Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark was the face of the MCU after kickstarting the entire cinematic universe and starring in the most films, at ten total. Although Benedict Cumberbatch's MCU appearances are barely half of RDJ's, the Doctor Strange actor just got a flattering endorsement from Marvel Studios head honcho, Kevin Feige.
According to a report from The Direct, Feige congratulated Cumberbatch for his Hollywood Walk of Fame Star. In his speech, Feige enumerated Cumberbatch's roles over the years before doubling down on the actor's performance in the MCU. Specifically, the Marvel boss referred to Cumberbatch as the "anchor" of the MCU, alluding to the actor's upcoming movie by saying that Marvel is currently navigating its way through "the madness of the Multiverse."
After playing a very important role in 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home, which set a new domestic box office record, Cumberbatch will reprise his role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As the name suggests, Multiverse of Madness will explore the titular hypothesis and will reportedly feature cameos from non-MCU universes as evidenced by the film's latest trailer that dropped at Super Bowl LVI.
With a vast majority of the OG Avengers cast now having moved on, it's only natural for Feige to endorse someone to take the lead and it appears that he has chosen Cumberbatch. Of course, this was a natural progression. As the "former" Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange is the foremost authority when it comes to the mysterious multiverse. But, as Doctor Strange puts it in No Way Home, "the multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little."
The Multiverse of Madness is shaping up to be a culmination of everything that Marvel Studios has built up following Endgame. All the MCU TV shows outside of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier dealt tied into the MCU's multiversal future, with Loki officially confirming its existence with What If...? offering fresh takes on the MCU canon.
Interestingly enough, Multiverse of Madness appears to be the "last" film to tackle the multiverse. If we take a look at Marvel's upcoming slate of films, all of them will likely feature self-contained stories revolving around that particular film's characters. This includes everything from Thor: Love and Thunder to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and more, all of which were delayed except for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
We'll know more for sure about how Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will set up the MCU's future once it premieres on May 6, 2022.