Marvel has blessed fans with a whirlwind of plot twists and dramatic cliffhangers throughout each installment’s progression, often skipping between the universe’s past and present. There are quite a few gaps as a result of these switches, leaving us to wonder when exactly the Doctor Strange movies take place.
Doctor Strange 2, formally titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, takes place after MCU’s Doctor Strange, which overlaps with Spiderman: Homecoming and Black Panther, and WandaVision, which takes places years later. Neighboring MCU movies within the main timeline place Doctor Strange 2 in the year 2023.
While Marvel is infamous for planting questions in viewers’ minds, they frequently leave a few breadcrumbs for us to pick up and piece together. We’ve gathered all of the most notable facts about Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness in an attempt to create an easy-to-follow timeline within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
When Does Doctor Strange Take Place In The MCU?
There was plenty of confusion concerning where the film stood in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s timeline when it was first released. Fans were riddled with questions when Doctor Strange hit cinemas worldwide in 2016, and while many of these questions have been answered to some degree, there is still a range of plot holes to consider when assessing the story’s progression and placement.
One of the major issues amongst fans is the fact that certain confusing details were discussed in The Winter Soldier, particularly concerning the mention of Doctor Strange. The algorithm used to size up potential threats listed Doctor Stephen Strange as a potential risk, but the noted plot hole lies in the year of these events.
The Winter Soldier took place in 2014 in the main universe’s timeline, leading many fans to wonder if Doctor Strange had already begun his training with The Ancient One at Kamar-Taj during this time. But, his threat level was actually calculated while Stephen Strange was still a professional surgeon, long before he gained any of his mystical powers.
According to the movie’s co-director, the algorithm had calculated potential threats, including future threats and threats to totalitarianism. Doctor Stephen Strange was still completely unaware of magic, time travel, and mystic arts during this time, let alone his interest in it.
The events observed throughout The Winter Soldier took place a full two years before Strange got into a tragic car accident on the main universe’s timeline. The algorithm had listed Doctor Strange as a potential threat as is, without his magical abilities or mystical skills. He managed to become a concern for the higher-ups by merely existing.
It is possible that the algorithm foresaw a shift in Doctor Strange’s power. But, this theory is highly debatable and dependent on the abilities of such technology, which were not discussed in great detail throughout The Winter Soldier’s progression.
That being said, Doctor Strange was an incredibly intelligent and arrogant individual during that time, and he did not appreciate authority. It is more likely that his natural personality and intellect were the cause for the algorithm’s alert, rather than the risk of the magical abilities and powers he would hold in the MCU’s future.
What Year Does Doctor Strange Take Place?
Fans persisted in their search for clarity, and they have noted a significant detail within a very brief and barely visible frame. As Doctor Strange prepares himself for a speaking engagement, the timepiece on his watch reads 5:16 PM on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016. The specific placement of Doctor Strange within the MCU’s timeline was also confirmed by C. Robert Cargill, the co-writer of the film.
Doctor Strange outlines the iconic character’s steady progression from a professional surgeon to a mystical sorcerer. It can be easy to assume that the events seen in each of the Marvel movies are confined to each installment, occurring independently of each other. But, each movie’s relative timeline, events, and placement often overlap with each other, creating a perplexing yet far more realistic universe for fans to follow.
The events that transpired in Doctor Strange occurred alongside the events observed throughout Spiderman: Homecoming and Black Panther. The partial overlaps mean that technically speaking, the story progression in Doctor Strange would only have come to an end after the conclusion of certain events observed in those two movies.
In What Year Does Doctor Strange End?
While Doctor Strange was set in 2016, there were many missing pieces of evidence regarding the progression of time throughout the movie. Additional elements such as magic, time travel, and time loops made it even more challenging to follow.
But, fans have gathered that from the movie’s initial beginning in early 2016, Doctor Stephen Strange may have spent at least a few months as a normal yet highly intellectual human. He may have spent months in physical treatment after the devastating car accident that claimed the use of his hands before he eventually gave up.
After Doctor Strange lost hope in modern medicine, he began the uncertain journey to Kamar-Taj in the hope of finding an alternative healing method. From there, he met with The Ancient One, who healed him. Doctor Strange then found an interest in the mystic arts, and The Ancient One trained him.
Knowing that it takes time to gain skill and experience in the mystic arts, there is no telling how long Doctor Strange remained at Kamar-Taj before continuing his journey. Several emails that Doctor Strange sent to Christine Palmer went unanswered, which may have referenced the passing of time.
C. Robert Cargill explained that the climax of Doctor Strange, the battle with Dormamammu, was created with the intention of stirring curiosity within the viewers – which they intended to address at a later time. He did reveal that this epic battle was much longer than fans may have initially anticipated, stating that the time frame was long enough for Doctor Strange to gain more mastery over his mystical abilities.
Given that gaining mastery of the mystic arts takes time, Doctor Strange could not have seemingly progressed from a novice to a professional in such a ‘short’ time span. However, there is also the possibility that this event was lengthened through the use of time loops, where Doctor Strange faced Dormamammu over and over again until he succeeded, without more time passing by in reality.
One piece of key evidence concerning the exact time span of the movie lies in another Marvel movie, as Doctor Strange takes place directly before Thor: Ragnarok. This link means that Doctor Strange concludes sometime towards the end of 2017, around the same time Thor’s journey begins.
When Does Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness Take Place In The MCU?
Doctor Strange 2 is a sequel to Doctor Strange and some other Marvel movies. The events that transpire in Doctor Strange 2, formally titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, occur after the events seen in Doctor Strange and WandaVision. It also takes place after Loki, although those events occur on an alternate timeline and not the MCU timeline.
The events that will transpire in Doctor Strange 2 have been discussed in interviews and on social media, but the premise is still mostly under wraps. There is plenty of mystery surrounding the events of the movie – and for a good reason.
While fans have speculated and outlined the potential and possibilities for the MCU’s future Doctor Strange, there are still plenty of key questions that currently have no formal answers. The directors have intentionally left room for curiosity and questions, and they may be planning to address these topics in Doctor Strange 2.
What Year Does Doctor Strange 2 Take Place?
To figure out when the events of Doctor 2 take place, we will have to break down what exactly happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe outside of the Doctor Strange installments. Every MCU movie ties into another aspect of the story’s progression, considering that the events in each of the MCU movies will likely influence the events occurring throughout neighboring installments.
Given that Doctor Strange concluded towards the end of 2017 and other Marvel movies spanned over quite a few years, it can be assumed that there will be quite a jump concerning the movie’s placement. The events that transpire in WandaVision only conclude after a few years following Doctor Strange, placing Doctor Strange 2 sometime in the year 2023.
Although Doctor Strange 2 can be placed in the year 2023 based on the events occurring in other Marvel movies within the main MCU timeline, this is still pure speculation. Doctor Strange himself is incredibly unpredictable, and since the multiverse and time-travel are now major factors within the story’s progression, anything is possible!
Still, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promises to be an epic, dramatic, and mind-blowing story of cosmic proportions, potentially surpassing the success of Avengers: Endgame. Fellow Doctor Strange and Marvel fans are eager to witness this movie’s long-awaited reveal in the hope that we can finally put the pieces and order of events together.