It is being reported that Jade Halley Bartlett has been tapped to pen the screenplay to ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’. This news arrives via Collider, but Marvel Studios/Disney had no comment.
If her name is not familiar, it’s because she is a relative newcomer. Her screenplay for ‘Miller’s Girl’ is currently in development, with Bartlett planning to direct herself. Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan are attached to produce. She has also been tapped by Universal to adapt Chloé Esposito’s debut novel ‘Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know’ into a movie, with Michael De Luca producing. She also penned the most recent draft of the screenplay for the horror movie ‘The Turning’ starring Mackenzie Davis and Finn Wolfhard. That picture is scheduled for release on January 24, 2020. Bartlett has appeared as an actor in the TV movie ‘Cinnamon Girl’ and in the Ben Affleck movie ‘The Accountant’.
Scott Derrickson, who directed the first ‘Doctor Strange’ (2016), is returning to helm the sequel. He co-wrote the screenplay for the first movie with C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts. It is unknown if Bartlett will write the sequel solo, or if she will collaborate with Derrickson, or possibly other writers. With a title like ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, you have to imagine they already have some idea of what the story is.
Obviously Benedict Cumberbatch will be back in the lead role, and it’s probably safe to assume Benedict Wong will return as Wong. As was revealed at SDCC, Elizabeth Olsen will also co-star as Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlet Witch, and her upcoming Disney+ show, ‘WandaVision’ will somehow lay the foundation for ‘Multiverse of Madness’.
One thing we don’t know yet is whether or not Chiwetel Ejiofor will be back as Mordo, Strange’s fellow student of the Mystic Arts, who became disillusioned at the end of the first movie, setting him up to return as an enemy in the future. It would make sense for him to be the Bad Guy in the sequel, but Derrickson has also stated that he wants to use Nightmare as the villain.
Also unknown is whether or not Rachel McAdams will be back as Dr. Christine Palmer. Ditto for Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One.
One final note, Derrickson has teased that the sequel will also introduce Namor the Sub-Mariner, one of the very first Marvel superheroes (along with the original android Human Torch). Marvel’s new Chief Creative Officer, Kevin Feige has stated that the rights to Namor are not cut and dry, as Legendary licensed the rights some time ago, so if Marvel wants to use him, some kind of special arrangement will have to be made. To make matters even more complicated, there are also rumors that Namor will debut in ‘Black Panther 2’, due to the whole “underwater earthquake” thing in ‘Avengers: Endgame’. Keep in mind, there is no confirmation that Namor is coming to the MCU at all, so take all of this with a grain of salt.
‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ will be released on May 7, 2021.