Marvel Accidentally Misled Rachel McAdams About Doctor Strange 2 Role

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Rachel McAdams, Christine Palmer, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Every thrilling superhero adventure has always had a little taste of romance - for Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange, that came with Rachel McAdams' Christine Palmer. The Metro-General Hospital surgeon worked alongside and dated the future sorcerer for some time, but eventually brought their relationship to an end due to his self-obsession.

Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness​​​​​.

By the time Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness rolls around, almost a decade after the events of the first film, Christine Palmer has met and agreed to marry a man named Charlie. Despite clearly not being over his feelings for her, Strange attended the wedding, only to have to swoop away for his superhero antics.

But that was far from the last that would be seen of Palmer. On a trip to Earth-838, Strange came into contact with a Variant of Christine Palmer who was working at the Illuminati headquarters for the Baxter Foundation. Following Wanda's slaughter of the superhero team, Palmer accompanied the Avenging sorcerer and America Chavez on their quest to the Book of Vishanti.

McAdams even got to get in on the action this time around as she fought off the Souls of the Damned to protect Doctor Strange while he was dream-walking. All of this made for a very different role for Christine Palmer from her first go-around in the Marvel universe, but it seems her role was almost even bigger.

Marvel Misled Rachel McAdams About Doctor Strange 2

Rachel McAdams, Doctor Strange

In a recent interview with IndieWire, Christine Palmer actress Rachel McAdams explained how Marvel Studios misled her about her role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness​​​​​​.

McAdams explained that, despite only appearing as two Variants, she was originally told there would be "three different versions." The actress was also promised that Christine would be "a completely different person with... different life experience" this time around:

“It did change a little bit from what I was originally told, [which was] that it would be three different versions, and we wound up with two different versions in the end. But they said I’d be playing a very different version of the Christine Palmer I played in the first film, that I wasn’t an emergency room doctor, just a completely different person with a completely different life experience.”

The Doctor Strange star went on to discuss her updated costume, describing her new look as “much more of a uniform” now that she has "dyed her hair [and is] not in scrubs anymore:"

“Something I can do a little bit more damage in, action-wise. She’s definitely in a bit of a more fantastical world than the world of gritty emergency room in New York."

Unlike her MCU debut, Christine got in on the action this time around, something McAdams seemed to enjoy thoroughly, explaining how it was "really satisfying to get to participate in that way:"

"I love doing action. I love being physical as an actor. “I find it kind of gets me out of my head and there’s always something surprising that comes out of it. I grew up playing sports, so it’s nice to kind of use your body and see if it still works the way it used to. And people love that stuff, so it’s just really satisfying to get to participate in that way.”

Will Christine Palmer Return in Doctor Strange 3?

Doctor Strange Characters

Discovering that Marvel Studios originally planned for three Christine Palmer Variants in Multiverse of Madness is certainly an intriguing revelation. Since McAdams is referring here to what she was first pitched regarding the sequel, this likely refers to the original director Scott Derrickson's plan for the film, which obviously changed greatly when Sam Raimi took over.

There's no way of telling where this third Christine would have placed in all the madness. She may have come from either the Defender or Sinister Strange's universes, but more realistically, she probably would have appeared in a universe that didn't end up making the final cut

Multiverse of Madness brought beautiful closure to the relationship between Stephen Strange and Christine Palmer. The film opened with Palmer's wedding to another man, and yet it quickly became clear that Strange had still not moved past his feelings for her. But after a Multiverse-hopping adventure, he eventually came to the realization that even in the infinite Multiverse, there was no universe where the couple was able to make their relationship work because Stephen always "has to be the one holding the knife."

With Strange having finally come to understand why his relationship with Palmer was never able to last, perhaps he will now finally be able to move on. Since Christine is now married and Strange is no longer working alongside her at the hospital, it's tough to imagine how Rachel McAdams' character would play a role in Doctor Strange 3.

Doctor Strange recently met Charlize Theron's Clea, a character who, if the comics are any indication, is destined to be his next love interest and eventual wifeMultiverse of Madness' mid-credits scene saw the duo jetting off through a portal to resolve an incursion.

Who knows whether Benedict Cumberbatch and Charlize Theron's sorcerers will go on to become an item on the big screen, but either way it's hard to see how Christine fits into things going forward. That being said, Rachel McAdams is a major actress to have attached to this franchise, one the studio may be eager to hold onto, even if that is in a lesser capacity than in the past. 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is playing now in theaters around the world. 

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.