The official teaser for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now available online — here’s a breakdown of everything that’s revealed. It’s long been known that Spider-Man: No Way Home would bridge the gap between the Phase 4 multiverse chaos started in Loki and the outright madness set to be explored in the Doctor Strange sequel. Little did MCU audiences know, however, that the credits for Spider-Man: No Way Home would offer much more than just one scene from Doctor Strange 2.
After making his debut in 2016’s Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular sorcerer helped save the universe in multiple team-up adventures. With the lives of Peter Parker (Tom Holland), MJ (Zendaya), and Ned (Jacob Batalon) deeply affected by Mysterio’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) actions, Strange agrees to offer his magical assistance. Unfortunately, Peter’s indecisiveness causes the spell to go awry. As a result, a whole range of past Spider-Man villains enter No Way Home and the main MCU timeline and gain second lives.
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As has increasingly been the case in the MCU Phase 4, the heroes’ attempt to clean things up only leads to more chaos. As imparted by Green Goblin, “No good deed goes unpunished.” And in Spider-Man: No Way Home’s post-credits, a Doctor Strange 2 trailer, which has now emerged officially online, hinted that the consequences for Doctor Strange meddling with the multiverse’s alternate dimensions are just beginning. Here’s a breakdown of the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness teaser.
The Broken Watch
One of the first images glimpsed is that of Doctor Strange’s reflection in a broken watch. As MCU viewers would no doubt remember, Stephen was once very bound to material things, including his vast collection of expensive watches. Ultimately, he was left with only one that was as broken as his hands. As well as symbolizing his spiritual growth, it also foreshadowed Doctor Strange’s more literal breaking of time to defeat Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) and Dormammu. In the case of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it likely hinted at the splintering of timelines into whole other parallel realities — with Stephen’s reflection representing the kinds of variants teased later in the teaser.
Doctor Strange appears to find himself in a parallel world suffering from a dramatic state of decay as he rushes through some gates to surveil the environment. There’s also a glimpse of him walking through a derelict version of the Sanctum Sanctorum. After Loki’s jaunt to a similar place turned out to be the void at the end of time, this could be something similar. The reason for its decay could be that it was a victim of rumored Doctor Strange 2 villain Shuma-Gorath. The ancient being may have set its sights on the main MCU timeline, having glimpsed it during Spider-Man: No Way Home’s multiverse tearing event.
Christine Palmer’s Wedding
Another quick shot appears to be from the wedding of Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). Though Stephen Strange is present – alongside Michael Stuhlbarg‘s Nicodemus West – the chance that he’s the groom is probably slim to none. It could be another universe, but the most likely explanation is that Christine survived Thanos’ Snap and formed a new relationship in the five years that Doctor Strange was gone. It shall remain to be seen if her new husband will be anybody of note or if Doctor Strange’s reactions will echo a certain variant that’s been confirmed to return.
The teaser for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness reuses the various warnings of Wong (Benedict Wong) and others in opening voiceovers. When combined with the new imagery, they’re afforded a much more ominous air than when delivered in the well-reviewed Spider-Man: No Way Home. That notion is further hammered home by the prominent sight of a cawing crow, a bird that is often viewed as mystical omens of misfortune and even death. It’s also worth noting that crows have been long associated with the mythological and Marvel Comics version of Morgan le Fay, herself a powerful sorceress with ties to the Black Knight in the comics–perhaps a foreshadowing? Either way, it could hint that there will be at least one major casualty in Doctor Strange 2.
To the sound of Doctor Strange’s screams, a figure is seen falling through some mysterious plane of reality. Based on those accompanying screams, the obvious answer is that it’s Stephen Strange himself – which would make it something of a callback to his similar experience falling through dimensions in the first Doctor Strange movie. That being said, the slightly different look, including a ponytail, could mean that it’s Defender Strange – who serves alongside Hulk, Namor, Silver Silver on the titular team in the comics and is widely rumored to be part of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The equally rumored Clea also assists that team, which means the movie could visit her reality. Making Defender Strange a variant in the sequel could also explain their slightly feminine features. After all, as proven by Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) in the Loki series, variants aren’t always the same gender. Then again, it may actually be Clea herself or someone else entirely. All will become clearer in the months leading up to Doctor Strange 2.
