Benedict Cumberbatch won’t guarantee we’ll see more of Doctor Strange after Avengers: Infinity War. Audiences were just introduced to Doctor Strange at the end of 2016, and he’s quickly become a prominent figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Marvel Studios built towards Thanos’ arrival, the reveal that Strange’s Eye of Agomotto holds one of the six Infinity Stones confirmed he’d be a major piece to the puzzle. He even popped up in Thor: Ragnarok briefly, and will soon use his sorcery to try and save the universe.
While the Time Stone currently helps give Strange even more power, he probably won’t be holding onto it for much longer. Just like Vision (the holder of the Mind Stone), Strange’s ownership on an Infinity Stone will make him a target for Thanos and his Black Order. We’ve seen snippets of their battle alreadys, and Cumberbatch is refusing to reveal if Strange makes it out of the battle alive.
MTV interviewed several cast members for Avengers: Infinity War following one of the fan events in London, and asked them all how they’d like to see their character go. Cumberbatch was among those who were interviewed, and he didn’t waste much time detailing the dire circumstances Strange will find himself in, saying “There’s lots of threats coming his way. He holds the Time Stone around his neck for a part of this film. We know someone is coming to get them for a big glove.” When the interviewer then stepped in to reassure that everything will be alright for one of Marvel Studios’ newest stars, Cumberbatch didn’t offer the same assurance:
It might not be. It says you’ll see Doctor Strange again at the end of the first one and you have. You’ve seen him in Thor: Ragnarok and you know he’s in this one. Doesn’t mean there’s gonna be any more of him, so you’ll have to wait and see.
More than likely, this is just Cumberbatch having fun with the hype of Infinity War and fueling the worries of fans that everyone is going to die. Strange is one of Marvel’s most powerful characters, and it’d be very surprising if Kevin Feige introduced him and the magical world, only to kill the Sorcerer Supreme two years later.
That said, all parties involved have also been extremely noncommittal when it comes to Doctor Strange’s future. The studio has been very cagey about Doctor Strange 2, even saying it may not be in Phase 4. Meanwhile, Doctor Strange co-writer Robert C. Cargill has reveals story details for Doctor Strange 2, but noted that the sequel isn’t a sure thing yet. The first Doctor Strange wasn’t a massive box office hit, but still did close to $700 million worldwide. A sequel (especially after Infinity War) would surely receive a bump up at the box office.
While killing Doctor Strange would be a surprise, there have been teases of his demise. The Infinity War trailers have shown him being tortured by Ebony Maw, and Cumberbatch seemingly confirmed that he will lose the Time Stone when he said Strange only holds it for “part of this film.” Any death in Infinity War or Avengers 4 will certainly be subject to debate over whether or not the death will stick, but since Feige himself says fans should be worried, maybe Strange really could be on his way out of the MCU.