Benedict Cumberbatch reveals Doctor Strange 2 and What If's variants are different

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness offers the potential for some familiar faces to come crashing through the tears in reality. But, as Benedict Cumberbatch tells Total Film magazine in its new issue, one potential Doctor Strange variant isn’t who you think he is.

Yes, the variants will come thick and fast in The Multiverse Of Madness, with trailers revealing that, alongside the Sacred Timeline Strange, we’ll also see Benedict Cumberbatch as a combat-ready Defender Strange, a clean-shaven Supreme Strange and a corrupted Sinister Strange.

Many were quick to point out the similarities between the darker Sinister Strange and the Strange Supreme who features in episode four of Disney Plus' animated series What If...?, but Cumberbatch confirms that his Sinister Steve "is nothing that you’ve seen before. What If...? is a beautiful riff of a potential. And this is something different."

On what other multiverse-shaped surprises lay in wait for Marvel fans, Cumberbatch jokes, "There are five Spider-Men in this film. Spider-Women, too. And Spider- Everythings! No, we don’t. I will confirm or deny nothing!"

Director Sam Raimi, on the other hand, offers an honest assessment to counter increasingly out-of-control expectations. 

"I don’t think anything can rival the surprise in a Spider-Man movie of having the previous two Spider-Men appear with the current one. I mean, I don’t think we’re going to top them on that!" he says. "But our film does have other surprises and other interesting revelations."

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set for release in UK cinemas on May 5 and US cinemas on May 6. For much more from Benedict Cumberbatch, the cast, and director Sam Raimi, check out the new issue of Total Film, out now!

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Jordan Farley

I'm the News Editor at Total Film magazine, running the opening pages of every issue where you can read exclusive interviews and see first-look images from the biggest films. I was previously the Community Editor at sci-fi, fantasy and horror movie bible SFX. You'll find my name on news, reviews, and interviews covering every type of movie, from the latest French arthouse release to the biggest Hollywood blockbuster. My work has also featured in Official PlayStation Magazine and Edge. Outside of my day job, I'm a FromSoft fanatic (proudest achievement: beating Malenia solo) and a TV connoisseur (translation: I'll watch anything).

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