While audiences could be saying farewell to some characters during Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, they will also say hello to a range of newcomers, including the uniquely powered America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). The teaser offers the first official glimpse of her in action. With a trademark star emblazoned on the back of her jacket, America is seen tentatively exploring new surroundings, no doubt after kicking open a portal to the main MCU. She’s also seen being saved by Doctor Strange and later standing alongside him and Christine Palmer at the opening of another magical doorway.
Wong in Danger?
Ever since he debuted in 2016’s Doctor Strange, Wong has become a firm MCU favorite. That has only grown in subsequent outings, especially via Wong’s crowd-pleasing role in Shang-Chi’s story. It appears, however, that even as the newly-official Sorcerer Supreme (claiming the title from Doctor Strange), Wong won’t be exempt from having a precarious fate in Doctor Strange 2. A quick shot shows him with a distressed expression. The injuries to his face and the way his arms are seemingly held up at his side imply that Wong is at the captive (and potentially torturous) mercy of a mysterious, unseen someone.
Wanda Isn’t A Villain… Yet
The Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness teaser also offers a glimpse of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). Still living in seclusion following the ending of WandaVision, she’s approached by Doctor Strange in presumably her self-grown orchard. She assumes he was there to punish her for her actions in Westview, but Stephen explains he’s there to ask her for help. As such, it would appear that the Scarlet Witch may not be a Doctor Strange 2 villain as some have theorized.
That being said, it doesn’t mean she’s not dangerous, Wanda is also seen in full Scarlet Witch gear while conducting a sinister-looking ritual. She could even have learned how to split her forms. As such, it could be that she’s more fully divided herself so that she can pursue her agenda aggressively while also maintaining a sidekick role to hide that fact and use Doctor Strange to achieve her goals from a different angle. That could mean Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will offer the best of both worlds – more heroic and dark magic versions of Scarlet Witch operating simultaneously and independent of each other.
Nexus of All Realities?
The new Doctor Strange 2 footage also potentially teases a realm that Marvel comics readers have yearned to see on screen. This is teased by a shot of Doctor Strange opening an ominous door into a seemingly endless void full of similar doors floating around or embedded in wandering pillars. At the center, there’s also a floating platform upon which an altar-like structure is built. The area looks very similar to the Nexus of All Realities in the comics. Given the multiversal nature of the adventure, it would make sense that the realm that serves as an intersection of the multiverse would factor into the story. Director Sam Raimi would also be the perfect person to bring to life its guardian, Man-Thing — perhaps even played by Raimi’s lifelong collaborator Bruce Campbell.
Mordo’s New Look
Another returning figure in the Doctor Strange 2 teaser is Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Despite making a vow against sorcerers in Scott Derrickson‘s original 2016 movie, Mordo has been absent ever since. Now sporting much longer hair, he’s seen apologizing to Stephen before nonetheless insisting he’s the biggest threat to the universe. Of course, that could be a misdirect, as Marvel trailers are known for. If not, given that Strange is seen using similar spells as his evil counterpart – like unleashing monstrous forms from his body – Mordo may have a point. Whatever the case, the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness footage shows Mordo and Doctor Strange locked in combat. It’s been rumored that Doctor Strange 2 is introducing the Illuminati; it’s possible Mordo’s new look is an indication he’s taken on a new role, or even that a different multiversal version of him has.
Across its extended run, the MCU has been home to various kinds of magic. Thanks to WandaVision, that of Scarlet Witch was officially designated Chaos Magic, which the show established can be absorbed and/or tapped into by others. One moment in the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness teaser shows the titular sorcerer surrounded by bursts of such magic. The context is left ambiguous but could conceivably be Doctor Strange channeling it for some as-yet-unknown reason. Then again, it could be the moment that Scarlet Witch’s Darkhold-inspired MCU Phase 4 intentions are made clear as she directly attacks her former Avengers ally.
A Squid Monster – Possibly Shuma-Gorath or Gargantos?
