Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness, the latest MCU film from Spider-Man and The Evil Dead director Sam Raimi, originally had a much darker alternate ending. The film’s screenwriter, Michael Waldron, revealed this ending in the audio commentary where Doctor Strange might’ve suffered a much more sinister fate.
Before we go any further, there will be major spoilers ahead for the ending of Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness, so proceed with caution. In the current ending of the film, Doctor Strange is seen growing a third eye as a side effect of using the Darkhold to transfer himself into a corpse. Of course, there would be some consequences for his actions which led to this dark ending.
However, the alternate ending would’ve been much darker according to Waldron. During the events of the film, Doctor Strange visits an incursion universe where he encounters Sinister Strange, a more “evil” version of himself. In the alternate ending, Doctor Strange becomes entrapped in the incursion universe with Sinister Strange replacing him in the regular timeline. As Waldron puts it:
“Strange gets trapped in that [incursion] universe. And then [Sinister Strange] turns around, and the third eye opens.”
Waldron takes it a step further and ups Raimi’s camp factor by revealing that this reveal would’ve been set to an audio cue of Vincent Price’s iconic laugh from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Marvel Studios ended up not going with this alternate ending as it could’ve dismantled what we assume is a carefully orchestrated future plan for the current phase of the MCU. Regardless, it would’ve suited Raimi’s usual style of concluding his films with a tragic ending. Waldron told ComicBook:
“That’s the bill coming due. As Wong says, ‘You used the Darkhold to possess your own corpse.’ Surely, there must be some fallout. It was a little bit of a throwback to [director Sam Raimi’s] old Evil Dead, and that groaner of an ending, or it’s just like, ‘Oh my God, things turned out bad in the end.’ So, yeah. We’ll see what all that means for Stephen.”
Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness marks the latest MCU film in its current fourth phase.