Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has been a surprise hit. Despite naysayers who predicted disaster, it has made $652.9 million worldwide, meaning it has passed the Incredible Hulk (which made $263 million), Captain America: The First Avenger ($371 million), Thor ($449 million), Ant-Man ($520 million), the first Iron Man ($585 million), and Iron Man 2 ($623.9 million). No doubt, a sequel is inevitable.
Doctor Strange screenwriter Jon Spaihts talked to CBR.com about which characters from the Dr. Stange mythos might be in the follow-up film. He mentions the classic Doctor Strange foe Nightmare as a distinct possibility. “He’s one of the big ones, yes absolutely! There’s sort of a zombie apocalypse Shuma-Gorath elder god scenario. There’s a kind of unreliable reality Nightmare movie that could be made.” Actually, Nightmare was once intended to be the bad guy in the first film, because he was the Marvel magician’s very first opponent in the comics. Nightmare showed up in Stephen Strange’s first appearance, in 1963’s “Strange Tales # 110”.
We can also expect a return of Strange’s long-time rival Mordo. Spaihts says, “Of course Mordo is out there, as embodied by the extraordinary Chiwetel Ejiofor. He can come back and bring a world of hurt at any time.”
As far as allies go, Clea would seem a logical possibility, although Spaihts says that Strange’s on-again, off-again love interest would be hard to depict in the MCU. Spaihts comments, “She’s a tricky character to interpret because her uncle is a kind of fire-headed omnipotent god and she’s kind of a hot babe who studies magic. That’s a tricky relationship to bring out of a comic book and on to a movie screen. But she’s a really compelling character as a foil, a love interest, a colleague of Doctor Strange’s, and she always carries with her that width of mystery as to whether she is human, and how human, and what that means for his relationship to her. So we might find a way to introduce her to the story.”
Personally, I would love to see a Doctor Strange film where the Hulk and Namor the Sub-Mariner appear. They were the original Defenders back in the early 1970s. As an old guy, I remember that trio fondly. Marvel has regained the rights to the Sub-Mariner, (mostly, anyway) and the Hulk is free, since he won’t be used in any solo films due to several circumstances (including a legal issue with Universal). They shouldn’t waste the popularity of this version of the character, as played by Mark Ruffalo, so Marvel/Disney may as well utilize him in supporting roles, as is happening with Thor: Ragnarok, where the green-skinned hero will help (or hinder) the Asgardian Avenger. The mention of a “Shuma-Gorath elder God scenario” would be reminiscent of the “Undying Ones” storyline that brought the three of them together in the first place to form the Defenders. (Hey, I can hope!)
Who would you like to see help or battle Doc Strange in the sequel film?