In the wake of the trailer for the franchise-capping Avengers: Endgame, Marvel has started looking far beyond Thanos’ snap heard ’round the universe. First, some footage of a very much alive Peter Paker popped up in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer that debuted in Brazil, and now THR reports that the comic book movie giant is finalizing a deal for a Doctor Strange sequel. Scott Derrickson will return as director after helming and co-writing the first Strange film in 2016, with a search for a new writer set to kick off soon. Benedict Cumberbatch will reportedly return as the fancy-caped master of the mystical arts, as will Benedict Wong‘s Wong and, most likely, Rachel McAdams‘ Dr. Christine Palmer, assuming she’s not currently sitting in a dustpan somewhere.
Marvel is reportedly planning on a spring 2020 production date, which would set the Doctor Strange sequel on a path toward a May 2021 release date.
The character was last seen in Avengers: Infinity War, blowing away in the wind along with half of all life in the universe. But the Russo Brothers are setting Stephen Strange up as a mighty important component of Avengers: Endgame; he is, after all, the only person who saw the one in approximately 14 million alternate universes in which the Avengers defeated Thanos.
As for the character’s standalone films, Doctor Strange—which Derrickson co-wrote with Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill—has one of the worst potential-to-results ratios in MCU history. Strange is one of Marvel’s trippiest characters, whose universe-hopping, soul-floating powers offer the chance to truly get weird with it on-screen. But the 2016 film sticks closer to the Marvel Movie Formula harder than any other film in the MCU, with an end result that’s both predictable and boring. It doesn’t help that the script squanders the great Mads Mikkelson in one of Marvel’s most one-note villain roles.
But hey, a lot can change between Captain Marvel‘s March 8, 2019 release date and 2021. First, we got to get ol’ Stevie Strange into one piece again. And what do you think Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s Mordo has been up to since that post-credits scene?