The Multiverse may be a concept about which we know frighteningly little, but now Marvel fans have a starting point. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has officially released its first teaser trailer online, just under one week after it debuted in the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Stephen Strange's sophomore installment retains the mind-bending visuals that 2016's Doctor Strange introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but ups the scale to a level hitherto undreamt of.
Picking up in the immediate aftermath Spider-Man: No Way Home, Benedict Cumberbatch's good doctor is burdened with the consequences of his Multiversal manipulation as he embarks on a quest to restore order across his universe and infinite others. In typical Marvel Studios fashion, this teaser trailer served as a compilation of stunning cinematography, out-of-context dialogue, and enigmatic narration from start to finish.
Despite its captivating confusion, this first footage left plenty of breadcrumbs along the way. Without further ado, here are ten Easter eggs, plot details, and hidden meanings scattered throughout the debut trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
"Don't Cast That Spell"
The Multiverse of Madness trailer opens with recycled dialogue from the Spider-Man: No Way Home marketing campaign.
Yes, the No Way Home marketing campaign, not the actual movie.
Benedict Wong's Wong tells Strange "don't cast that spell" just as he did in the first trailer for No Way Home, but that line was ultimately changed for the Tom Holland-led film itself. In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Wong tells the good doctor to "leave [him] out of it."
This could be a simple marketing mix-up, as the Wong line swap likely wasn't decided on until late in production, but it is odd that Multiverse of Madness is deliberately using a line fans know to be from a deleted scene. On the other hand, this line could take place in another universe, one in which Strange listened to Wong's warning.
Upgraded Eye of Agamotto
The capsule that formerly housed the Time Stone now sits firmly on Strange's chest. Rather than hanging low like a necklace, the Eye of Agamotto serves as a buckle of sorts for the Cloak of Levitation.
This is similar to how the Eye sits on Strange's attire in the comics. The medallion was thought to be retired/crushed after Avengers: Infinity War, especially considering Strange showed up to Avengers: Endgame's final battle without it, but it made its grand return in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
While it no longer protects an Infinity Stone, Multiverse of Madness may be repurposing the iconic accessory to serve a more comic-accurate purpose on Strange's threads.
Here Comes the Bride
Rachel McAdams' Dr. Christine Palmer has returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In this debut footage, Palmer is tying the knot with a mystery partner. While the trailer makes it look like she's approaching the former Sorcerer Supreme, she is actually walking past him, as Stephen Strange is not waiting on an altar. It's also worth noting that standing next to Strange is Michael Stuhlbarg's Nicodemus West, returning from 2016's Doctor Strange.
This begs the question of who Palmer's husband will be, and while this trailer doesn't point to the man's identity, it does offer a theory as to why it isn't Strange. With Strange absent for five years, Palmer, under the assumption that she wasn't snapped, likely found love with someone else.
The 2022 MCU Rookie Class is beginning with a star. Literally.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will introduce fans to Xochitl Gomez's America Chavez. In the comics, Chavez possesses superhuman strength, durability, and the power of flight, as well as the essential ability to travel through the Multiverse, making her quite the asset for this film.
Chavez hops from reality to reality through star-shaped portals, which are also showcased in a blink-and-miss-it frame of this very trailer.
It's also worth noting that Chavez is a team player on the page, holding membership with different squads like the Young Avengers, A-Force, and West Coast Avengers. With each of those three aforementioned factions being teased in the past three years, Chavez will have no shortage of opportunity in her post-Doctor Strange 2 adventures.
The Multiverse of Marvel Studios
While this trailer offered no significant tease to any of the rumored cameos, the famous Marvel Studios title sequence offered one of the more blatant suggestions that heroes of yesteryear are returning next May.
The typical Marvel Studios logo kaleidoscopes in on itself, but within its various reflections are Marvel title cards of the past. The Phase 1 Marvel Studios logo can be seen, as well as the Marvel logos used by 20th Century Fox and Sony versions for the X-Men and Spider-Man films, respectively.
