15 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Facts Revealed in the Making-Of Documentary

15 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Facts Revealed in the Making-Of Documentary

Sam Raimi, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Feige, and others appear in the Disney+ special.

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Benedict Cumberbatch and Sam Raimi on the set of Doctor Strange 2.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Sam Raimi on the set of Doctor Strange 2.
Image: Marvel Studios

By now you’ve probably seen Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at least once. After a massive run at the box office earlier this summer, the sequel is currently on Disney+, just waiting for you to experience it again and again. Plus, as has become a tradition on Disney+, the streamer just added an hour-long making-of documentary about the Marvel Studios film. And it’s rather excellent.

So stop what you’re doing and go check out Assembled: The Making of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, or click through this slideshow to read the 15 biggest takeaways we discovered while watching it.

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The Godfather of the MCU

The Godfather of the MCU

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Screenshot: Disney+/Marvel Studios

The documentary makes it very clear just how excited everyone was for Sam Raimi to come onboard. Raimi, of course, signed on after director Scott Derrickson left (who Raimi has nice things to say about) and said he was intrigued because he hadn’t made a superhero movie in so long.

That superhero movie, of course, was the third in a hugely successful Spider-Man franchise that producers say makes him one of the Godfathers of the MCU. Plus, fun fact, Kevin Feige was a junior executive on those films.

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A whole new movie

A whole new movie

Strange 2 and Loki writer Michael Waldron.
Strange 2 and Loki writer Michael Waldron.
Screenshot: Disney+/Marvel Studios

After Derrickson left, Kevin Feige called Loki writer Michael Waldron to come in and do a rewrite on the film. Waldron said it was February 2020 and he had only three weeks to do it. And the last week was the week the world shut down for covid-19. Production then moved from May 2020 to November 2020 and everyone decided to throw out that draft entirely. The result was basically a whole new movie that they found better and more exciting.

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America, F-Yeah

America, F-Yeah

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Screenshot: Disney+/Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduces America Chavez to the MCU for the first time and, according to Kevin Feige, she’s been on a list of characters they want to add for some time. America is played by Xochitl Gomez who auditioned in March 2020 and didn’t even know what the role was until months later, when she went to London to screen test.

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Beats by Wong

Beats by Wong

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Screenshot: Disney+/Marvel Studios

Gomez revealed that she and Benedict Wong, who plays Wong in the film, danced a lot on set, mostly because Wong walks around on set with a large Bluetooth speaker, pumping music. She even tried to get him on her TikTok.

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Wanda Wasn’t Always the Villain

Wanda Wasn’t Always the Villain

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When Elizabeth Olsen was almost done with WandaVision, she first heard the idea for her character to be the villain of Doctor Strange 2. However, Waldron revealed that earlier versions of the script didn’t have her break bad until the ending of the movie with the thought maybe she’d be the villain of “an Avengers movie or something.” Finally though, Waldron said he fought for her to be the villain throughout the entire film, asking “Why are we letting some other movie get the best villain ever?”

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Fake Blossoms

Fake Blossoms

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Screenshot: Disney+/Marvel Studios

This one blew my mind. So the orchard that Wanda is living in at the beginning of the film was supposed to be set in a real apple blossom orchard. But, because of covid changing the schedule, the location wasn’t in bloom at the time of filming. So the production tied fake blossoms to all the trees so what you see on screen is a real orchard with fake blossoms on the trees.

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The Kamar-Taj battle was the biggest in the film

The Kamar-Taj battle was the biggest in the film

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Screenshot: Disney+/Marvel Studios

The documentary goes into delicious depth when talking about all the moving parts that it took to film the Scarlet Witch’s assault on Kamar-Taj. For example, the building has three rooftops in the movie, but it was only shot on one, which had to be redressed over and over. Some shots would have 25 explosions in them alone. Forty to 50 devices called “ratchets” were used at once to hurl the stunt people through the air. Shots took months to plan and figure out. It’s intense.

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More Illuminati?

More Illuminati?

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Screenshot: Disney+/Marvel Studios

The most talked-about scene in the film is when Strange visits the alternate universe with the cameo-filled Illuminati. And while the documentary breaks down Mordo, Captain Carter, Captain Marvel, and even Professor X, there’s no footage or mention of Mr. Fantastic or Black Bolt. Nevertheless, one of the producers says that just because the Illuminati in this universe gets crushed by Wanda, doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t see one in the usual MCU.

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Silent filming

Silent filming

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Once America and Strange get to the Illuminati’s multiverse, they’re put into glass cages to meet Christine Palmer. Well, it turns out, that set was real and the glass was so thick it cut out the sound. The actors couldn’t hear each other. So, to film the scenes, they had earpieces in order to hear.

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From Cleveland to England to New York

From Cleveland to England to New York

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Originally, Raimi and the team were going to film Cleveland for New York, much like Marvel did on the first Avengers film. However, covid stopped that, and so an entire section of New York City was built in a back lot in England. It was about four full blocks and was shot not just for New York of the MCU, but all of the multiverse iterations you see throughout the film.

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The Hand Job

The Hand Job

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Cheeky title aside, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness employed its very own magic coordinator, Julian Daniels, who devised all of the hand gestures Dr. Strange uses throughout the film. Daniels gives each movement very specific meaning and, in fact, he’s been doing the job since the first Doctor Strange film. He also returned for both Avengers Infinity War and Endgame.

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More Multiverses

More Multiverses

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One of the most exciting scenes in the film is the first time Strange and America travel through the multiverse. According to the documentary, about 30 different ideas were thrown around originally with the final shot having only about 15.

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Wonderful Nicknames

Wonderful Nicknames

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All the different iterations of Doctor Strange had different nicknames. The one from the beginning of the film was “Defender” Strange. The evil one with the third eye is “Sinister” Strange and, of course, the one from the end of the film is “Dead” Strange. The documentary doesn’t give an official name to the version of Strange in the Illuminati sequence (above) but it might be “Illuminati” strange.

Oh and to get Kevin Feige to sign off on “Dead” Strange, Waldron said he presented that idea next to a “Blob” Strange which was clearly never going to happen.

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No Pizza Poppa?

No Pizza Poppa?

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One of the film’s editors reveals that, at one point, they cut out the Bruce Campbell character “Pizza Poppa” entirely. Thankfully, he was put back in.

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The Ultimate Raimi Easter Egg

The Ultimate Raimi Easter Egg

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Every Sam Raimi movie has one thing in common: Sam’s old car, the Delta 88 originally from The Evil Dead, is in it. The same goes for Multiverse of Madness, where it can be seen floating around one of the New York multiverses, but also in less traditional places, like as a monster truck in the Maximoff children’s room.

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