Warning: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness spoilers: If you’ve watched the MCU’s newest movie, you may have one question on your mind: Is Wanda dead after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the second movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Doctor Strange franchise after 2016’s Doctor Strange. The film—which is the 29th movie in the MCU overall—stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon (also known as Doctor Strange) who, after a career-ending car crash, discovers magic and becomes a Master of the Mystic Arts to protect the earth. The character was first introduced in the Marvel Comics issue, “Strange Tales #110,” in 1963.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set after the events of 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which sees Doctor Strange break open the Multiverse to help his fellow Marvel superhero, Peter Parker / Spider-Man, become anonymous again. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sees Doctor Strange deal with the multiverse again as he learns of the repercussions that come with messing with time and space. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2022, director Sam Raimi explained how Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is different than any other Marvel movie. “It’s a really complex movie,” he said. “It’s probably the most complex movie I’ve ever had anything to do with. Not just dealing with one character, or even five characters, but multiversal versions of those characters — and each one has a storyline.”
He also told the magazine about how the movie follows the storyline of Disney Plus’ 2021 miniseries, WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch / Wanda Maximoff. “I’m not really sure what the WandaVision schedule was or how it changed. I just know that halfway, or maybe three-quarters of the way into our writing process, I’d first heard of this show they were doing and that we would have to follow it,” he said. “Therefore, we had to really study what WandaVision was doing, so we could have a proper through line and character-growth dynamic. I never even saw all of WandaVision; I’ve just seen key moments of some episodes that I was told directly impact our storyline.”
While Raimi had to follow some of the story already told in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he also revealed to Rolling Stone that the studio gave him “complete creative freedom” to tell his own story in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. “Well, let me say — and this may sound like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth — that Marvel allowed me complete creative freedom,” he said. “However, it had to follow so many things in Marvel lore, [so] even though I had complete freedom, the previous movies and where Marvel wants to go in the future really directed the path in an incredibly specific way. Within those parameters I have freedom, but I’ve got to tell the story of those characters in a way that ties in with all of the properties simultaneously. We had to make sure, for instance, that Doctor Strange didn’t know more than he had learned about the multiverse from No Way Home. And yet we had to make sure he wasn’t ignorant of things that he had already learned. So everything was dictated by what had become before.”
But back to Wanda. So…is Wanda dead after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Read on for what we know about Scarlet Witch’s fate at the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and whether Elizabeth Olsen will play her again in a future Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
What happens to Wanda Maximoff in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
What happens to Wanda Maximoff in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set after the events of Disney Plus’ 2021 series, WandaVision, in which Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) mind controls the residents of Westview, New Jersey, and transforms the town into an idyllic suburban community, where she and her husband, The Vision, live in peace with their twin sons, Billy and Tommy (also known as Wiccan and Speed in the Marvel Comics.) As the show continues, viewers learn that The Vision—who died in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War after Thanos removed Mind Stone from his head—isn’t back to life but a manifestation that Wanda created. At the end of WandaVision, Agatha Harkness, a witch who pretends to be a resident of Westview to become close to Wanda, learns that Wanda has a legendary form of power called chaos magic and names her the Scarlet Witch. The series ends with Wanda defeating Agatha and ending her Hex over Westview, saying goodbye to both Vision and her sons. The WandaVision post-credits scene shows Wanda reading the Darkhold—a magical grimoire owned by Agatha that she uses to determine Wanda is the Scarlet Witch—in her astral form as she hears Billy and Tommy cry for help in the distance.
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) visits Wandato ask for her help to keep America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) safe. Doctor Strange’s request comes after he saves America—who has the power to travel through the multiverse—from an octopus-like monster who wants to kidnap her for a demon who wants to steal her power. During the conversation, Wanda suggests that Doctor Strange bring America to her to keep her safe, which is when Doctor Strange realizes that he never told Wanda America’s name and that she was lying about how much she knew about America. That’s when Wanda transforms into the Scarlet Witch and tells Doctor Strange her true plan to take America’s power (and kill her in the process) so she can travel to a different universe, where Billy and Tommy are real and alive, to be with her sons.
