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Doctor Strange 2's Benedict Wong Gushes Over The 'Wonderful Character Progression' Of Wong - Exclusive

A big reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe has endured over the years stems from the close attention Marvel Studios pays to the growth of its superheroes, proving they are anything but one-dimensional characters whose sole purpose is to show off their superpowers to save the day. Even better, while fans have come to expect significant developments in the storylines of its lead characters, Marvel has invested just as much thought into key supporting characters.

Among those supporting characters is Wong (Benedict Wong), who first appeared in 2016 as the friend and fellow sorcerer of the titular character (Benedict Cumberbatch) in "Doctor Strange." Since his debut, Wong has reprised his role in five more MCU films and the streaming series "What If...?" on Disney+. In December, Wong joined Cumberbatch as supporting players in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," and kicking off May, the prolific actor stars alongside Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen in the latest MCU blockbuster, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

New in theaters, "Multiverse of Madness" picks up after the events of "Spider-Man: No Way Home," where, despite a warning from the Sorcerer Supreme Wong, Dr. Strange concocts a spell that's intended to make everyone forget Spider-Man's true identity as Peter Parker (Tom Holland). Strange, however, botched his spell thanks to Peter's interruptions during the incantation, allowing supervillains who battled two different versions of Spider-Man in other universes to enter their world from the multiverse.

In a reversal of course, "Multiverse of Madness" finds Strange and Wong entering the multiverse after they happen upon America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a young teen who has the rare ability to travel from one universe to the next. America's powers are so immense that malevolent creatures tied to Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch (Olsen), want to extract the girl's powers — a move that could tear the multiverse apart and put Strange's and Wong's lives in peril.

Wong says his character 'needed a retelling' from his origin in the Marvel comics

Like many of his fellow actors in the MCU, Benedict Wong said he initially looked to the history of the character in the Marvel Comics, but he decided quickly that it would be better to focus on the development of Wong as a movie character. After all, Wong debuted as an unnamed character in Marvel's "Strange Tales" #110 in July 1963 and wasn't officially bestowed with an identity until "Strange Tales" #119 in April 1964. Even then, Wong told Looper in an exclusive interview, the character was a mere shadow of who he has become in the MCU.

"When I first got the job, I was gauging with the source material, and that certainly needed a retelling, the idea of a servile character. We're moving away from that," Wong explained. "Now what we've developed together is this no-nonsense, midfield general librarian, who doesn't suffer fools gladly, and that's continued all the way through these movies — and now [it's] a wonderful character progression that he is now the Sorcerer Supreme. So I'm very thrilled where it's going."

Directed by Sam Raimi, and also starring Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is now playing in theaters.