Hopes that Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness would break the curse of Marvel movies not being released in China may now be dashed. The Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer has made waves on local social media over a scene in the opening bit of the sequel where a newspaper kiosk bears the Chinese characters for The Epoch Times, an international multi-language newspaper and media company which opposes the Chinese Communist Party.
We understand that Doctor Strange 2 has been submitted to the Chinese authorities for review, and that a release has not yet been nixed or approved. It appears the current brouhaha has been fueled by netizens doing a frame-by-frame analysis of the scene in question.
To wit: Doctor Strange battles Gargantos on the streets of New York, with the kiosk in the background. It’s off to the left of the screen and appears briefly. Having seen the footage for the first time at CinemaCon this past week, we didn’t notice it; we were focused on the action and the story. But, that’s evidently not so for some who are digging into every detail. (Blink and you’ll miss it in the video below.)
Disney is not commenting, but it would be difficult for the studio to not be aware of the situation.
There have indeed been a lot of hopes riding on Doctor Strange 2, whose predecessor grossed $109M in the PRC and where no movie featuring a Marvel character has been released since Avengers: Endgame. And that’s not only from a Hollywood perspective — on the recent anniversary of Endgame’s 2019 release, Chinese social media lit up with mentions of “I love you 3000.” That movie did $629M in China.
What followed amid the pandemic was the apparent blackballing of Marvel. Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home were not granted dates. There are varying theories as to why this happened, perhaps going back to Black Widow’s depiction of communism, while the slate of films may have been a no-go as soon as years-old comments allegedly made by Eternals helmer Chloé Zhao surfaced back in the early part of 2021. Similarly, 2017 comments by Shang-Chi star Simu Liu also came to light, evidently further complicating matters in the mind of the government, and the propaganda department which oversees film.
We have been consuming so much Marvel content throughout the last couple of years. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is next in line to hit theaters. The big question of the week is, will it be available on the small screen, big screen, or both? Here’s what you need to know about the Doctor Strange 2 movie.
After watching Spider-Man: No Way Home and all the people that popped in and out of that film, the intrigue for who will appear in Doctor Strange 2 is at an all-time high. Could we see Venom make his first appearance? What about Morbius? or even Moon Knight? The possibilities are endless.
We do know that the film’s synopsis is incredibly secretive like most of the Marvel stuff. We do know that Dr. Strange opened the door to the multiverse when trying to help Spider-Man in No Way Home. Because of that, we see several variations of Dr. Strange himself that he is going to have to try and overcome.
I wasn’t a massive fan of the first Doctor Strange. I understand it was an introduction to this character with some world-building, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. However, with Sam Raimi in the director’s chair, my excitement for this one is at an all-time high. We are on the verge of seeing the first horror-like Marvel movie and it has a chance to be great.
Where can you stream Doctor Strange 2 online from home?
The answer for this one is easy. You won’t be able to stream the movie from home, at least not when it first premieres. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’s budget is over $200 million. The film will possibly recoup that amount in its first weekend alone. Because of that, Disney will only be releasing this movie in theaters.
The movie will probably have long legs at the box office so that means we won’t see Doctor Strange 2 on streaming or VOD for at least 4 to 6 months. When the film does hit streaming, it’ll be on Disney+. If anything changes, we will update you.