Michael Stuhlbarg appears in the third scene of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” at the wedding of Rachel McAdams’ Christine. He talks to the titular doctor about how he was also snapped off the face of the Earth by Thanos and how his two cats (and brother) died during those five years. Oh, and he has this weird, terrible blond wig. That is it. This is the extent of Michael Stuhlbarg’s screen time in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” If he is on screen for more than two minutes, I would be surprised. You don’t even see him in the next scene at the wedding reception. For someone with so little to do in the movie, it’s pretty surprising that he receives the “with” billing in the film’s credit sequence.
I have long been fascinated with billing for actors in the credits of a movie. For a lot of people, they do not even pay one iota of attention to the names that pop up on screen. Me? I like seeing the order the names show up in the credits, who gets single card billing and who gets grouped with other names, does the order of names differ from the order on the poster, and, most importantly, if anyone gets the “with ,” “and,” “introducing,” or any other special credit designation.
In “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the credit listing is not all that crazy. Benedict Cumberbatch is obviously first billed, being the lead and titular character of the film. Elizabeth Olsen follows next, which is another totally understandable placement. Then we get Benedict Wong, who is followed by Xochitl Gomez. In terms of prominence, Gomez really should be ahead of Wong for the story, but Wong is the bigger name and plays a legacy Marvel character, giving him the edge.
We then get a couple of split cards for smaller characters. The “and” credit is reserved for Rachel McAdams. Right before that, though, we get the “with,” and that belongs to Michael Stuhlbarg, which is a rather remarkable billing considering his fleeting impact on the film. And not only does he get a cool animated credit, he gets the sixth billing on the poster as well.