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    You Don't Really Need To See WandaVision Before Doctor Strange 2, But Is That A Good Thing?

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness picks up from WandaVision, but shamelessly ignores Wanda Maximoff's arc.

    You Don't Really Need To See WandaVision Before Doctor Strange 2, But Is That A Good Thing?

    Marvel Studios

    BY SARAH MILNER/MAY 6, 2022 11:00 AM EDT

    Although Sam Raimi's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" continues directly from the events of the Disney+ series "WandaVision," the feature film is carefully constructed to work as an independent story — sort of.

    Even as the Marvel Cinematic Universe becomes increasingly complex, with each movie being intertextually bound to those that came before (and those it is setting up), there are efforts made to ensure that each title works as a standalone entry. Still, with the "Doctor Strange" sequel being the 28th entry in the film franchise (not to mention the six preceding Disney+ series) there's a lot of existing history in this universe for the stories to deal with. No matter how much exposition is offered to help the audience keep up, the experience is dependent on one's knowledge of not just the Marvel Comics, but the MCU itself. Those who are all-in will just simply get more out of the movie.

    "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is ostensibly a sequel to 2016's "Doctor Strange" — but let's be honest, it's really a sequel to everything in the MCU that culminated with "Avengers: Endgame." Within the first act, a character references The Blip and Thanos. What's surprising though, is how much this MCU movie is set up by "WandaVision," despite that being a Disney+ series rather than an MCU film.

    From this point forward, there are massive SPOILERS for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Proceed with caution.

    Does WandaVision even matter?

    Marvel Studios

    The MCU's willingness to make "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" work as its own story without viewers having seen "WandaVision" or even "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is, in a way, commendable; however, some real narrative issues arise as a result of this, especially regarding character development. This also obviously raises the question: if you don't need to have seen "WandaVision" to enjoy its conclusion in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," does the Disney+ show even matter? What about the rest of the Disney+ Marvel offerings — will they have any real consequence on the movie universe?

    Putting aside the intertextual game of connecting various MCU plot threads and character appearances, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" does actually present a real narrative problem. Even though you don't need to have seen "WandaVision" to understand and appreciate the MCU movie, the movie's story is fundamentally the conclusion to the Disney+ show. In "WandaVision," Wanda gives birth to two twin boys; she essentially creates a new reality where she can live the suburban, nuclear family dream with her lover — who was killed by Thanos — Vision (hence the show's name). Tragically, none of it is "real," and the show ends with her righting the reality of Westview; however, the "WandaVision" post-credits scene shows her learning from a book called the Darkhold, and discovering her boys do exist — somewhere.

    "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is constructed in such a way that you can understand the plot without any of this background information; however, the story is obviously richer for those who have seen "WandaVision." Everything that's happened to Wanda Maximoff since her last movie appearance — becoming the Scarlet Witch, getting her hands on the Darkhold, discovering her two boys — happens in "WandaVision." In order to compensate for that, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" makes her motivation overt and simple; unfortunately, it does so at the cost of her character arc. The Scarlet Witch is a pure villain in this movie, committing unimaginably cruel and selfish acts that contradict not only her growth in the "Avengers" movies, but also her sacrifice at the end of "WandaVision." The series ended with her giving up what she so desperately wanted because she knew it was the right thing to do; here, she's doing the complete opposite with no explanation given. She's become a completely different character.

    The Marvel TV shows have limited impact on the greater MCU

    Disney+

    A lot had to happen offscreen for Wanda to get to the point where she not only has mastered the Darkhold, but is ethically so corrupt that she would send demons after a defenseless teenage girl with the intent of murdering her for her powers — let alone kill her former ally Stephen Strange, and heroes from other universes. And Wanda is steadfast in her plan — at no point does she seem hesitant to deliver the fatal blow or question if what's she's doing is right. While it was fun to see figures like "Captain Carter" — who was actually set up by "What If..." — getting to fight, Scarlet Witch tore through them pretty easily. Sure, the multiverse means viewers get to see the heroes die horribly without it affecting the MCU's future (although I'm not super sure why that's something people would WANT to see), and it's nice to see Scarlet Witch really embracing her powers; however, it doesn't quite feel earned, partially because of how "WandaVision" ends. This violence is visceral and up-close and horrific. Arguably, this movie completely undoes the TV show.

    Source : www.slashfilm.com

    What to Watch Before ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’

    "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" will be drawing from plenty of MCU movie and shows, so we've put together a shortlist of what to watch first

    What to Watch Before ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’

    Here’s the shortlist of MCU movies and TV shows to watch before catching the latest Marvel film

    Natalie Oganesyan | May 11, 2022 @ 3:18 PM

    Marvel Studios

    Given the continual expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on every single project, try as we might to catch up on weekly Disney+ series and the latest theatrical releases. This is especially true with “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which is the follow-up to several Marvel projects.

    The MCU officially entered its Phase Four with the January 2021 premiere of the meta “WandaVision” Disney+ series and kicked off the new Phase’s theatrical era with the long-awaited “Black Widow,” which was released that summer in theaters and on Disney+. And now, another title is set to spur fandom excitement with the arrival of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the sure-to-be chaotic (and if reviews are to be believed, horror-adjacent) follow-up to the 2016 magical action-adventure starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role.

    But before you eagerly head to theaters, there are several must-watch MCU entries you should get acquainted with first to ensure you’re in the know about any potential references and sequential events — particularly with the mind-bending multiversal concerns presented in “Doctor Strange 2.”

