How the Delay of DOCTOR STRANGE 2 Changed the Plot of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME

The released dates of most movies don’t impact the film’s storylines, but sometimes it’s the other way around, in that we get some holiday movies close to November/December, some scarier films in October, and maybe a romcom would try to shoot for a February release. But when it comes to Marvel, every film in the MCU is impacted by those that come before it, and the films ahead need to be aware of how the universe was left by the movies closest to them as they write the stories that are about to unfold. It’s a unique story-telling experience, and as the characters overlap, there are unique challenges that come with them.

For a long time, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was set to be released before Spider-Man: No Way Home, and the writers of both films were planning accordingly. Somewhere along the way, with so many pandemic-related delays, Spider-Man pulled forward, and changes had to be made. No Way Home co-writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers sat down with Variety to explain, with McKenna saying:

“We were actually working off of things that were happening in ‘Doctor Strange 2,’ and trying to incorporate them into our script. When we started writing, [Strange] knows firsthand the dangers of screwing with these things. Then we changed it so he was a person who doesn’t know that much about the multiverse. But that makes it even more frightening, to start fooling around with these things, because it’s the fear of the unknown. Either way, he was the voice of reason going, ‘You don’t mess with the fate of an individual’ — and Peter Parker being naive enough to go, ‘Why not? Why can’t we save these people?’”

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This obviously didn’t work out for Parker, with devastating results. You would think that the filmmakers would have a say in this process, seeing as how the films needed major reworking, but I think the fact that No Way Home had so many major spoilers, the studio probably felt that once that movie was made, they probably shouldn’t sit on it much longer.

I’m really happy with how Spider-Man: No Way Home turned out, so maybe it all worked out for the best. It will be interesting to see the big ramifications for Doctor Strange in his upcoming sequel.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to hit theatres on May 6th, 2022.