Michael Waldron, writer of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, has revealed the film’s scrapped alternate ending, which took a darker turn for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange.
The theatrical cut of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness doesn’t exactly end on the brightest note. Although all seems well and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange appears to finally be happier in himself, at the last moment, Strange crumples in the middle of the street, screaming out in pain as a third eye opens in his forehead. It’s a moment that brings him closer to living out the same fate as the Sinister Strange he encountered in a dead universe. Originally, however, the film ended on an even darker cliffhanger.
Doctor Strange Vs. The Incursion
In the Director’s Commentary for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, writer Michael Waldron reveals that things originally took a darker turn in the film’s final moments. The version that was released saw Benedict Cumberbatch’s Strange dream-walking to possess the corpse of his alternate self before returning fully from a universe in which an incursion – a collision between universes – had occurred.
In an early version of the film, though, Strange never made it back from the Incursion universe. Sinister Strange, the Doctor Strange variant who had caused the incursion, was then revealed to still be alive. Michael Waldron explained:
“Strange gets trapped in that [incursion] universe and then [Sinister Strange] turns around, and the third eye opens.”
The moment would have been underscored with the sound of Vincent Price’s laugh to emphasize the dark twist. Ultimately, of course, things still don’t turn out well for the Doctor Strange of Earth-616 and the film’s final moments set up the consequences of his use of the Darkhold and his own path towards making Sinister Strange’s mistakes all over again.
Here is the synopsis for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
The MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.
Directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Michael Waldron, the Marvel film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, and Patrick Stewart.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is available now on Digital and Disney Plus, and will arrive on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on July 18th. Stay tuned for all the latest news regarding the future of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in the MCU, and subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.