At long last, a sequel to Doctor Strange is officially on the way with the recently announced Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While not much, specifically, has been revealed since the project was announced at San Diego Comic-Con as part of Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 reveal, there are a few things we know. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will be teaming up with Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), this is being billed as the first horror movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Nightmare is going to be introduced as a new villain. But will he be the only villain? Or can we expect to see another appearance from an old foe? Specifically, Dormammu.
If Doctor Strange has an arch-nemesis, arguably, it’s Dormammu. Unlike Spider-Man or Batman, Strange doesn’t have much of a rogues gallery of villains. Many of his foes over the years have been monster-of-the-week types, with only a small number of recurring foes that serve as a repeating thorn in his side. And Dormammu is one of them, if not the biggest one. So it would seem wasteful to have only used him in the third act of 2016’s Doctor Strange, albeit in a very clever way. But it’s that ending, coupled with the sequel’s title, that could hint at his return.
As fans may recall, Stephen Strange decided to bargain with Dormammu by forcing the evil being into a time loop, preventing him from consuming Earth. Dormammu eventually agreed to leave Earth alone, under the condition that Strange break the time loop. However, with the Sorcerer Supreme getting ready to hop on a journey across the multiverse, nothing is preventing Dormammu from getting a little revenge.
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It’s also important to remember that Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is out there as well. Mordo took a dark turn at the end of the last movie and, when last we saw him, he was gathering up other sorcerer’s power. To do what, exactly? That isn’t clear. But we can guess Mordo will be back in the sequel. And that leads me, and perhaps anyone else who has read a healthy percentage of Doctor Strange comics, to a theory. Mind you, this is just speculation, but hear me out.
Nightmare is going to be the main villain on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That much is clear. What director Scott Derrickson and writer C. Robert Cargillcertainly would like to avoid is a Spider-Man 3 situation where there is just too much going on. So, let’s assume, for the most part, that Nightmare will be the problem at hand that Strange, presumably Wong and Scarlet Witch will need to deal with in the movie. That leads me to the conclusion that Mordo will certainly be involved, but not the primary threat. As for Dormammu? I suspect he will team up with Mordo, or rather, Mordo will pledge an allegiance of sorts to Dormammu, so that they can work together to best Strange.
In the comics, Mordo, after a series of conflicts with his former ally, does make a pact with Dormammu to gain power. It doesn’t work out so well and Mordo is eventually banished to the Dimension of Demons. My best guess is we would see Mordo forming this alliance with Dormammu in a post-credit sequence that could set up Doctor Strange 3. It would be a nice way to set the table for an epic conflict.
C. Robert Cargill also previously stated that Marvel has intentions to give Mordo a proper arc, sort of in the way that Loki had a throughline that ran through several movies. Tying him to Dormammu would be a way to give two of the Sorcerer Supreme’s greatest enemies their day in court. Again, much of this is speculative but one thing I can say with a relative degree of confidence; we haven’t seen the last of Dormammu. Marvel will unleash Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in theaters on May 7, 2021.