Spider-Man: No Way Home will not just feature the return of Tom Holland's friendly neighborhood hero, but it will also showcase another Marvel hero in the form of Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange.
In the months leading to the film's trailer, it was reported that Cumberbatch would be involved in the upcoming threequel, leading many fans to believe that the film will be a multiversal tale. This speculation was further amplified by Marvel's confirmation that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will connect to No Way Home.
The film's first trailer eventually confirmed that the Sorcerer Supreme is in the film alongside Strange being a major part of the narrative. In the latest set of footage, Strange can be seen helping Peter to address his identity crisis, setting up a spell that will make the world forget that he is Spider-Man.
While fans are still scratching their heads at the fact that Strange easily gave in to Peter's request, a new interview has shed some light on the matter.
Cumberbatch Teases Doctor Strange and Spider-Man's Reunion
Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays the MCU's Doctor Strange, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about his upcoming appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home alongside Tom Holland's web-slinger.
Cumberbatch shared that the two MCU heroes have a "close relationship," citing the fact that "they've got history" due to their shared experience during Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame:
“There’s a close relationship. They’re neighborhood superheroes, and they’ve had an experience or two. They’ve got history. It might be the case that Peter asks me to help him do something? I think I’m allowed to say that much. I help him fill in his tax returns. That’s what I do.”
The outlet also reported that the Marvel actor arrived in Atlanta this past fall to shoot scenes for the threequel.
Doctor Strange and Spider-Man's Interesting Dynamic
Benedict Cumberbatch's explanation should at least address the reason behind Doctor Strange's eagerness to help Peter Parker with his current situation, but it still doesn't change the fact that his actions are still questionable to some fans. From a Skrull posing as Strange to the real Sorcerer being imprisoned in a separate dimension, theories have been spreading like wildfire on social media.
Despite that, there's precedent in the pages of Marvel Comics regarding the close bond between the two heroes. Strange and Spider-Man have teamed up several times in the comics, helping one another to defeat powerful threats while also swapping powers at one point.
The pair's upcoming adventure in No Way Home presents an opportunity to expand on the relationship that was established between the two heroes, especially after how Infinity War provided a glimpse of their dynamic. There's still a question, though, whether this "history" is worth risking for the fate of the multiverse.
The trailer showed that Strange and Peter will eventually clash at some point in the film, potentially hinting that the former might've realized that he made a mistake in casting that dangerous spell. Still, this could be Strange's way of teaching the young hero a lesson, but in a more dangerous mentor-mentee kind of way.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to hit theaters on December 17, 2021.