It is crazy to think about Phase 4 of the MCU having nearly double the number of movies than Phase 1. That doesn't even include all the content on Disney+. Because of that, fans are seeing more projects tie into each other than ever before.
The Spider-Man No Way Home trailer has taken over the internet, and there is a long list of hot topics surrounding the film.
The teaser showed the backlash of Peter Parker having his identity revealed to the world for the first time in live-action, a glimpse of what could be a fan-favorite superhero lawyer, and the return of not one, not two, but five classic Spider-Man villains from different movie franchises.
While that is a long list of things that make this movie one of the most anticipated in the MCU, there is still one character that has the attention of the fans. Doctor Stephen Strange is a five-year veteran in the MCU, and he seems to be playing a key part in the Spider-Man threequel.
With his sequel Doctor Strange: In The Multiverse of Madness set to release in March 2022, Spider-Man No Way Home is bound to be an extremely important movie for the Doctor Strange character and the multiverse.
Here are a few things shown in the trailer that directly impact Multiverse of Madness.
DOCTOR STEPHEN STRANGE
It is hard to believe that the first and only Doctor Strange solo film was released in theaters nearly five years ago. Despite playing a pivotal role in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, there have only been two hours and ten minutes solely dedicated to Benedict Cumberbatch's Master of the Mystic Arts. Yet, there has been so much character development in his three other MCU appearances.
Spider-Man: No Way Home seems to be including Doctor Strange in a big way throughout the movie based on the teaser. Not only is he who Peter goes to for answers, but he also seems to be sticking around to solve the problems; fans are going to be spending some quality time with Stephen Strange.
Assuming he is a supporting player in No Way Home much like he was in Infinity War, coupled with cameo appearances in Endgame and Thor: Ragnarok, the Sorcerer Supreme is getting a ton of screen time outside his own IP. This offers an incredibly unique opportunity to get nearly a movie's worth of characters development for Strange between his first and second installments.
THE DOCTOR STRANGE PREQUEL TRILOGY
Outside the Stephen Strange character, there are plenty of elements of Multiverse of Madness that are being fleshed out throughout Phase 4.
Firstly, Wanda Maximoff is set to be a huge player in the film, and she just had nine episodes worth of WandaVision to become the Scarlet Witch and set her up as an incredibly powerful friend (or foe) to Doctor Strange. Second, with the word "multiverse" in the title, it is hard to imagine the events of Loki aren't going to play a major role, especially considering that writer Michael Waldron is penning both projects.
So between WandaVision, Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, there are three major MCU projects all bleeding into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse Of Madness. Much like with the Stephen Strange character, this movie has the unique opportunity to hit the ground running from a story perspective. Fans know where Wanda is, they are caught up on the rules of the multiverse (for now), and No Way Home will be a great look into where Stephen Strange is post-Blip.
All of that build-up leads to Multiverse of Madness being all gas and no breaks.
THE MULTIVERSE CONCEPT
There is a scene from 2016's Doctor Strange that has become one of the most important in the MCU after the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer mentioned the word "multiverse". While explaining magic to Stephen Strange, The Ancient One broke down how the Masters of the Mystic Arts are able to do what they do:
“We harness energy... drawn from other dimensions of the Multiverse... to cast spells... to conjure shields... and weapons... to make magic.”
This line of exploration back in 2016 paired with this line from Doctor Strange in the No Way Home trailer gives some major cause for concern:
“The multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little.”
This implies that the Sorcerer Supreme, the second most powerful witch or wizard in existence, knows little about the source of his power. The events of Loki breaking open the multiverse by unlocking the Sacred Timeline has undoubtedly changed the playing field for someone who frequently uses the Multiverse to perform magic. This could be a great explanation as to why the Peter Parker memory wipe spell goes wrong in the trailer.
Leading into Multiverse of Madness, it is safe to assume that the multiverse will still be in madness for that movie. So while Strange will be spending time dealing with Peter Parker and his problems, he seems to be realizing that there are much bigger ones to be dealt with next March.
THE EYE OF AGAMOTTO
The Infinity Stones were the center of attention in the MCU for over a decade. Arguably the most important was the Time Stone which was held in the Eye Of Agamotto, the primary weapon of the Sorcerer Supreme and the most powerful weapon against threats to the world.
The Time Stone was given to Thanos in exchange for Tony Stark's life and then later destroyed by the Mad Titan after he accomplished his genocidal, yet efficient goal. Though the Avengers managed to retrieve the stone from The Ancient One in Avengers Endgame, Captain America was tasked to return the stone to its original timeline. Meaning, that in the MCU proper, the world Spider-Man: No Way Home is seemingly taking place in, the Time Stone and the Eye Of Agamotto are destroyed.
So why does Doctor Strange have it throughout the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer? This is something that will surely be addressed in No Way Home but could plant some important seeds for the future of Doctor Strange.
It also raises the suspicion that the reason Strange may have the Time Stone is that it was never destroyed in this universe. After the Loki finale, the possibility of a story being told in a different universe without the audience knowing is in play. This key detail of Strange's attire strongly emphasizes that possibility.
THE SANCTUM SANCTORUM
The most questionable shot of the entire Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer is a look at one of Marvel's most recognizable locations being covered in ice. The Sanctum Sanctorum was busted open by the Hulk in Avengers: Infinity War but would assumingly be fixed by now. It also is worth noting how nice the weather is outside compared to the snowy tundra inside the magically Bleaker St. residence.
Strange seems to be more than fine with this temperature shift. This suspicious behavior toward such an odd thing leaves fans wanting to know what has the Doctor been up to. Whatever it is, it will surely be a key plot of this movie.
WHERE HAS WONG GONE
Finally, there's the Robin to Doctor Strange's Batman, fan-favorite, Beyonce fan, Wong. There is still time between now and the Multiverse of Madness to get caught up with the bookkeeper of the Sanctum Sanctorum in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He is seen fighting Phase 1 villain Abomination in the promotional material.
In the No Way Home trailer, however, Wong seems to be upset about Strange's willingness to do Peter Parker a favor with such a risky spell. He warns Strange of his concern right before taking his suitcases through a portal off to go do whatever Wong does. Is he heading to fight Abomination? Time will tell. But if he is not, maybe this will put a powerful hero in an interesting position heading into Multiverse of Madness.
THIS MOVIE IS... HUGE!
With so many projects feeding into Multiverse of Madness, it is shaping up to be as big as any solo project since Captain America: Civil War. That is saying a lot considering the magnitude being promised with Spider-Man: No Way Home.
In a Phase that has already seen Loki turn the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe upside down, Marvel Studios does not seem to be taking its foot off the gas any time soon. The third solo installment of Spider-Man in the MCU has a variety of implications on the future of the character, the franchise, and the universe as a whole.
What will Spider-Man: No Way Home do to set up the next journey for Doctor Stephen Strange? Find out in theaters on December 17, 2021.