Benedict Cumberbatch Says He’s Taking Some Time Off After Doctor Strange 2

19:03 07/05/2022

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is hitting theaters, and it might be the last time audiences see Benedict Cumberbatch for a while.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now in theaters and marks the sixth live-action appearance of Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Stephen Strange. When looking at the MCU as a whole, Cumberbatch has actually been part of seven different projects, as he lent his voice to multiple episodes of the animated What If…? series on Disney+. Add in other film roles during that stretch, including one that earned him an Academy Award nomination, and it’s been a busy last few years for the 45-year-old actor. When speaking at the Multiverse of Madness premiere with IGN, Cumberbatch revealed that he’s going to be taking some well-earned time off after being asked what real-life variant of himself he’d like to play:

“I guess one that’s less busy, maybe…I might be that variant very soon, which is nice – taking a bit of a break.”

In 2021 alone, Cumberbatch appeared in such films as The MauritanianThe Power of the DogThe Electrical Life of Louis Wain, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, along with finishing up filming and undergoing reshoots for Multiverse of Madness. That just adds to the consistent schedule the actor had been keeping even before jumping into the MCU, which of course included the BBC Sherlock series, and being part of other franchises such as The Hobbit and Star Trek.

The immediate future for Cumberbatch includes the upcoming Wes Anderson Netflix film The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, which is based on a short story written by Roald Dahl. Filming concluded earlier this year, and Cumberbatch is being joined by Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, and Richard Ayoade. Cumberbatch has a few other projects in the works, but it sounds like those may be coming further down the line depending on how long a sabbatical he’s planning to take.

Multiverse of Madness Promises Doctor Strange Will Return

As far as Cumberbatch’s future in the MCU, the first post-credits scene of Multiverse of Madness sets up where Doctor Strange is heading next. Charlize Theron makes an unexpected appearance as Clea, confronting Strange about an incursion his actions throughout the film had caused. Clea appears to tear open a portal into the Dark Dimension, and both she and Strange leap off into whatever adventure may unfold in a third Doctor Strange film. Not only is that scene a direct set-up for continuing Strange’s story, but “Doctor Strange Will Return” is shown at the end of the Multiverse of Madness credits. Cumberbatch is coming back, just more than likely not for a few years.

The immediate future of Marvel is pretty packed, and many of the upcoming projects seemingly won’t relate to the events that took place in Multiverse of Madness. The cosmic corner of the MCU will be back in the spotlight this July in Thor: Love and Thunder, and then a return to Wakanda will follow that in November’s Black Panther: Wakanda ForeverAnt-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania may dive back into the multiverse, but it doesn’t seem like Stephen Strange will be part of that story. Given the six years that came between the first Doctor Strange film and its sequel, it may be a little while before Strange and Clea handle the incursion that closed out Multiverse of Madness.

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