"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is in theaters Friday but is already breaking box office records as the most pre-sold movie of the year so far.
Critics are calling Marvel Studios’ #DoctorStrange in the Multiverse of Madness “wildly refreshing”.— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) May 4, 2022
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Here's everything you need to know about the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
When is the release date? Can I buy tickets now?
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" opens exclusively in U.S. theaters Friday, May 6. Tickets are available now through Fandango.
Filmmakers, cast and cameos
The sequel to 2016's "Doctor Strange" sees the titular hero, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, exploring the multiverse with his friends: Wong (Benedict Wong), the current Sorcerer Supreme; and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), aka Scarlet Witch. It's directed by Sam Raimi, the filmmaker behind the "Evil Dead" franchise and the Tobey Maguire-led "Spider-Man" trilogy.
MORE: Marvel's 'Doctor Strange' cast hits Hollywood red carpet
In addition to bringing back characters like Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) and introducing fans to new characters like America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), there are also numerous rumored cameos.
"It's a phenomenal cast," Cumberbatch told "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "And, if that wasn't enough, I then get to play a couple variants of the character himself to turbocharge his development, which was great fun."
What else can I expect in the new "Doctor Strange" movie?
The film follows Doctor Strange who, "with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary," according to Marvel.
WATCH: Doctor Strange is in a big mess in teaser trailer for sequel film
Cumberbatch teased it as the "scariest" installment in the MCU yet.
"It's kind of got a little bit of everything for everybody," Cumberbatch said on "GMA," calling it "a bit of a genre-buster" and sharing his hope that it becomes "one of the jewels in the crown of the MCU."
The two-time Oscar nominee said "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is a "really fun ride" that has all of Raimi's "trademarks," which he listed as "darker tones," "jump scares" and "schlock horror," paired with his experience in the superhero genre.
"I think it's definitely the scariest of the Marvel films so far, so that was a fun element to bring," Cumberbatch said.
As for what Cumberbatch hopes comes next for Doctor Strange in the MCU, he said he's "pretty much up front and center at the moment" and he doesn't see that changing.
What to watch to set the stage
In the six years since the original "Doctor Strange" film hit theaters, the Master of the Mystic Arts and "Multiverse of Madness" characters entered into a trove of new interdimensional adventures within the MCU.
Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for previously released Marvel movies and series.
While the upcoming sequel harkens back to Strange's journey from the original, moviegoers would benefit from understanding Stephen Strange's involvement in the Avengers' battle against Thanos, Spider-Man's saga with the multiverse and more.
Recent touchstones also include Wanda Maximoff's transformation into the Scarlet Witch from "WandaVision" and even Loki's own interdimensional involvement that unfolded in his titular Disney+ series.
Here's what you can watch to set the stage for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." You can easily find many of these movies and series featured in Disney+'s "Featuring Doctor Strange" collection:
- Doctor Strange (2016)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
- WandaVision (2021)
- Loki (2021)
- What If...? (2021)
- Marvel Studios: Legends (2021)
"Spider-Man: No Way Home" is available on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and digital download, and all other movies and series listed are streaming now on Disney+.
The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of Marvel Studios and this ABC station.
ABC News contributed to this report.