Doctor Strange: Into the Dark Dimension
The contents of the mid-credit scene of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness give the impression that this is the direction Marvel Studios will take the threequel. However, we also all thought a Doctor Strange sequel would include 616 Mordo hunting sorcerers and we definitely didn’t get that.
As Marvel Studios likes to do, they can lift the title right from an existing story. In 2011, Marvel Comics published a hardcover novel, written by Roger Stern, that saw Stephen Strange team up with Clea to overthrow her mother, Umar, in the Dark Dimension. The novel also included an appearance by the Black Knight and really laid out some nice mythology around his sword and the Dark Dimension. Of course, Marvel Studios isn’t much for direct adaptation, so there’s plenty of room to change it up, but a film that really explores the Dark Dimension and the nature of the Faltine could be quite a ride!
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme
With Clea making her way into the MCU, there’s really one other major character in Strange’s circle that feels like a must: Jericho Drumm. Brother Voodoo was rumored to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but obviously never showed. It’s time to get him off the sidelines and, if you’re going to bring him in, you might as well do it right.
Multiverse of Madness ends with Strange developing a particularly nasty case of an extra eye, thanks to his use of the Darkhold. Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme could be a really great cautionary tale about the warning issued by Mordo in the first film: the bill comes due. And in Strange’s case, the Vishanti are probably collecting.
In the MCU’s present, Wong is the Sorcerer Supreme but fans have expected Strange to fill the role and eventually, he probably will. What would be fascinating would be for him to finally be named as Sorcerer Supreme only to have the title ripped away from him and handed over to another of Earth’s most powerful magic wielders: Jericho Drumm.
Marvel Studios could adapt War of the Seven Spheres (making a few changes along the way of course) and introduce the major Mystic principalities of the multiverse. In that arc, Strange renounced his powers after refusing to participate in the War, causing him to be stripped of many of his powers. If that were to happen in the MCU, the Vishanti would need a new Sorcerer Supreme. It’s not as glamorous as some others on the list, but it could introduce some other magic users (Doctor Druid, Salome, Cadaver, Kaluu, and more) as avatars of the principalities and turn out to be a pretty trippy film.
Multiverse of Madness included one very important detail about Stephen Strange’s origins that was cut from 2016’s Doctor Strange: the drowning death of his sister, Donna. While this might have seemed inconsequential, it could have been a hint to the future of the franchise. While this isn’t an adaptation of a specific arc, it’s absolutely bringing the comics to the screen.
Scott Derrickson always wanted Nightmare to be part of the Strange franchise and, to be fair, he’s arguably one of Strange’s most important villains yet to be adapted. The film could see Strange haunted by nightmares of failing to save his sister, orchestrated by The Lord of Darkness. Parts of the film could visit the Dream Dimension, of which the Nightmare Realm is a corner ruled by Nightmare. It could also introduce Sleepwalker and allow for Sam Raimi to really continue to deal with some of the really off-the-wall visuals he dished out in Multiverse of Madness.
Doctor Strange: Triumph and Torment
An adaptation of the 1989 graphic novel Triumph and Torment would take the most set up ahead of its release, but it could also have the biggest payoff of any of the potential story lines Marvel Studios might adapt for Doctor Strange 3. Triumph and Torment sees Doctor Strange team up with one of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful sorcerers: Victor Von Doom. The two good doctors, Strange and Doom, travel together to Hell to free the soul of Doom’s mother from her captor, Mephisto.
As stated above, it would take some set up to get here, especially since Doom doesn’t exist in the MCU yet. Much like the do with the Fantastic Four, Marvel Studios has a big job to do in making sure that their version of Doom stands apart from Julian McMahon’s version and even farther apart from Toby Kebbell’s “Hacker Doom.” One way for them to ensure that is to develop the side of Doom’s character that Fox always ignored: his mastery of the mystic arts. Over the years, the retconning of Doom’s origin story has refined it into one of Marvel Comics’ most well-developed. If any villain deserves his origins to be told, it’s Doom, and Marvel Studios could do so through a D+ series that could serve as the precursor to this film. Of course, audiences who don’t watch it might miss out on a few finer points, but if they beginning of Doctor Strange: Triumph and Torment explains that the two Doctors are headed to Hell to save Doom’s mom, it’ll be enough. Assuming Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t going to be around the MCU forever, this is the chance for the MCU to team up two major mystical powerhouses and bring one of Roger Stern’s best stories to the screen.
Doctor Strange and The Defenders
I’ll never NOT want to see the original comic book Defenders lineup together on screen. By the time a third Doctor Strange film heads to theaters, the trio that first formed the Defenders in the early 1970s will all have been introduced into the MCU, with Namor set to debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever later this year. Clea and Valkyrie, who were also often members of the non-team, are also on the board, leaving only really the Silver Surfer as a well-known member who isn’t quite yet primed to appear.
If Raimi is going to return for the third film, the original Defenders’ arc (which was spread out over issues of Doctor Strange, Sub-Mariner, and The Incredible Hulk) would be easily adapted and allow Raimi to work with the Lovecraftian concepts that inspired him to make Within the Woods (which allowed him to make The Evil Dead) and that he revisited in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In that arc, the Defenders came together to battle an invasion of the Undying Ones, a collection of ancient demons who existed between worlds and served The Nameless One. Adapting the arc would even allow for Raimi to introduce the MCU’s version of the Necronomicon, which would serve as the bridge from Strange to Namor, whose people could have a history with either the book or the Undying Ones themselves.