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What to watch before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

, US contributing editor · ·
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(Pocket-lint) - Ever since Marvel Studios first announced Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it's been one of the most mysterious Phase Four movies.

The long-awaited sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange is meant to serve as a culmination of several Marvel Cinematic Universe plotlines - just as studio president Kevin Feige repeatedly teased over years at industry events such as Comic-Con and the D23 Expo. So, before you go watch Doctor Strange 2 in the cinemas, you really should watch a few other Marvel movies and shows to truly be prepared. Let's dive into which parts of the MCU the new film calls back to or references and why. 

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Age of Ultron introduces Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff - who plays a crucial role in the new Doctor Strange film. You see the first hint of her reality-altering powers as she loses her brother.

This film sees actor Benedict Cumberbatch make his MCU debut as Doctor Strange, aka Stephen Vincent Strange, making it a must-watch before the sequel.

Doctor Strange plays a crucial role in the first battle against Thanos. He uses his knowledge of the future to realise that the only way to defeat Thanos for good is to let him win... for now. 

Endgame marks Benedict Cumberbatch's third appearance as Doctor Strange, and it sees him take part in the final battle against Thanos. 

Episodes 4 and 9 Introduce a variant of Doctor Strange who loses the love of his life instead of the use of his hands, which leads him down a dark path. There's a seemingly evil-looking version of Strange that appears in Multiverse of Madness trailers that could be connected to these episodes.

As for the fifth episode of What If…, it introduces us to a zombified version of the MCU. Fans hypothesised that this episode is connected to a seemingly zombified version of Doctor Strange seen in one of the Multiverse of Madness trailers.

WandaVision sees the freshly unsnapped Wanda Maximoff dealing with the trauma of having to kill her boyfriend Vision, only to see him resurrected and killed again. She later takes over an entire town to create a reality where she can live happily ever after with Vision. But Wanda is not the villain in her own story when it turns out neighbour Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) is the baddist witch in Westview all along.

Doctor Strange is no longer Sorcerer Supreme. His partner and friend, Wong (played by Benedict Wong), has been holding that title since Strange was snapped away. Wong makes an appearance in this film - where he is seen working with former bad guy Abomination for a moment. We see more of that partnership in the Multiverse of Madness. 

Loki reveals the Time Variance Authority and their effort to protect the sacred timeline, which is ultimately destroyed by the end of the first season, paving the way for the Multiverse of Madness. 

No Way Home sees Tom Holland’s Peter Parker go to Doctor Strange in an effort to undo the public finding out about his secret identity. When Strange agrees to help him by performing a reality-altering spell, the consequences have further-reaching consequences than Strange originally imagined. 

The Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailers included a snippet of Patrick Stewart - voicing Professor Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men. But which version of this character appears in the Multiverse of Madness? Rather than spoil anything for you, why not start with Stewart's first turn playing the character in 2000's X-Men?

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Okay, so The Evil Dead isn't suddenly part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it was one of the first films directed by Sam Rami. The Evil Dead's cinematic style and shot framing is clearly referenced in Doctor Strange 2: Multiverse of Madness making it a worthwhile watch just so you can reaquaint yourself with the director's visual approach before you still the latest MCU movie.

What is the best streaming device for your TV? Our top recommendation is the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. Also excellent are the Google Chromecast with Google TV, the Roku Express 4K, the Apple TV 4K and the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Be sure to check out Pocket-lint's guide of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and shows to date to see the best order to watch them in and how they all fit together in one neat timeline:

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Chris Hall.