With every release, the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets wider and more populated. Next up for the studio is Doctor Strange, coming to theaters Nov. 4. Marvel has to be hoping that the standalone release will, like other franchises that began that way, become a series in its own right, and now that Doctor Strange is a character sitting on the studio's bench and ready to be put back in the game, fans may not have to wait until a potential Doctor Strange 2 to see him and his magnificent cape again. In fact, he may link up with the studio's most bankable heroes. Naturally, the big question is this: will Doctor Strange be in any Avengers movies?
Doctor Strange hasn't seen its wide release yet, but the lead character's participation in the next Avengers movie has been all but confirmed. Though Captain America: Civil War felt like an Avengers movie for all its superhero participation, it wasn't officially a part of that series. Avengers: Age Of Ultron was the last; it came out in Spring 2015. Next on the docket is Avengers: Infinity War, currently slated for a May 4, 2018 release date. As its title suggests, the plot is expected to revolve around the Infinity Stones Thor was seeking out during Age Of Ultron. And Thanos (Josh Brolin), the death-obsessed purple Titan who appeared briefly in Guardians Of The Galaxy, will be the movie's big bad.
Marvel has not announced the full cast of Infinity War yet, though tidbits are making their way onto the internet through various conduits. It was Benedict Cumberbatch himself who seemed to have spilled the beans regarding Strange's appearance in the new Avengers movie. In an interview with Empire magazine (via Slash Film), Cumberbatch got real about the difficulty in syncing up schedules with other busy actors like Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark) and Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff). So unless he was talking about planning a surprise birthday party for Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo, it's very likely his comments were in reference to Infinity War. "To get us all together will be quite something," Cumberbatch said. "That’s why this character is being introduced, to open up the next chapter. So watch this space to see how that unfolds."
Another piece of evidence lies in the Infinity War casting of Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange co-star Benedict Wong. The actor, who plays Mystic Arts master Wong in the movie, told ComicBook.com that he's "thrilled" to be included in the Avengers: Infinity War cast. "I'm looking forward to [it]," Wong said. "I'll tell you that one first." As far as I'm concerned, confirming supporting Doctor Strange characters is as good as Marvel announcing that Stephen Strange himself will be joining the fun.
Infinity War is shaping up to be a very crowded movie indeed. How will Stephen Strange fit in the Avengers, the Guardians, and the rest? You'll have to wait until 2018 to see how he fares.
Image: Walt Disney Studios