in Thor: Ragnarok and he was one of the most crucial members of Avengers: Infinity War where he set off the chain of events which resulted in the downfall of Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. '
During the Infinity War, we saw the parallels between the Doctor and Tony, with Strange being the earlier version of Tony Stark from Iron Man 1 & 2. Even though the parallels between Tony and Strange was a point of contention for most fans because it felt like a rehashing of the same origin story, still, Strange matured over time, and he seems more like the Tony we got to know later on.
So, he is in the prime position to become the leader of the MCU going forward. Spider-Man was shown as the next Iron Man in Spider-Man: Far from Home but Strange is more mature and more experienced with the actor also being the biggest superstar outside of Angelina Jolie in the MCU.
Finally, after playing a prominent role in the Avengers movies, the 'Master of the Mystic Arts' was given the sequel he deserved. During the announcement, Doctor Strange sequel was introduced as the first scary movie of the MCU which is a new area we’ve never seen Marvel head down before. This is not unfamiliar for Marvel to play in a genre sandbox, they’ve introduced spy thrillers, heist movies, war movies, into the superhero genre but horror is something we never thought Marvel using as a tool for their films.
Watch: The announcement of Doctor Strange 2 at SDCC
We saw the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Dark Dimension in Doctor Strange, but the title of the sequel is outright saying Multiverse of Madness. So, we are getting a Multiverse hopping story from Marvel with Nightmare almost sure to show up as the villain; we can also expect some trippy visuals of the Dream Dimension.
With Multiverse jumping and horror elements, we can be almost certain this movie will introduce Blade to the world, so there is another thing to be excited about. Marvel is a brand which makes people comfortable to take their kids to the movies but putting in a horror flick isn’t exactly a family-friendly direction.
The film will be PG-13, but still, this is bold new direction Marvel is trying to take and a way to see how far they can push the fanbase before they start pushing back. The problem with Marvel’s Phase 4 is it almost seems like a Phase 2 clone, with Black Widow being the 'Captain America: Winter Soldier' clone and The Eternals looking like a weirder version of Guardians of the Galaxy. With the other two movies, we’ve got some amount of inkling how they are going to look and feel, Doctor Strange 2 though is a mystery. We’ve got no idea how the multiverse jumping is going to look and how they will incorporate horror elements to the movie. This is a unique journey Marvel is taking us on, and if all goes well, this is the boldest journey they’ve taken, yet.
Finally, the reason why this movie is the most exciting movie coming in Phase 4 is because the film is situated in the manner like it is going to be impactful to the MCU going forward. With Scarlet Witch joining forces with Doctor Strange in the sequel, there obviously is something nasty on the horizon; otherwise, there is no need to assemble two of the strongest Avengers to date. Whatever the Sorcerer Supreme is facing is big enough, which requires the assistance of the Witch.
The series WandaVision is coming in Spring 2021, a little while before Doctor Strange 2 and Kevin said the series would tie into the movie, he also said Wanda would earn the name Scarlet Witch which isn’t used in the films. So, we know 'Wanda' is going to be powerful and Strange is already powerful, so this might of power assembled together means something pretty bad is coming.
The reason why this movie is exciting is there are endless possibilities of what it all probably means in the grand scheme of things, maybe they will just make a simple by the numbers horror movie, or maybe they will lay the groundworks for the 'Secret Wars' movie.
With the film being situated in the position where most an Avengers movie is located, the creators do seem to be hinting at something significant and bold with enormous ramifications for the future. These are exciting times for the MCU and nothing is more exciting than the direction Doctor Strange is heading on.