I was thoroughly frustrated by “Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness”. But there’s an old saying: “Put your money where your mouth is.” If I’m going to dislike something and call it out, I’d better have an alternative in mind.
So, consider this a version lifted from an alternate version of Earth. I know, I know… it’s going to violate a principle you’re going to read about below, but what’s a little risk of apocalypse if I get to share this with all of you?
That’s worth it.
FOR ARCHIVAL PURPOSES ONLY: Transcript of Pitch “Doctor Strange and the Multiversal Madness”, title temporary, (aka Doctor Strange 2), Feb 2, 2020.
ATTENDING: Samantha Raimi (director), Michelle Waldron, based on ideas first proposed by Jade Halley (October 31, 2019)
transcription by Wilhemina Thomas, contractor, Infinite Monkeys Incorporated
MEDIA IN RES: Setting, a fragmented LIGHT DIMENSION, lots of stonework and crystal paths floating in space. In the center is the BOOK OF VISHANTI, set on a pedestal on a plaza that is suspended above swirling, enchanting vapors.
A ponytailed Dr. Strange and America Chavez are fighting a demon and LOSING, working their way to get the Book of the Vishanti. During the fight, Strange is mortally wounded and the demon grabs Chavez. Despairing, Chavez begs for Strange to take her power. He refusing, insisting it will kill her. She says she know.
Reluctantly, he starts to take her power, but the demon lashes out, breaking the spell. Given that moment to brief, a terrified Chavez accidentally opens a MULTIVERSAL PORTAL. She can’t escape though; the demon still has her!
It’s Strange’s final act to cut her free.
And she falls through the portal.
DOCTOR STRANGE wakes from a dream.
Disturbed by the nightmare, Dr. Strange comes fully awake and dresses in a tux. Then, he goes to the WEDDING of his ex, Christine. There, he is graceful and grateful that she found happiness, admitting (when she runs into him at the bar) that despite loving her, he was an ass, and, oh, then dead for five years with no guarantee of returning so it’s a huge relief she is doing well. She cups his face and hopes that he finds happiness, but her the tender moment is interrupted by her husband who is a HUGE Dr. Strange fan. Dr. Strange graciously gives an autograph using magic.
Suddenly, there’s an EXPLOSION and Strange goes out to the balcony. There’s a disturbance in the streets below. An invisible SHUMA-GORATH causing havoc. He confronts it as it attacks a bus and discovers its target: America Chavez! Recognizing her from the dream, he wonders aloud who she is and why the primal god Shuma-Gorath is hunting her. He declares that this situation needs the Sorcerer Supreme.
Then he does a spell and summons WONG.
Wong arrives and is surprised to see Shuma-Gorath. He enters the battle and then leaves again, forcing Dr. Strange to save the girl alone.
The two go back and forth until Wong returns, with specialized weapons, he banishes the thing back to the netherworld.
They confront the girl and offer to take her back to the New York Sanctum, which Strange is in charge of, and she agrees, only to vanish a moment later.
She’s taken Strange’s sling ring and popped over to a pizza shop in Chicago.
She’s caught just as her order arrives by Strange and Wong. Wong pays for the pizza.
She’s embarrassed to have run, but knows the demons would have easily tracked her if she’d remained in New York (and besides, “the pizza is better here” which ignites a very brief exchange of why New York or Italian pizza is better than Chicago pizza).
She explains who she is: she came from a parallel universe where a scientific experiment created thousands of black holes that threatened the stability of the universe. Her parents managed to save their universe by shuffling those black holes across the multiverse, but the side effect was that Chavez got the power to shift between universes. Unfortunately, it only works when she’s terrified. She can’t control it.
And now these demons are hunting her…
The full story can be found under my account in Archive of Our Own