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Doctor Strange Will Be In Marvel's Spider-Man 3

News about Tom Holland's Spider-Man 3 just keeps getting stranger and stranger, as The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Benedict Cumberbatch will play Doctor Strange in the upcoming film. His inclusion only strengthens theories that Spider-Man 3 will be a live-action dive into the Spider-Verse.

Both Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) characters Spider-Man and Doctor Strange have movies scheduled to begin filming this month: The as-yet-untitled Spider-Man 3 and the equally mysterious Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As details about the two films have been few and far between, each new announcement only adds fuel to the furious speculation about what their plots could possibly be.

The most recent Spider-Man news was that Jamie Foxx is in talks to reprise his role of Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in the MCU's Spider-Man 3. He actually isn't the first actor to span multiple Spider-Man universes, as J.K. Simmons of the original Spider-Man trilogy returned as J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home. These two cross-universe casting calls, combined with theories about Doctor Strange and WandaVision, have led fans to believe we may see previous Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in the MCU movie.

Are all three MCU titles going to delve into the multiverse?

Not many details have been revealed about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, other than that it will also star Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch. Very curiously, its director is Sam Raimi of the original Spider-Man trilogy. The biggest clue about its plot is the word "multiverse" in its title, which suggests alternate versions of MCU characters could appear, including, perhaps, Spider-Man. If Cumberbatch is in Spider-Man 3, who's to say Tom Holland won't appear in Multiverse of Madness?

Before either film hits theaters, Olsen will bring Scarlet Witch front and center in the Disney+ series WandaVision, which releases later this year. The WandaVision trailer teases escapades into alternate universes, so events in the show may have repercussions in both Spider-Man 3 and Multiverse of Madness.

The Spider-Man movies have a track record of bringing in other MCU characters, as Homecoming brought Tony Stark in to mentor Peter Parker and Far From Home had (fake) Nick Fury recruiting a reluctant Peter. It seems Doctor Strange could be the next mentor figure for the young Avenger. After their hilarious-but-awkward first meeting in Avengers: Infinity War, however, Doctor Strange certainly doesn't have the fondness for Peter that Tony did. Maybe we'll see their relationship strengthen in Spider-Man 3.

The third Spider-Man is slated to release December 17, 2021, while Multiverse of Madness is scheduled for March 25, 2022. While we can't be certain about either release date because plenty of Marvel movies have been delayed, we can almost certainly say Spider-Man 3 will have "home" in the title. What other secrets the film harbors remain to be seen.