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Playing Doctor Strange Variations Was A Fun Challenge For Cumberbatch

Updated: May 5

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Benedict Cumberbatch found playing several versions of his eponymous wizard to be a wonderful challenge.

Playing numerous versions of his persona in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a delightful challenge for Benedict Cumberbatch. The English actor is currently hot off his Oscar nomination for his performance as the boorish cowhand Phil Burbank in The Power of the Dog, which earned him his second nomination after The Imitation Game in 2014. Shortly after Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange appeared in Spider-Man: No Way Home as the culprit who started the movie's multiversal mess with a botched spell, Multiverse of Madness tasks the sorcerer with his own dimension-hopping adventure.

Cumberbatch joins Elizabeth Olsen in the Doctor Strange cast as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, who was last seen researching the Darkhold in WandaVison and has long been thought to have a negative role in Multiverse of Madness. America Chavez, a teen with the power to travel between realities, is played by Xochitl Gomez in her MCU debut. The Doctor Strange sequel will contain various versions of well-known characters, including several incarnations of the eponymous hero, and will build on the multiverse notions explored in Loki, What If...?, and No Way Home.


In an interview with THR, Cumberbatch discussed how he goes about portraying many versions of the same character, each of which has a different physical look but also a different personality. The actor took a different approach to this part than he did to others since he needed to convey the idea that each iteration of the character from another world is unique due to their individual decisions, circumstances, and surroundings. Here's what Cumberbatch had to say:

"I think it’s [the] same — same, but different. You have to get a correlation so that you know you’re watching an iteration that basically through perhaps choices or circumstance and environment has had a different outcome. But it’s a nice sort of loop feeding into self-discovery and self-therapy for the character that we know from our universe, as to how he betters his choices or the situation. So it’s a fun thing to explore. It’s one of the paradoxes that a multiversal narrative will throw up, and I was excited by that challenge."

Cumberbatch had the opportunity to play several distinct incarnations of Doctor Strange while filming Multiverse of Madness. Sinister Strange, Defender Strange, Zombie Strange, and Supreme Strange are the four known variations, however the film is planned to have five in all. Co-stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and Elizabeth Olsen also portray different versions of their characters, so this experience wasn't limited to the film's main guy.

Other than the aforementioned heroes, Captain Carter and Maria Rambeau's Captain Marvel are two of the most anticipated versions in the film. Since Cumberbatch can tell, playing several variations of the same character must have been an exhilarating though demanding experience for these performers, as they had to make innumerable creative decisions to convey each variant's individual peculiarities and past. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will be released later this week on May 6, will feature a wide spectrum of performances.

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