The movie continues with Wanda attacking Kamar-Taj, the main headquarters of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, to take America, which forces America and Doctor Strange to transport themselves to a different universe to escape her. Wanda then uses the Darkhold to take over the body of a version of her in the universe America and Doctor Strange are in—also known as Dreamwalking—so she can bring America back to her universe, so she can take her power. Wanda defeats Doctor Strange, as well as the Illuminati—a society of superheroes—and successfully takes America back to her universe. As she’s in the process of taking America’s power, Doctor Strange—who uses the Darkhold to dreamwalk as a corpse of himself in Wanda’s universe—stops her and tells America to harness her power to defeat Wanda. America then transports Wanda into the home of the other version of her, where she reunites with Billy and Tommy. Wanda strikes the other version of her, which causes Billy and Tommy to become afraid of her and plead with her not to hurt them or their mother. Wanda tries to convince Billy and Tommy that she’s not a monster before she realizes the hurt she’s caused and how Billy and Tommy will never be her sons because she’s a different Wanda than the one they know.
Is Wanda Maximoff dead after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
Is Wanda Maximoff dead after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? After Wanda realizes what the Darkhold has made her do, she and America return to their original universe, and Wanda uses her power to destroy Mount Wundagore, where the original Darkhold spells are inscribed. In doing so, Wanda also destroys all copies of the Darkhold throughout the multiverse. “I opened the Darkhold. I have to close it,” Wanda tells Doctor Strange before she sacrifices herself to destroy the Darkhold.
So…is Wanda dead after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? The answer is unclear. Wanda’s storyline in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is based on the 2005 Marvel Comic issue, “House of M,” which sees Wanda suffer a mental breakdown and try to alter the fabric of reality to re-create her lost children, so it’s possible the Marvel Cinematic Universe could follow the same plot for what happens Wanda after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In the world Wanda creates, mutants rule humans and Wanda’s father, Magneto, runs a team of mutants known as the “House of M.” At the end of “House of M,” Wanda—who reunites with her children and becomes enraged at Magneto for making her a mutant—uses her power to cause half of the mutant population to lose their X-gene and powers in an event called “M-Day.” After “M-Day,” Wanda takes refuge in the country of Transia, where she’s blocked the memory of her true identity and has no memories of her past. Doctor Doom later finds Wanda in Transia and takes her to Latveria, leaving a duplicate robot of Wanda in Transia in case anyone comes to look for her.
In an interview with On Demand Entertainment in 2022, Olsen confirmed that she’d want to continue playing Wanda in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Wanda’s had her own TV series, which is fine, but when is she getting her own movie?” On Demand Entertainment asked, to which Olsen responded, “Oh, I don’t know, but if they have a good story to tell, I’ll be there.” The site added, “After a long break first,” to which Olsen replied, “Yes, exactly, or even a little one. Just some version of a break.” Olsen also confirmed her interest in a Scarlet Witch solo movie in an interview MTV News. “I think it would be so cool. i feel like the character has got a lot of story to tell, and i’d love to be able to do that,” she said.
While Olsen has an interest in playing Wanda in more Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, her comments aren’t confirmation that Wanda is still alive after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as the solo movie could be a back story for Wanda, like Natasha Romanoff, who died in 2019’s Avengers: Engame, had for 2021’s Black Widow.
Who’s in the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast?
The Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast sees the return of Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Benedict Wong as Wong, Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer, and Michael Stuhlbarg as Nicodemus West from the first Doctor Strange movie in 2016. The Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast also includes Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (who starred with Cumberbatch in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame), as well as introduces Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez. Patrick Stewart, who played role as Charles Xavier / Professor X in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men movies, also made a cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
See below for the full Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast.
