Five months after we saw Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) cast a spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home – which created fissures in the multiverse and brought together some of the web-slinger’s most fearsome adversaries – the eponymous Master of the Mystic Arts faces a mysterious new adversary in the sequel to his 2016 origin story.

Written by Michael Waldron and directed by Sam Raimi, who (fittingly) helmed the Tobey Maguire-era Spider-Man trilogy, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness invites a starry cast to play alternate versions of their characters, some with villainous intentions.

Months have passed since Strange opened a portal to other realms and allowed otherworldly beings to enter and corrupt our world. Haunted by nightmares of impending doom, Strange seeks out former Avenger Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to help him repair the damage before it is too late.

They are joined by Strange’s quixotic mentor Wong (Benedict Wong) and a disaffected teenager called America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who can punch open doorways between dimensions. A former Master of the Mystic Arts, Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), stands in their way, convinced that the biggest threat to our world is Strange himself.

As different universes collide, Strange addresses deep-rooted feelings about sacrificing his love for surgeon Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) to stand guard over the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City.