Director Sam Raimi shot multiple versions of different for scenes for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Benedict Cumberbatch is set for his second solo MCU film in early 2022 and it may be one of the most anticipated Marvel films of the studio’s Phase 4 slate. The film will follow the events of Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home and explore the titular multiverse that was broken wide open during the events of Tom Hiddleston’s Disney+ series. Hiddleston is expected to reprise his role as Loki in Doctor Strange 2 and he will be joined by a few other familiar faces.
Elizabeth Olsen is set to be a co-lead to Cumberbatch’s Strange, appearing as Scarlet Witch after her transformation in WandaVision. Benedict Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams are all expected to reprise their MCU roles as well. New to the Marvel world is Xochitl Gomez, who will be playing the multiverse-hopping America Chavez in her MCU debut. Little has been confirmed about Doctor Strange 2‘s plot, save for what can be gleaned from its title and the various Marvel projects leading into it, but it seems like the plot of the film may be as mysterious to the cast as it is to the audience.
At the premiere of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (via Marvel), Wong revealed that Raimi shot different versions of multiple scenes. The actor reveals that at least one scene was shot with three different iterations before joking that the film should actually be called “Doctor Strange and the Multi-schedule.” Wong cites COVID as one of the reasons for this, before saying that they are nearly finished shooting the film. Check out the actor’s full quote below:
I think it should be called Doctor Strange and the Multi-schedule. You know, with the amount of… Honestly, we literally didn’t know… Sometimes you’d have, like, three versions of doing various different scenes, COVID-permitting. So yeah, we’re nearly there, we’re nearly finished.
While Wong says that COVID was the reason for shooting multiple scenes in different ways, this practice has been implemented on films and television shows for other reasons. The upcoming fifth Scream movie has multiple versions filmed to avoid spoilers and there were also rumors that Game of Thrones filmed multiple endings to do the same. Those rumors about Game of Thrones were debunked but it certainly didn’t seem far out of the realm of possibility considering how anticipated the ending of that series was.
While it may have been because of COVID, it seems that shooting multiple versions of scenes served two purposes. Marvel is very secretive when it comes to their projects and, in promoting their films, it can be hard for actors to avoid spoiling even the tiniest of details. Marvel is also known for putting fake scenes in trailers to throw audiences off so Wong’s comments could also have something to do with that. With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness being so anticipated and so integral to the future of the MCU, it’s no surprise that the studio shot multiple versions of scenes, even if it wasn’t for the express purpose of hiding spoilers.