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange
- Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo
- Benedict Wong as Wong
- Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Nicodemus West
- Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer
- Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier / Professor X
- Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter / Captain Carter
- Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau
- Anson Mount as Blackagar Boltagon / Black Bolt
- John Krasinski as Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic
- Julian Hilliard as Billy
- Jett Klyne as Tommy
- Topo Wresniwiro reprises his role as Hamir
- Sheila Atim as Sarah,
- Adam Hugill as Rintrah
- Charlize Theron as Clea
- Bruce Campbell as a Pizza Poppa owner
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2022, director Sam Raimi explained how Cumberbatch differentiated his variations of Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. “Noticing the little nuances that Benedict would come up with to differentiate his alter-self. Subtleties, waves of movement, distinct style of speech,” he said. He really is an actor’s actor, and he uses all the tools at his disposal quite elegantly. You can call ‘Action’ and then just lose yourself in his performance over the next two and a half minutes. You just have to remember to call ‘Cut,’ because he’s so spellbinding.”
Raimi also told Rolling Stone about how Olsen played a part in how Scarlet Witch’s story was told in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. “She had just come from that Emmy Award-winning show all about her character and the character’s growth. So it would be foolhardy to try and tell her who her character is or what her character was feeling at that moment. I can craft the the story going forward with her, but she’s got to be an integral part of the storytelling or it wouldn’t make any sense,” he said.
As for the cast member he was most surprised by, Raimi named Wong. “I think Benedict Wong. I didn’t know how funny he was in person, or how lively of a presence he was on set. He’s really super creative, and a great joy to work with. He really brings an energy and a sense of fun to his work that the movie really needs,” he said.
In an interview with Moviefone, Cumberbatch also agreed with a past statement Raimi made about how Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will change how fans think about the character. “I like to think so. I mean, there’s an awful lot going on in this film. I hope that isn’t lost on people. There is some character development, which I think is pretty crucial to him. I think we’ve seen him in his first introduction to the Marvel cinematic universe, as he was an arrogant neurosurgeon and a man trapped in a gilded cage of his own making,” he said. “His ego was driving what he was doing, it was not out of a duty of caring. Then to have a duty of caring, the idea of doing things for others, being selfless and sacrificing, that came with his transition into a superhero.”
He continued, “I think since the last few films he’s been pretty omnipotent and unquestionable, and then a human relationship with Peter Parker has destabilized all that and creates the need for him to help someone he both admired as a fellow soldier on the battlefield, so to speak, but also as a human being who’d lost his mentor and someone he cared about by the end of the film. It opened up the problem that he still faces in his own character, which is this level of arrogance believing that his way is the only way and only he can actually solve the problem. I think what he learns in this is it’s better to act together than to act alone. That’s the big shift I’d say, without pointing too much in the direction of how that happens.”
Will there be a Doctor Strange 3?
Will there be a Doctor Strange 3? SPOILER: A third Doctor Strange movie was confirmed at the end of the Strange in the Multiverse of Madness credits, which read: “Doctor Strange will return.” However, it could be a while until Doctor Strange 3 comes out. In an interview with IGN in 2022, Cumberbatch was asked how he balances between acting and fatherhood. “It gets very multiversal in real life as well,” he said. (Cumberbatch shares sons Finn, 3, Hal, 5, and Christopher, 6, with wife Sophie Hatcher.) When asked if there’s a variant he’s like to be, Cumberbatch responded, “I guess one that’s less busy, maybe… I might be that variant very soon, which is nice – taking a bit of a break.” See below for the confirmed Marvel Cinematic Universe movies set to premiere after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
- Thor: Love and Thunder – July 8, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – November 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – February 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – May 5, 2023
- The Marvels – July 28, 2023
- Fantastic Four – TBD
- Blade – TBD
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be available to stream on Disney Plus between June 20 and July 14, 2022. Here’s how to watch it for free.