Disney+ Makes the MCU Timeline Even More Confusing with “Doctor Strange 2”

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Disney+ revealed the official place in the Marvel cinematic universe timeline for “Doctor Strange in the multiverse of Madness,” and that made Phase 4 even more confusing. The sequel to Doctor Strange, in which Benedict Cumberbatch returned as the titled sorcerer, was released in theaters on May 6, 2022. Although there were a few cameos of other Marvel actors and characters in the film, the action mostly took place in an alternate universe, so there was no point in when this movie took place on the larger scale of the MCU proper, except for the fact that it obviously took place after the multiverse-destroying antics of Spider-Man 2021 Year: “There is no Way home”, in which Dr. Strange appeared in the main role.

The Marvel universe is known for playing with its internal timeline. The order in which films are released in theaters does not necessarily reflect the order in which events took place in the MCU world. For example, between the climax of Avengers: Infinity War and the final chapter of Avengers: Finale, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel were released. Both events took place before the events of Infinity War, although the action of Ant-Man took place a few months before Thanos’ attack in Infinity War, and the action of Captain Marvel took place in the 90s, decades before either of these projects. However Captain Marvel also appears in Avengers: Finale, which was supposed to be released next. Given the competing release dates and schedules, many fans don’t understand when certain events or movies actually took place.

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Now that “Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness” has appeared on Disney+, it has been added to their official MCU list in timeline order. Although this is the most recent project in Phase 4, other than the Disney+ Miss Marvel series, it has been moved a few slots back into the official timeline. According to the new list, the film takes place after “Shang Chi”, “The Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Eternal” (there is not a word about how “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is among them, since it is not broadcast on Disney+). but in front of Hawkeye, Moon Knight and Miss Marvel, in that order.

Given the fact that “Hawkeye” was a Christmas TV series, this probably indicates that the events of “Miss Marvel” and “Moon Knight” take place somewhere in the first months of the new year. The action of “Doctor Strange 2” was supposed to take place sometime in the fall. It makes sense that the events of the movie didn’t affect these other series because they were pretty much isolated from the world Dr. Strange and his companions.

However, this official timeline of Doctor Strange in the multiverse of Madness means that this is the most recent appearance of Wong, played by Benedict Wong. The character was previously seen in Shang Chi inviting the hero to embark on a brand new adventure. The fact that Shang-Chi did not appear in Doctor Strange means either that the post-credits scene of Shang-Chi occurred after Doctor Strange 2, or the events shown in this clip have already occurred at the time when Doctor Strange 2 picks up. It’s obvious that Marvel has a plan to reveal the answers to these questions, but it’s understandable why fans have trouble following the exact order of events.