Disney+ Makes MCU Timeline Even More Confusing With Doctor Strange 2

Disney+ Makes MCU Timeline Even More Confusing With Doctor Strange 2

Disney+ has added Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to the official MCU timeline, making their Phase 4 order even more confusing.

Disney+ has revealed the official place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and it has made Phase 4 even more confusing. The Doctor Strange sequel, which saw the return of Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular sorcerer, came to theaters on May 6, 2022. While the film featured several cameos from other Marvel actors and characters, they largely took place in an alternate universe, so there was no sense given of when this film took place in the larger scope of the MCU proper, other than the fact that it obviously took place after the multiverse-shattering antics of 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which featured Doctor Strange in a major role.


The Marvel universe is known for playing around with its internal timeline. The order that the films are released in theaters doesn’t necessarily reflect the order that the events occurred in the world of the MCU. For instance, between the climactic cliffhanger of Avengers: Infinity War and the concluding chapter of Avengers: Endgame, both Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel were released. Both took place before the events of Infinity War, though Ant-Man took place in the months leading up to Thanos’ Infinity War attack and Captain Marvel was set in the ’90s, decades before either of those projects. However, Captain Marvel also appears in Avengers: Endgame, which was the next to be released. Given the competing timelines and release schedules, many fans remain confused as to when certain events or movies actually took place.

Related: What Did Wanda Say To Scarlet Witch In Doctor Strange 2 (& What It Means)

Now that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has arrived on Disney+, it has been added to their official listing of the MCU in timeline order. Although it is the most recent project in Phase 4 other than the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, it has been placed several slots back in the official timeline. According to the new listing, the film takes place after Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals (there is no word on how Spider-Man: No Way Home slots into those, as it is not streaming on Disney+), but before Hawkeye, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel, in that order.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange performing magic in Doctor Strange 2

Considering the fact that Hawkeye was a Christmas-set series, this likely indicates that both Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight take place sometime in the early months of the new year. Doctor Strange 2 must have taken place sometime in the Fall. It makes sense that the events of the film didn’t impact those other series, because they were largely isolated into the world of Doctor Strange and his companions.

However, this official timeline for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness means that it is the most recent appearance of Wong, played by Benedict Wong. The character was previously seen in Shang-Chi inviting the hero to come on a brand new adventure. The fact that Shang-Chi didn’t appear in Doctor Strange either means that the post-credits scene of Shang-Chi took place after Doctor Strange 2, or the events teased in that clip have already taken place at the time Doctor Strange 2 picks up. Clearly, Marvel has a plan to reveal the answers to these questions eventually, but it’s understandable why fans have trouble following the exact order of events.

Next: Who Was At The End Of Doctor Strange 2

Source: Disney+

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023

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Brennan Klein
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Brennan (he/him) is a senior writer at Screen Rant and a millennial who knows more about 80’s slasher films than he has any right to. A former host of the Attack of the Queerwolf podcast, Brennan has been writing and podcasting about pop culture (especially horror films) for a decade.

Brennan’s interests also include the Muppets, bubblegum pop from around the world, and reading (especially Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, the manga of Junji Ito, and novels of magical realism). His favorite film directors are Wes Craven and Pedro Almodóvar.

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