Do you have to watch Doctor Strange before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens this week. It’s the second movie in the Doctor Strange franchise, but does that mean you need to watch Doctor Strange ahead of the sequel?

Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), his faithful companion Wong (Benedict Wong), and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), the Scarlet Witch, take an exciting voyage through the Multiverse in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. When we last left Doctor Strange, he was helping Peter Parker in No Way Home. This begs the question, are there any MCU movies that should be watched ahead of Marvel’s latest release this weekend?

While Multiverse of Madness is only the second Doctor Strange movie, the character’s presence has been felt throughout the entire cinematic universe. He has appeared in 2016’s Doctor Strange, 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, and 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. He’s been a crucial part of both wrapping up the Infinity Saga, as I’ve discussed in my Bam Smack POW! article, and helping the next big storyline, the Multiverse Saga, get started.

With that said, based on the trailers we’ve seen thus far, Multiverse of Madness certainly will require some past knowledge of the story that’s been told thus far with Doctor Strange. As it’s a direct sequel to Doctor Strange, there will certainly be elements from that film touched upon—likely with his love interest Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), his friend turned enemy Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and perhaps other parts of the mystic arts. Since Doctor Strange was involved in No Way Home’s plot of opening up the multiverse as it pertained to Peter Parker/Spider-Man, one could assume that Strange’s last appearance in an MCU film is a prerequisite to Multiverse of Madness. While the events of Infinity War and Endgame may be casually mentioned in Friday’s release, they likely will have the least to do with the overall plot. If time allows, they should certainly be watched, but likely not a requirement.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Elizabeth Olsen, and plenty of other actors rumored to be a part of this massive undertaking directed by Sam Raimi. The movie opens this Friday, May 6th, 2022, in theaters.

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Kevin M. Gallagher, Jr
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