Michael Waldron, author of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessrevealed 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 end exactly on the brightest note. Although everything seems to be fine and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange finally seems to be happier in himself, at the last moment Strange collapses in the middle of the street, screaming in pain as a third eye opens on his forehead. It’s a moment that brings him one step closer to meeting the same fate as the Sinister Strange he met in a dead universe. Originally, however, the film ended on an even darker cliffhanger.
In the director’s commentary for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, writer Michael Waldron reveals that things initially took a darker turn in the film’s final moments. The version that was released saw Benedict Cumberbatch’s strange dream march to possess the corpse of his alternate self before fully returning from a universe in which an incursion – a collision between universes – had occurred.
In an early version of the film, however, Strange never returned from the Incursion universe. Sinister Strange, the Doctor Strange variant that had caused the incursion, was then revealed to still be alive. Michael Waldron explained:
“Strange is trapped in there [incursion] universe and then [Sinister Strange] turns around and the third eye opens.
The moment would have been highlighted by the sound of Vincent Price laughing to underline the dark twist. In the end, of course, things still don’t go well for 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 to redoing the mistakes of Sinister Strange.
Here is the synopsis of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
The MCU is unlocking the multiverse and pushing its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to face a mysterious new adversary.
Directed by Sam Raimi from a screenplay 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 18. Stay tuned for all the latest news regarding Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange future in the MCU, and subscribe on the Heroic Hollywood YouTube channel for more original video content.