Which old MCU screenwriting mistake did Doctor Strange 2 fix? Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stands out as one of the best films in the MCU. Sam Raimi, who directed Evil Dead and the Spider-Man trilogy, is known for his use of zombie flicks and iconography in this film. One of Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness’s most pivotal moments occurs as Stephen Strange and America Chavez face off against another Scarlet Witch.
As Wanda Maximoff looks to take America Chavez’s power to travel the multiverse, killing her in the process, Doctor Strange dreamwalks into the body of his deceased variant, Defender Strange. Chavez’s full power is unlocked after a pep talk from the zombie Strange, and the Scarlet Witch is transferred to Earth-838, the home of the Illuminati.
That universe’s Wanda Maximoff is terrified by Scarlet Witch, who breaks down in front of Billy and Tommy. In Doctor Strange’s Multiverse of Madness ending, she apparently sacrifices herself in the process of destroying the Darkhold in all universes and bringing down the temple at Mount Wundagore.
This is an excellent decision by Sam Raimi and his team to end The Multiverse of Madness with an emotionally charged exchange rather than a large-scale battle, giant monster fight, or laser in the sky. A lot of the MCU’s endings have become a lot like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Avengers, with promising projects like WandaVision devolving into large-scale generic hero-vs-villain battles.
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the film’s emotional payoff is earned because of its choice to focus on the relationship between its enemy and its two heroes.
The Doctor Strange franchise shares an unusually restrained ending, despite being directed by different people. Using the Time Stone to create a time loop in the Dark Dimension, Strange defeats the film’s antagonist, the interdimensional entity Dormammu.
Rather than concluding with the third act’s destruction, both films show how the MCU’s endings can defy convention. To be clear, a final battle isn’t always necessary, as the spectacular conclusion to Avengers: Endgame demonstrated. The MCU, however, should not be a place where this is the norm.
This lesson has been learned by other MCU Phase 4 projects as well. He Who Remains, Sylvie, and Loki engage in a lengthy conversation, which sets up the MCU’s upcoming multiverse war. MCU writers should trust their screenwriting and themselves to construct convincing, subversive, and character-driven endings.