Doctor Strange 2 Runtime Makes It The Shortest MCU Movie In Three Years

There's no magic trick here, folks: the "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" runtime has finally been made public.

If you've felt like movies — particularly superhero movies — have been getting longer and longer with each passing year, the evidence certainly seems to be bearing that out. After all, even setting aside epic event films like "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame" that may or may not skew the overall curve just a bit, we most recently received a two-and-a-half hour-long "Spider-Man" extravaganza and a "Batman" movie from director Matt Reeves that came this close to clocking in at 3 whole hours. The fact that many viewers barely even felt the runtime of "The Batman" is a testament to how important pacing and editing that flows can be to the audience experience. Runtimes themselves aren't everything, people! As the late, great Robert Ebert once said, "No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough."

With all that in mind, it's time to dissect just what the runtime for the highly-anticipated "Doctor Strange" sequel means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe overall, the multiversal hijinks that surely wait in store for us, and the average bladder capacity of the casual moviegoer who tends to load up on salty popcorn and giant-sized drinks at the theaters. Luckily, the latter has very little reason to worry this time around. Thanks to Fandango (via Total Film), we now know that "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" will clock in at a surprisingly "brisk" 2 hours and 6 minutes. See how this compares to previous Marvel movies and join us as we go full Pepe Silvia conspiracy theory meme below!

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness runtime

Phase 4 of the MCU is in full swing and, for all the franchise's additions and crossovers and deep-cut lore references, we're about to get the shortest Marvel movie in three years — since "Captain Marvel" and its 2 hours and 4-minute runtime in 2019, in fact. Fans will remember how the first "Doctor Strange" movie proved to be a more public case of the studio and the director, Scott Derrickson, clashing to a certain extent over the final cut of the 2016 film. The painful lack of depth for the film's chief villain (played by Mads Mikkelsen) and the rather breathless pace of the solo movie all added up and, combined with the hour and 55-minute runtime, lent a sense of mountains of footage left on the cutting room floor. 

Those fears may remain with the sequel to a certain extent, even with acclaimed director Sam Raimi stepping in for Derrickson this time around. Given just how much material the sequel stands to cover, from the supporting (and almost certainly antagonistic) role for Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch to the return of Chiwetel Ejiofor's villainous Baron Mordo to all sorts of multiversal madness galore, fans likely anticipated a slightly longer runway for Raimi to do proper justice to all these spinning plates.

Of course, this is Sam Raimi we're talking about here. Even with all the sheer plot packed into this latest adventure focusing on Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange, Wong (Benedict Wong), love interest Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), and who knows how many cameos, a director of this caliber should have little difficulty navigating studio notes and potential franchise set-ups in order to tell an incredibly entertaining story in the here and now within the time allotted.

Tickets for the sequel will go on sale tomorrow, April 6, ahead of the movie's release on May 4, 2022.