With nearly $800 million in the U.S. and $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the kind of blockbuster phenomenon that’s rare for even non-pandemic times. According to Benedict Cumberbatch, the upcoming Marvel tentpole “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” could reach similar success at the box office.

“It’s a big, big movie,” Cumberbatch recently told Empire magazine. “It’s going to be an absolute riot. And if it brings off the level of ambition it’s got, we’re going to have a success on the level of Spidey. There you go, I’ll put my flag in the sand.”

Part of the reason “Spider-Man: No Way Home” became a box office behemoth is because it united three generations of “Spider-Man” actors on screen with Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” stars Cumberbatch opposite fellow Marvel fan favorite Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, but the film is going to need a few more surprises up its sleeve if it intends to match “No Way Home” at the box office.

Set after the events of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” the “Doctor Strange” sequel finds the Sorcerer Supreme dealing with the fallout of his decision to open the multiverse. Marvel fans have been speculating for months about which characters might pop up in the film given its multiverse storyline (Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool is a popular choice, although the actor denies he’s appearing), and the film’s trailer teased that Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier from the “X-Men” franchise might be showing up.

“I’ll quote the first ‘X-Men’ movie and say, ‘Are you sure you saw what you saw?’,” “Multiverse Of Madness” producer Richie Palmer told Empire when asked about Stewart’s potential appearance. “There are infinite versions of these characters, and just because you may have heard something familiar doesn’t mean it’s someone you have seen before.”

“There’s a lot of reckoning,” Cumberbatch added of the film. “And a lot of self-discovery. Strange is almost a stranger to himself before this film unfolds and reveals what, essentially, is in his nature, that he then has to either confront or resist or fall into or become. There are some very bold ideas, and some extraordinary tests of Strange and encounters. There are some very unexpected conclusions.”

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” opens in U.S. theaters on May 6.