Blown apart in the Loki series on Disney+, Spider-Man: No Way Home showed the effects in the wider MCU landscape but, crucially, did not make Loki essential viewing for those who haven’t yet delved into Marvel’s series offerings. So Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may bring new things to light for those who haven’t tuned into the Disney+ series, and will likely explain what on earth has actually happened with the so-called multiverse.
Building upon No Way Home, Loki, What If? And WandaVision, Dr Strange’s sequel is shaping up to be the biggest MCU movie since Endgame in terms of impacting the landscape ‑ and we were treated to our first glimpse at the end of No Way Home.
Using a trailer as the end credits at the end of a movie is a new approach for Marvel. Intriguingly it came at the end of their joint film with Sony, suggesting the relationship between the pair is now very strong, having previously been rumoured to have been breaking down prior to the signing of the new agreement
The trailer gave fans plenty to digest and we’ve selected eight stand-out talking points from the surprise drop.
Not seen since Dr Strange, when he was an ally, Baron Mordo is back and is likely to be one of the big bads in the film – although, given how the MCU has approached its villains, it’s more likely that he’s fighting his own battle to make the world a safer place.
He suggests exactly that in the trailer by stating Dr Strange is the problem ‑ though it remains to be seen whether there’s a deeper reasoning to that if this is down to the spell that went wrong in No Way Home.
With the brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor portraying Mordo, we sincerely hope that he’s here to stay and he’s not a one-and-done villain.
The trailer offered our first look at America Chavez, a character who has strong links to the mystic arts and could be a crucial player for the Avengers moving forward. In fact, she could add to the growing list of Young Avengers who have been given their introduction.
Born in an alternate universe, it’s likely Dr Strange encounters Chavez in his journeys through the multiverse and it will be interesting to see how the MCU incorporates her origin story.
Fresh from seeing a giant starfish villain in the latest Suicide Squad movie, we’re set to see similar in the Dr Strange sequel – although rather than being otherworldly, Gargantos is a being of the multiverse.
They’ve already been witnessed in the What If? Series, where Peggy Carter defeats the being, and we may have seen them in the Dr Strange episode – although that was never really clarified.
The significance of Gargantos, however, remains to be determined. It may be that they are the movie’s big bad or it could be Baron Mordo. It may also be both or neither.
The big takeaway from the trailer was the reveal of an evil Dr Strange – which raises questions as to whether this is indeed the Dr Strange we saw in the What If? series or whether it’s another variant.
It’s an interesting concept, as evil Strange ended up being a significant player in the What If? Finale where the heroes from many universes joined together to defeat an Ultron who had defeated his entire universe ‑ being trapped in a pocket dimension that evil Strange was in possession of.
Like Gargantos and Mordo, the significance of a second Strange and his role in the movie is yet to be determined.
The big villain behind the scenes in the first Dr Strange movie, it’s highly, highly unlikely that we’ve seen the last of Dormammu and if Dr Strange is indeed evil, does Dormammu have a role to play?
In the What If series of comics, Dr Strange became a disciple of Dormammu ‑ and it may be this sort of Strange that we see face-off against our Strange in the next movie.
It’s an unclear concept and may prove to be a confusing one, as the difference between this Dr Strange and the numerous Spider-Men we saw in No Way Home is that Benedict Cumberbatch plays both -‑ and also voiced Dormammu.
Shown wearing a wedding dress in the trailer, who was Christine marrying?
Christine did, of course, have a crucial role in the development of the evil Dr Strange in the What If? series, as Strange turned to the dark arts trying, and failing, to save Christine and preventing fate from taking its course.
Scarlet Witch returns
Ever since WandaVision, there has been speculation that Wanda Maximoff could be the villain in Dr Strange ‑ but the trailer instead showed Strange recruiting Wanda.
Crucially, he says he doesn’t want to talk about Westview, showing he knows exactly what went on. As a nexus being, it may be that the Scarlet Witch is crucial to navigating the multiverse ‑ and she’s unlikely to be the only addition to the team.
With America Chavez already confirmed, there’s also speculation that we’ll also see Loki, Spider-Man himself and even key players from Fox’s X-Men movies.
Wong’s new look
In No Way Home, it was revealed, amusingly, that Wong is now the Sorcerer Supreme. He was awarded the title as Dr Strange was absent for five years following the blip, though this was merely a back story.
It was strange to see Wong play no significant part in the events of No Way Home, with the Sorcerer Supreme appearing to do nothing to help protect reality from the events that unfolded ‑ but Multiverse of Madness may show he had his hands full.