A more clear-cut battle is also glimpsed between Doctor Strange and an otherworldly entity. Taking place in the street, the squid-like being hurls vehicles that Doctor Strange deflects, seemingly to save America Chavez. While many may assume this to be Shuma-Gorath, based on his general appearance, the creature seems far smaller than one might expect. As such, in line with some recent reports regarding rights issues to the name Shuma-Gorath and some toy sets based on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it’s probably Gargantos. Though traditionally a sea creature more likely to clash with Namor, it may be retconned as the name for Shuma-Gorath’s form in Doctor Strange 2. Then again, Gargantos may be redesigned to be a soldier of Shuma-Gorath and a precursor to that eventual battle.
Kamar-Taj Under Attack
A succession of shots shows the sorcerers’ central base, Kamar-Taj, preparing for and then defending against a destructive siege. Based on the ominous mist and then colossal shadow that falls over Doctor Strange, Wong, and others, this could indeed be the arrival of Shuma-Gorath for either an initial or even final showdown. That said, it’s unlikely such would be shown as early as in the first Doctor Strange 2 teaser. Between that, and the types of explosions that occur, the siege may be executed by a different enemy entirely. Whatever the case, something is coming and Kamar-Taj will continue to be no longer be the safe haven it once was.
During the aforementioned attack on Doctor Strange 2’s Kamar-Taj, a curious creature is briefly seen caught up in the chaos. Based on his appearance, this is almost certainly the minotaur sorcerer Rintrah – who was previously rumored to be in Doctor Strange 2. Created by Peter Gillis and Chris Warner, Rintrah serves as an ally and apprentice to Doctor Strange in the comics. It remains to be seen if he’ll fully serve such a function in the MCU sequel. Based on his clothing and stance in the Doctor Strange 2 trailer, he definitely seems to be a training sorcerer and victim of the attack rather than one of the aggressors for the invasion.
Scarlet Witch Taps Into Dark Magic
Lending credence to the theory that Scarlet Witch is the true villain of Doctor Strange 2 is the aforementioned ritual she conducts. As she floats ominously amid a circle of candles, she looks intensely towards the camera. On top of that, it can be distinctly seen that her fingertips are starting to turn black. WandaVision viewers will remember that the fingers of Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), in her true firm, are revealed distinctly black after centuries of channeling dark magic. Though Wanda’s aren’t yet even close to matching Agatha’s, they nonetheless hint that the Scarlet Witch is potentially dabbling outside her usual chaos magic and seemingly heading even further down a dark path.
Evil Doctor Strange From What If…?
The first teaser for Doctor Strange in Multiverse of Madness concludes with a figure viewers of Marvel’s What If…? will recognize. Entering a room outside of which only a swirling void seems to exist, Doctor Strange encounters his dark variant, What If…?’s evil Doctor Strange, Strange Supreme. Given how Strange Supreme seemed resigned to his fate after destroying his universe, it’s hard to envision him as more than a cameo, one that can potentially help the MCU’s Doctor Strange avoid similar mistakes.
Of course, that could all change upon meeting his counterpart from a universe where Christine Palmer didn’t have to die as she did in Strange Supreme’s own. Learning that could cause him to forgo his prison and seek to usurp Doctor Strange’s life in the main MCU universe. As such, the evil Doctor Strange could end up being a surprise Big Bad. Either way, all will be revealed when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is officially released.
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About The Author
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John Atkinson has been a news and feature writer for Screen Rant since late 2018. Before that, he had articles published across a number of different outlets. A graduate of the University of London, John was raised on a small island by television and movies. As such, he pursued a career in screenwriting and film journalism when it became apparent that actually becoming Spider-Man was impossible. John’s fondest wish is to one day produce a film of his own. Until then, he’s more than happy to spend countless hours just talking about them.
John’s love of film and television defies genre and sometimes even logic. Nothing is off-limits to his passion – be it Marvel, DC, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars, or Tommy Wiseau’s latest cinematic offering.
Away from screens, John can often be found in a park reading mystery and/or fantasy novels, jumping up and down at various music events, or thinking too deeply about Keanu Reeves’ career and why Edgar Wright doesn’t have an Oscar.
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