Director Scott Derrickson will be returning to helm the Doctor Strange’s sequel, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter. But the last we saw of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme (in Avengers: Infinity War), he was mouthing, “We’re in the endgame now,” before disappearing in a puff of dust.
So how could he be returning to battle interdimensional monsters in the sequel? Well, there are multiple ways. As many suspect, he likely did not die after all. The half the universe’s life that Thanos thought he destroyed may yet exist in some form. They may have been transferred to some other reality like — as is rumoured — in the realm inside the soul stone.
Then there is this thing called resurrection. People come back to life all the time in fiction, and stranger things have happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe itself. The Avengers, or what’s left of them, might team up with Captain Marvel to find a way to revive their fallen comrades.
Time may wait for none, but in the MCU, it can go back. The superheroes may also try to turn back the tide of time to get back the time when the ‘dead’ living beings did not die in the first place but were happily (or unhappily) living their lives.
Before dying, Doctor Strange hinted that to defeat Thanos once and for all, he had to be successful and half the universe had to die first (he looked through millions of possible futures, and only in one future, the superheroes were victorious).
This does sound odd, but there is no other explanation. Despite threatening Tony Stark and Peter Parker that he would prefer they die than Thanos have the Time Stone, he saved Tony’s life and gave the Mad Titan the stone he wanted. This also suggests Tony will play an important part in defeating Thanos, and absolutely needed to live.
And then, if Doctor Strange really is dead, how did he see all those futures in which Thanos wins and the one in which he loses? The Doctor Strange movie made it clear that even the most capable wizard could not foresee events beyond their own death, and the Ancient One actually put it into words. So Strange could not possibly have seen everything that happened if he were dead. So the only logical conclusion is — he is alive. How? We will have to wait for Avengers: Endgame to find out.