    So, without further ado, here’s your viewing shortlist of shows and films — in chronological order — to stream in preparation:

    Also Read:

    All 28 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best (Photos)

    “Agent Carter” (2015-2016)

    Marvel Studios

    This unfortunately short-lived ABC series gives depth to an oft-overlooked character in the MCU: the highly skilled Strategic Scientific Reserve agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell, reprising her role from “Captain America: The First Avenger”), who would go on to become one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and, of course, Steve Rogers’ one true love). Set in 1946, the two-season action-packed show takes place immediately following the events of the aforementioned film, where Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) is considered a treasonous criminal and Carter is desk-bound to menial secretarial duties. It’s a hoot.

    “Doctor Strange” (2016)

    Marvel Studios

    For obvious reasons, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” would be quite a confusing romp without this necessary origin story. In 2016’s film, Cumberbatch establishes himself as the talented yet hubristic neurosurgeon Stephen Strange. After a devastating automobile accident, he frantically chases down any and all potential cures to his now-tremulous fingers, seeking help from medical experts and shamans. What he encounters instead — portals to other dimensions, time-bending stones and world-threatening grudges — humbles his ego and opens his eyes to life beyond the mortal realm.

    “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)

    Chuck Zlotnick / ©Marvel / ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    The two-part saga featuring the Avengers facing off against their greatest threat — the universe-plundering Thanos (played by Josh Brolin) — begins in “Avengers: Infinity War.” It’s the beginning of the end of an era for Marvel, as every installment in the MCU had been leading up to this fight. While “Infinity War” sees many of our favorite heroes banding together to stop evil, Doctor Strange stands out as a mighty force against the Mad Titan, holding his own as a now-established sorcerer confident in his powers. It’s Strange who sets the Avengers’ endgame in motion. Hey, speaking of the Avengers’ endgame…

    “Avengers: Endgame” (2019)

    Disney/Marvel

    “Avengers: Endgame” was a phenomenon in the summer of 2019, shattering box office records to become the second highest grossing movie of all time. The hotly anticipated conclusion to the Infinity Saga sees the Avengers — with diminished numbers — dusting off a crushing defeat to restore reality (and half of Earth’s population) and finally put an end to Thanos’ chaos. Doctor Strange is integral to the group’s bittersweet victory, as his “one chance” scene went on to quickly overwhelm the internet with memes and fan theories galore.

    “What If…?” (2021)

    Marvel Studios

    More specifically, viewers looking to familiarize themselves with the lore “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” draws on should watch (at the very least) the first and fourth episode of this animated multiversal series, “What If… Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?” and “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” As confirmed by the film’s poster, a variant of Carter as the heroic avenger is sure to make an appearance. Furthermore, there’ll be a version of Sinister Strange, as first explored in “What If…?” And if you have time, it might not be the worst idea in the world to watch the rest of the inventively animated series.

    Source : www.thewrap.com

    Which Marvel titles to watch as you prep for ‘Multiverse of Madness’

    Prepare for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" with "Doctor Strange," "WandaVision," "Spider-Man: No Way Home," and more.

    We love a good superhero story as much as the next person, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is growing rapidly by the day. Gone are the days of a cute little rewatch of every movie before the latest hits theaters; it would now take several sunlit days to get through every MCU movie, not to mention the hours of television also streaming on Disney+.

    So we're going out on a limb and mixing things up for , which hit theaters May 6, and just watching the titles most relevant to this time and space-bending sequel. Not every movie is (although that made the list).

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    (2016)

    The punch that changed this man's life. Credit: Marvel Studios

    Of course, we can’t go into a new Doctor Strange movie without exploring the . Middling though it is in the MCU canon, lays necessary groundwork about the Mystic Arts, Sorcerers Supreme, and the Dark Dimension. Wong, Mordo, and the Ancient One all caution Stephen against manipulating time. But then he uses the Eye of Agamoto a.k.a. the Time Stone to defeat Dormammu, Kaecilius, and the Dark Dimension.

    Mordo, the former golden child of Kamar-Taj, takes this poorly and sets out on an ostensible revenge trip to strip sorcerers worldwide of their power. The Ancient One is dead now, so only Wong is around to keep Strange and his time-bending in check…and we've seen how that goes in their last joint venture.

    Where to watch: is now streaming on Disney+.

    is quite the undertaking, but its the-only-rule-is-there-are-no-rules approach to time travel is a helpful primer for how Marvel likes to wink cheekily at cinematic precedent for astrophysics and then look the other way. The Ancient One does an excellent explainer on timelines and universes, which certainly proved helpful for other titles on this list...

    Where to watch: is now streaming on Disney+.

    Season 1, episodes 8 and 9

    Your friendly neighborhood Scarlet Witch! Credit: Marvel Studios

    Despite the initial illusion that it's set in a universe where its title characters live happily ever after, isn't the most multiverse, but it's important to catch up on Wanda's journey before we see her in . Episode 8 sees Agatha walking through Wanda's history from childhood to Ultron to the events of that led her to Westview. Though we're familiar with her story, this is the first time we see it with Wanda herself at the center.

    Episode 9, the season finale, is a showdown between the two witches and S.W.O.R.D.'s attempt to pit Vision against Vision. The episode is formulaic, but it underscores the emotional stakes with Wanda's character: She lost her whole family, and she would crack open the cosmos to get them back.

    Where to watch: is now streaming on Disney+.

    Season 1, episode 6

    The finale should not have worked, given how much of it was a monologue from a brand-new character — but that character is He Who Remains in the deft hands of Jonathan Majors, and we're nowhere near tired of hearing him talk. Loki and Sylvie journey to the Citadel at the End of Time, where they find the being responsible for the TVA, the Time Keepers, and the Sacred Timeline. He Who Remains was once a human who discovered the multiverse in the 31st century and ended up in a multiversal war with his own variants for control of the timeline.

    Source : mashable.com

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