Marvel Studios has come a long way with its theatrical movies since kicking off Phase 4 with Black Widow last July. With three other successful solo outings under the studio's belt, including the sixth-highest-grossing movie ever in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the time is drawing nearer for 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Early hype for Benedict Cumberbatch's second solo Doctor Strange movie is through the roof, with early ticket sales helping the movie track for one of the biggest opening weekends of the year. Marvel Studios is moving its promotional tour for the sequel full speed ahead with statistics like this, sharing new footage and teases for what's coming at every turn.
With Doctor Strange finally getting a new solo movie after four supporting appearances in other MCU outings, Marvel is naturally leaning toward using his magic and Multiversal connections for promotional material.
While that continues to be the case in the most recent ad, this latest one also brings in someone from a completely separate MCU franchise as well.
Stranger Things' David Harbour Stars in Strange Promo
Black Widow star David Harbour shared an ad he did with Tide that ties into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which releases in theaters on May 6.
In the ad, which Harbour posted on Twitter, the actor shows off a jelly stain on one of his shirts and tries to figure out where it came from, all while a Sling Ring portal opens behind him. A ragged hand reaches out of the portal and steals the Tide container off the counter before Harbour looks back with a confused look, simply saying, "Strange."
Harbour has teamed up with Tide for ads on multiple occasions in the past, one of them being featured during this year's Super Bowl LVI.
The full 18-second ad can be seen below:
Black Widow, Doctor Strange, Stranger Things, Oh My!
For MCU fans, David Harbour is best known for playing Alexei Shostakoff/Red Guardian in 2021's Black Widow alongside Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh, serving as a father figure for Natasha and Yelena. Although he has strong ties to the franchise due to this appearance, Harbour has another widely popular project that's referenced in this ad.
The longtime Hollywood veteran has spent the last five years in a leading role as Jim Hopper in Netflix's Stranger Things, which centers on paranormal and supernatural adventures. While it's surely a different kind of magic and horror than what fans will see in the MCU in a few weeks, Harbour's connection to both major franchises can't be understated.
This shouldn't necessarily be taken as a sign that Harbour will return as the Red Guardian in Doctor Strange 2, which already has potentially one of the most loaded rosters in MCU history. The opportunity to use him in an ad for the MCU was simply one that worked out brilliantly, especially with his ties to other popular magical properties.
With less than a month remaining until Doctor Strange 2 brings one of the MCU's biggest stories ever, the film's promo campaign has the opportunity to go in a number of different directions as it did with Harbour this time. Whether any other supernatural franchises find themselves being referenced is a mystery, but with this film being one that blows the Multiverse wide open, nothing should be left off the table.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will debut in theaters on May 6. Harbour can be seen as the Red Guardian in Black Widow, which is available to stream on Disney+.