Doctor Strange 2 release date shift changed Spider-Man’s plot


Juggling release dates. Image: Marvel Studios

Release dates rarely, if ever, have an impact on storytelling. Maybe a movie is set during a certain holiday and a studio wants to release it around that time of year. But even then, you can watch a Halloween or christmas movie Anytime you want. However, one place where release dates are all about story is: the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and recently two movies have completely changed due to a shift in dates.

Those two movies are Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Whether you have seen No Way Home or not, Strange’s new trailer is clear to see what the character learns in Spider-Man: No Way Home influences his journey in his new movie. Like, literally, one movie can’t take place without the events of another. Only that wasn’t the case originally.

Doctor Strange 2 was set to come out a long time before Spider-Man: No Way Home. Doctor Strange 2 was originally scheduled for May 2021 and Spider-Man just two months later. When both were first moved due to covidStrange moved to November and Spider-Man to December, leaving the order intact. But eventually that shifted again and Spider-Man was ready to come for Doctor Strange. Which posed a problem as the plots were so closely linked.

“We were actually working on things that happened in Doctor Strange 2 and trying to incorporate them into our script,” said Chris McKenna, co-writer of No Way Home. Variety. “When we started writing, [Strange] knows first hand the dangers of messing with these things. Then we changed it so that he was someone who doesn’t know much about the multiverse. But that makes it even more scary to mess with these things, because it’s the fear of the unknown. Anyway, he was the voice of reason that said, ‘You don’t mess with the fate of an individual’ – and Peter Parker was naive enough to say, ‘Why not? Why can’t we save these people?’”

And so they turned it around and the rest is history. Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the biggest hits of recent Hollywood memories and has become an even better introduction to the Strange sequel. Still, you have to wonder how No Way Home would have been different if Strange had already had a multiverse adventure beforehand. Would he have made the same mistake? Could he have come up with a better solution? Anyway, we’ll never know, but it sure is fun to think about how a simple move on the calendar changed two entire movies.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is now in theaters. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released on May 6, 2022.


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