We all know the time-honored tradition of Marvel’s end-credits scenes. Apart from paying respect to the thousands of hands that contribute to the MCU’s success, they usually give us a glimpse of gratuitous fanservice and sneak-peeks at what’s to come.
In the case of last week’s stunning Spiderman: No Way Home, eager fans were treated to a spectacular Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer that just hit YouTube a few hours ago. Take a look:
As the MCU train keeps chugging along, MOM brings together massive story arcs that span across Doctor Strange, Infinity War, Endgame, hit Disney+ series WandaVision, and more.
Set to release next year, there’s plenty of time left for fans to theorize and pick apart every possible detail.
Why wait though. Let’s get started right now!
Those of you who watched Disney+’s What If…? might have made the connection instantly – the trailer definitely shows us a sinister-looking Strange Supreme as a major player in the film’s story.
For the uninitiated, Strange Supreme is an alternate version of Stephen Strange. After losing his partner Dr. Christine Palmer (the ever-lovely Rachel McAdams) to a car crash, Strange becomes obsessed with bringing her back from the dead – leading him down an ever-darkening quest for power.
The What If…? version of Strange Supreme ultimately failed to revive Palmer. This time, we can see Dr. Palmer walking down the aisle in a wedding to Strange. Since mainline Stephen and Palmer seem to have accepted their relationship as ‘just friends’, perhaps this is a flashback to Strange Supreme’s past – or even his future.
Time is pretty convoluted in films anyway – and a Doctor Strange movie cranks that factor up to 11. The trailer ends with a sinister shot of Stephen facing off his dark alter-ego – greeting him with a twisted smile and sinister warning.
While we can only guess at his motivations, it seems that Strange Supreme will call upon a classic Strange villain – the ‘Old One’ Lord of Chaos, Shuma-Gorath. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Eldritch Horrors, this cosmic entity has the ability to rip apart reality itself.
It can also toss buses around. Cool.
A Greater Cast of Sorcerers
No doubt, this film has, by far, the most magic users ever crammed into a mainline MCU flick. We’re talking Stephen, Strange Supreme, Wanda, now-Sorcerer Supreme Wong, and in an interesting return, Karl Mordo.
We last saw Chiwetel Ejiofor play an ally in Doctor Strange. After watching the Ancient One and Stephen break the laws of reality time and time again, he grows disillusioned with the Masters of the Mystic Arts, and decides to forge his own path – believing that sorcerers should be stripped of their power to maintain wordly order. This manifests directly in the trailer, as Karl crosses swords with Stephen.
The turned sorcerer ended his last film rather ominously, noting that “the bill would come due for them all, as it always did.” He revisits that idea once more in this trailer – telling Stephen that “the greatest threat to our universe…is you,” right before the camera pans to Strange Supreme’s face.
The film’s second protagonist seems to be Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff.
Fresh off the trauma she experienced in WandaVision, Stephen comes to her looking for help. She seems to respond, rocking a pretty awesome avatar as the fully-realized Scarlet Witch. Her story, however, seems to be under wraps at the moment, so let’s wait until the next teaser to find out her motivations and goals this time around.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man’s buddy Ned Leeds was teased to have magic potential in No Way Home. Will he realize this in Multiverse of Madness and potentially reunite with Peter? Probably not, but let’s see.
Meet Miss America
While she isn’t a sorceress, the film also debuts Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez.
Also known as Miss America, she first appeared in the comics back in Vengeance #1 (Sept. 2011). With the ability to open portals through the multiverse, along with super-strength and flight, she’s set to be a key ally in Strange’s ultimate battle against himself.
She even rescues the Scarlet Witch in the comics – another storyline that we may find adapted to film here.
The Raimi Factor
If you love Spider-Man like me, chances are that you have a special place in your heart for Sam Raimi’s original trilogy from the early-mid 2000s. With the perfect mix of action-storytelling, timeless dialogue, memorable climaxes and just the right bit of cheesy fun, they set the stage for the modern superhero format that the MCU has now perfected.
Multiverse of Madness finally brings Raimi back into the director’s chair for a major Marvel outing – perhaps one that is best suited to the legendary director’s talents. Much of the action setpieces he’s great at executing were derived from his experience as a horror director – think 1981’s The Evil Dead, and other heart-stoppers such as The Grudge, Don’t Breathe, and Drag Me To Hell.
With this film clearly geared up to explore the darker, mystical elements of the MCU – we couldn’t have asked for a better person to take charge on this project.
Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness hits cinemas May 6th, 2022.
(Image Credits: Marvel Entertainment, DenofGeeks)