Seeing the comic pages fluttering was a welcomed homage to the past, but it also represents what's to come.
Wanda Maximoff Returns
The Scarlet Witch is back.
Halfway through this trailer, Strange confronts Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff in a field of white blossomed trees, speculated to be in Mount Wundagore. In the comics, Wundagore is where the Darkhold was scribed. With Wanda feverishly studying the dark magic textbook at the end of WandaVision, it's fair to assume she would return to where it was birthed to truly comprehend its message.
Beyond the bigger picture implications of Wanda's new stomping grounds, there's something beautiful about the selected field she's in. As noted, Wanda clips flowers from trees covered in white blossoms. White blossoms are typically seen as a symbol of peace, and spiritually, white blossom trees are the antithesis of chaos. After the mental havoc the Scarlet Witch went through in Westview, her new surroundings are a delicate reflection of her newfound inner peace.
Here's hoping she retains at least some of that inner peace after this story.
Chiwetel Ejiofor's Mordo returns to the MCU for the first time since 2016, this time sporting a new look. The sorcerer hunter rocks dreadlocks and an upgraded emerald robe. Based on toy leaks, this version of Chiwetel Ejiofor's sorcerer will be known as Master Mordo.
His calm presence around Strange is a bit peculiar, and his opening words being an apologetic "I'm sorry, Stephen" is out of character. Considering fans last saw him ruthlessly hunting down other sorcerers, this tranquil attitude could indicate this is a Variant of the MCU's Mordo.
Perhaps this Master Mordo is the Sorcerer Supreme of his world, and Strange seeks him out for help, which is what he is apologetically declining. Later shots show the two duking it out, as Mordo swings a baton at a handcuffed Strange, indicating this civil conversation either ends (or starts) poorly.
The Cobra Kai dojo for sorcerers makes its grand comeback, but if this trailer is anything to go off of, its return may be short-lived.
As the new generation of sorcerers train, an ominous darkness hovers over it, which Strange and Wong look up at concerningly. Later aerial shots show the mystical academy being attacked by horned enemies before an explosion sends everyone backwards.
These creatures are likely minotaurs from the planet R'Vaal, led by Rintrah. In the comics, Rintrah comes from an extradimensional planet and has regular encounters with Doctor Strange. While this trailer makes the green-skinned minotaur appear as an enemy, Mintrah is a known supporter of Strange in the comics.
No, not Shuma-Gorath.
In one of the trailer's closing shots, a massive tentacled-eyeball monster wrecks havoc on New York City as Strange does his best Hal Jordan impression in an effort to stave off the beast. As evident by toy leaks, this monster is Gargantos, a sea creature commonly associated with Namor.
Debuting in 1969's Marvel's Sub-Mariner #13, Gargantos offers little beyond being something for Namor to punch. Gargantos' presence in Multiverse of Madness could represent a thread to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is rumored to deal with Atlantis.
As for the aforementioned Shuma-Gorath, that massive tentacled-eyeball monster is still heavily-rumored to be a primary antagonist in this Doctor Strange sequel. That said, it remains to be seen how the ancient supernatural demon will factor into this Multiversal conflict.
Evil Doctor Strange
Things just got out of hand.
The Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer concludes with the shocking reveal of an evil iteration of Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange, sporting a darker wardrobe, unkept hair, and a sunken visage.
While many immediately point to this being Doctor Strange Supreme, the evil Variant of Stephen Strange from What If...?, this character's wardrobe is not an exact match to the animated version seen earlier this year. It's also worth noting that What If...? head writer AC Bradley mentioned one of her episode pitches for the animated anthology was shot down because it was "half the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."
Unless the Strange Supreme What If...? episode was written in direct co-collaboration with Multiverse of Madness scribe Michael Waldron, Bradley's tidbit may suggest this live-action Strange antithesis is different from the one fans saw in animation.
Out of 14,000,605 futures, and this man becomes bad news in more than one? Tough look for the good doctor.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres on May 6, 2022.
MCU Writer, Editor, Podcaster