A 'Doctor Strange' Sequel Could Happen & Make Benedict Cumberbatch Marvel's Newest Franchise Star

The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand with the release of Doctor Strange , where yet another classic hero from the pages of Marvel Comics will be introduced with his own movie. But here's the thing, Marvel doesn't make movies, they make franchises. With the exception of 2008's The Incredible Hulk, which had the poorest box office showing of any Marvel movie and whose rights may still be partially owned by Universal, every other Marvel movie has earned a sequel. So what are the odds that Doctor Strange will get a sequel?

Probably pretty good. Like I said, Marvel makes franchises, and there's no reason to believe that Doctor Strange will be a one-off film. Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man have all made it to trilogies, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy will have at least duologies, and The Avengers is a guaranteed tetralogy. Marvel currently has movies scheduled through 2019, with another three unannounced films planned for 2020 — and likely three a year after that for all eternity. Marvel releases their movies in phases, with phase one culminating in 2012's The Avengers, and phase two finishing off with Ant-Man. Phase three began earlier this year with Captain America: Civil War, and the rest of the phase shows a changing of the guard within the larger franchise.

In addition to introducing Doctor Strange, three other heroes are getting their own solo movies in phase three: Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Marvel's first lead female hero, Captain Marvel. That leaves a lot of potential for sequels in phase four, which will begin in 2020, and it's highly likely that Doctor Strange 2 will fit into the schedule somewhere. Also, there has reportedly already been talk about a sequel for the film. Star Benedict Cumberbatch spoke to IGN as if a sequel were already a foregone conclusion, telling the site about future films: "I’m excited to see where the Illuminati and whatever else might happen, how that works, and where it ends up." The Illuminati, as far as anyone knows, does not play a role in Doctor Strange, meaning that the council of highly-intelligent heroes (originally Strange, Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Professor X, Prince Namor, and Black Bolt in the comics) could feature in a sequel.

Unless Doctor Strange is a complete bomb at the box office and a critical flop, a sequel seems highly likely. And given how awesome the first movie looks, I'd say that's good news.

Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Giphy