Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange sequel looks poised to be the straw that breaks the Multiverse's back. Following WandaVision, Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home's tamperings with the concept the MCU's magic expert knows "frighteningly little" about, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promises to be as much of a learning experience for the title character as it is for audiences worldwide.
While answers (and likely more questions) are on the way this May, Marvel Studios is keen on casting confusion across Multiverse of Madness marketing material. From Stephen Strange's deadly doppelganger to Wanda Maximoff's suspicious spells, fans are missing many pieces to this Multiversal puzzle.
Even beyond the out-of-context scenes, Marvel Studios is already up to its old tricks by prominently placing deleted material within Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promotion.
Wong's Deleted Spider-Man Dialogue in Doctor Strange Trailer
Just when fans start to figure out the answers, Marvel Studios changes the questions.
Benedict Wong's Wong strictly tells Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange "don't cast that spell" just as he did in the first trailer for No Way Home. While that dialogue was present in No Way Home's promotional material, that line was ultimately changed for the Tom Holland-led film itself. Before he leaves the Sanctum Sanctorum through a sling ring in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Wong tells the good doctor to "leave [him] out of it."
No one plays the marketing game quite like Marvel Studios. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe's 13 years, projects like Avengers: Infinity War and Spider-Man: No Way Home have deliberately used deleted scenes and erased characters from frames to preserve planned surprises.
While this would point to Wong's deleted dialogue being intentional in this Multiverse of Madness trailer, it's important to remember No Way Home's marketing was run by Sony Pictures. Marvel and Sony have produced three critically successfully Spider-Man films in harmony, but they are not immune from the odd miscommunication here and there.
There's every chance that Marvel was under the impression that "don't cast that spell" was changed late in post-production and wasn't communicated to the Multiverse of Madness team in time.
That, or there are larger forces at play.
Spider-Man: No Way Home introduced MCU audiences to Peter Parkers from worlds without Avengers. Loki hinted at a universe where a descendent of Kang the Conqueror purchases Avengers Tower. Even WandaVision toyed with the idea that Fox's Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters, had entered the Westview anamoly.
While all of those aforementioned projects flip the MCU on its head in their respective universes, not every reality has to make drastic changes. In fact, the idea of a Multiverse and infinite possibilities means most of these universes only have the slightest of shifts.
The teaser for Multiverse of Madness could be alluding to a reality where Wong lectures Strange to not "cast that spell" instead of just asking to be left "out of it." As stubborn as Strange can be, Wong is his superior these days. If the MCU's current Sorcerer Supreme tells Strange no and he listens, the domino effects of that change are hitherto undreamt of.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6, 2022.