What do I need to watch before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is here! What do you need to watch before seeing the latest Marvel movie.

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, what should be watched ahead of Marvel’s latest release this weekend?

If you’re trying to cram for Multiverse of Madness, then there are two basic things you need to watch before heading to the theater: Doctor Strange and Spider-Man: No Way Home. As this latest MCU film is a direct sequel to Doctor Strange, it would be a good idea to brush up on the character’s first appearance in the MCU. And since we’re dealing with the multiverse, you certainly should watch No Way Home as an introduction to the MCU multiverse as it pertains to Strange.

However, if you’re planning on waiting for theaters to thin out, or when the film drops on Disney+, before seeing Multiverse of Madness, you may have time to do a full Doctor Strange rewatch. While the character’s franchise may only consist of two movies (2016’s Doctor Strange and the just-released sequel), Strange has become one of the most important characters within the MCU. Multiverse of Madness also includes characters and plots that watching some of MCU’s past would be a benefit. Watching (or rewatching) the entire MCU catalog isn’t necessary, but there are key movies AND TV shows that will further your enjoyment of the latest Marvel Studios film.

The Complete Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Watch Guide

The below list includes anything and everything that may be pertinent to watching Multiverse of Madness. It will be presented in release order to keep things simple (rather than delving into the more complex MCU chronological timeline).

Rachel McAdams and Benedict Cumberbatch in 2016's Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange (2016)
The story of Dr. Stephen Strange, a world-famous neurosurgeon whose life is permanently changed after he loses his hands in a horrible car accident. When conventional methods fail him, he is compelled to seek cure and hope in an unusual location: Kamar-Taj. He soon discovers that this is more than just a healing center; it is also the front line of a fight against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Strange is soon forced to choose between returning to his life of riches & prestige and leaving it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence, equipped with his newly acquired magical skills.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Hemsworth in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Doctor Strange makes a brief appearance in Thor’s third film, which helps make the Marvel Cinematic Universe feel real and connected. Thor and Loki go to Earth in search of their father, Odin. During their visit there, they pay a visit to Doctor Strange.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey, Jr in 2018's Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
There is a lot going on in the third Avengers’ film. It’s the beginning of the end of a story that really began in 2008. That said, this film is going to hit you with some important story elements for two key characters in Multiverse of Madness—Doctor Strange and Wanda Maximoff. While their stories don’t necessarily cross paths here, they are certainly worth (re)watching for a full experience.

Nearly ever MCU Hero in 2019's Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame (2019)
This last (to date) Avengers film resolves the events of the first film. And while both Strange and Wanda’s involvement in this film are smaller compared to their previous outing, it is no less important. Strange has an important moment with Iron Man and this sets up Wanda’s future.

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in 2021's WandaVision

WandaVision (2021)
While Strange has nothing to do with Marvel Studios’ first foray into TV on Disney+, it plays a big part in Wanda’s role in Multiverse of Madness. Combining the aesthetic of classic sitcoms with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wanda and Vision are living their ideal suburbia existence, though begin to suspect that all is not as it appears.

The timeline divides in 2021's Loki

Loki (2021)
Save for some archival audio, Strange (nor Wanda) appear in Loki. However, the series deals with the concept of the multiverse. The titular character is a Variant of the Loki we know from the main MCU—he’s from a multiverse where Loki doesn’t die! While you should watch this entire series, it’s really the final scenes of the season finale that heavily pertain to Multiverse of Madness.

Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch in 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Strange takes on the role that Tony Stark filled in Homecoming; though less in a mentor way and more of an MCU connection way. Peter asks Strange to cast a spell to make everyone forget that he’s Spider-Man, however, the spell goes awry and the multiverse cracks open. While the story has no real impact on Multiverse of Madness, it’s the first film by Marvel Studios that addresses the multiverse and Strange is a big part of that.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Elizabeth Olsen, Xochitl Gomez, and plenty of other actors rumored to be a part of this massive undertaking directed by Sam Raimi. The movie is now playing in theaters everywhere.

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Images courtesy of Marvel Studios

Kevin M. Gallagher, Jr
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