Benedict Wong talks Multiverse of Madness and karaoke with Doctor Strange

This past year has been transformative for Wong in the MCU. Benedict Wong’s one-time librarian of Kamar-Taj has ascended to Sorcerer Supreme, a position that has seen him firmly rooted in the fabric of the Marvel universe. The character first had a cameo turn in Shang-Chi, then a brief appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and now a major part in the Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, rolls around.

Total Film and GamesRadar+ recently spoke to Wong over Zoom to discuss his newfound position in the MCU, the scale of the Marvel sequel – and his song of choice for any potential future karaoke nights with Doctor Strange. Here’s our Q&A with the actor, edited for length and clarity.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

GR: Congratulations on being the MCU’s new Sorcerer Supreme! What is the dynamic like now with Doctor Strange? Is there a bit of professional jealousy there?

Benedict Wong: Yeah, maybe. He’s picked up the gauntlet and got a far greater responsibility. He’s been there for a very long time and he’s always there just to rein Strange in anyway with his ways. Having cast that spell in No Way Home, he’s cracked the parallel realities, all these characters are going to fall through and he’s there to help him pick up the pieces of the trail of chaos he’s left behind.

You mentioned No Way Home. How does this film’s use of the multiverse and its capacity to surprise compare to moments like Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire turning up in No Way Home?

All of that was just a taster, wasn’t it? I feel it’s almost like WandaVision and No Way Home are converging and all roads lead to this movie.

This phase of the MCU in particular has been great at introducing new characters that can bounce off established names such as yourself. We’ve got America Chavez in Multiverse of Madness. What does she bring to the film?

It’s great. We now have a new character involved in America Chavez, played beautifully by Xochi Gomez who was only 14 at the time. There’s a lot of pressure on young shoulders and she did an absolutely fantastic job.

We’re seeing that a lot now. We’re having the chapter being closed with Phase Three and an introduction to all these new characters like Shang-Chi. We’ve got Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel coming up. It’s the dawn of a new beginning.

Does this film go further than any other MCU film in terms of horror?

I think so. It’s beautifully mastered by the king of horror, one of the early OGs of Marvel, directed the Spider-Man trilogy. The wonderful Sam Raimi is perfect to helm this film.

For those who don’t have time to watch every Marvel movie, what would you say are the key texts people should watch before Multiverse of Madness?

WandaVision and No Way Home, a little dash of What… If? – there’s always room there.

For the diehards, you’ve followed this path and it’s great. I just think about when I was like 14 and I used to collect all my Spider-Man comics and being at Odyssey 7, which is sadly not around anymore, and sifting from one comic to another.

There was always a constant reference to ‘Iron Man this’ or ‘go back to Alpha Force’ and I would be moving up and down the lane in each box. I think that’s the beauty of what Kevin Feige has done now. That’s all been realized and pulled off the page, and now it’s in this cinematic version of it.

We know from Shang-Chi that Wong likes a spot of karaoke. If he had a duet with Doctor Strange, what would his song be?

I’m not going to do a duet with him! It’d be a solo and it’d be My Way.

Alright, if I ever duet with him, it’d be The Time of My Life. Bit of a time theme.

[Benedict Wong starts singing (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life]

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released in UK cinemas on May 5 and in US cinemas on May 6. For more, check out our full guide to Marvel Phase 4.

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