What started in WandaVision, got bigger in Loki, and really exploded in Spider-Man is now ready for its biggest big-screen moment. The Multiverse is on full display in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the next Marvel Studios film scheduled for release May 6, 2022. Legendary director Sam Raimi is at the helm this time around and the first teaser, which is also attached as the post-credits scene after No Way Home, is now officially online. It’s short but jam-packed with really intriguing teases, so let’s dive deep into it.
The trailer starts with dialogue from Spider-Man: No Way Home. Wong telling Strange not to cast the spell. Strange telling Peter Parker how little they know about the multiverse. Slowly black turns to footage as the camera moves along what we believe to be the floor at Kamar-Taj and several candles go out.
We then see Strange in the reflection of a shattered watch. If you remember in the first film, Strange has a large watch collection so we’re guessing this is not only one of his watches, but something that was broken in some kind of battle. He’s also wearing a white shirt, possibly before the film’s wedding sequence. Of course, the fracture pattern is also meant to remind us of the multiverse.
That image is then spoken over by Mordo, Strange’s former friend turned villain played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, last seen way back in the Doctor Strange credits acquiring new powers. He says, “Your desecration of reality will not go unpunished.” We’re meant to think he’s talking of the events in No Way Home, but that’s not for certain. It could be something in this film. But more importantly, is Mordo back with the Sorcerers? It seemed like he was going to break off on his own, though things may have changed during the whole Thanos incident. We don’t know what he’s been up to.
Strange walks out of a snowy New York alley and looks down the street; though it at first seems this is our reality, buildings look decrepit and are folding over on each other. Has he arrived in a new dimension? Is this the Mirror Dimension? Something is very wrong.
“It was the only way,” Strange says. But was it? If he’s referring to No Way Home, which the trailer is suggesting, he didn’t have to cast the spell for Peter Parker. He choose to and did it very haphazardly. Anyway, Strange walks up the stairs of some version of the Sanctum Sanctorum, which appears to be abandoned and also flooded inside and out. This does not look like our reality. “I never meant any of this to happen,” he says.
Several quick cuts occur starting with Strange reaching out to the trademark window at the top of the Sanctum. Again, we believe this is the regular Strange but that more leathery material makes it look like it might be the evil Strange from the end of the trailer. That’s followed by Strange standing on the street looking up at what is probably Shuma-Gorath from the alter in the trailer, followed by few quick clips of Wanda’s hand ready to unleash some power, then Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) at a wedding.
Strange is at the wedding, but not as the groom. Bride Christine walks past him as well as fellow surgeon Nicodemus West, played by Michael Stuhlbarg, and it seems like Strange has lost his girl after all. At least she’s still alive. What If…? showed what might happen if that wasn’t the case. And it wasn’t good.
Several quick cuts come next including a raven (we’re clueless about this one) and a woman in a star jacket. This is almost certainly American Chavez played by Xochitl Gomez. She pops up a lot in this trailer but is never directly mentioned. We think she plays a major role and here she’s slowly creeping through what appears to be Kamar-Taj.
There’s a quick shot of Wong in shackles scared of something, then a version of Doctor Strange in a headband (possible Defender Strange as revealed in this series of toys) falling through some sort of portal. Of note though, is that this portal is star shaped. It’s possible it has something to do with, or maybe even was created by, America.
And all of this before the Marvel Studios logo, which is all fractured, in case you didn’t know what all this was teasing.
Now we’re in some remote field, filled with white flowered trees. Wanda Maximoff is here and the first thought is that this is the location we saw her flee to during the end credits of WandaVision. However, this far more open and expansive. There are even sheep in the background of a few shots. Is this a new reality Wanda created? Or did she just buy a bigger piece of land?
Strange arrives and Wanda says she’s been expecting him, what with her little mishap when she enslaved hundreds of people in a small town. However, Strange is not there to talk about Westview. He’s there to talk about multiverses and to tell her that “we” need Wanda’s help. Who is “we?” Is it he and Wong? Someone else? He and America? It unclear. But Wanda turns to him with a look of knowing dread.
Moving on from the beautiful green field, a door opens on what looks to be some kind of ship or submarine. It opens into a purple and pink world with a floating platform in the centre. At the centre of the platform is a bright light held in place by a column. Is this some kind of central power source of the multiverse or something?
In the doorway and behind Strange, however, are two women. One appears to be American Chavez, and the other is… unclear. Most likely it’s Wanda, but it almost looks like Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster? It could also be Christine too? Wanda makes the most sense from where the trailer was before that, but Strange definitely has two woman companions on this part of the adventure. The door is floating in this space and surrounded by all sorts of ruins, mostly from ancient buildings. This is a place broken things go which reminds us a bit of the place Kang resides, and things go to be destroyed, from the finale of Loki.
That cuts to Mordo, sporting some new dreadlocks, saying he’s sorry to Strange. Probably for what he has to do to him for his mistakes. A cloud of smoke quickly moves over the courtyard at Kamar-Taj; Strange and Wong, now not shackled, look up at it with fear.
We get a glimpse of Wanda, back in full Scarlet Witch gear, sitting in a circle of candles. She’s on a very geometric symbol we don’t recognise but, in the sequence of editing, is probably at Kamar-Taj.
Mordo continues to talk to Strange over a series of images that include him swinging a sword at a person that looks like Strange, though his hands are bound. The dark blue outfit suggests this might be the evil Strange from the end of the trailer.
That’s followed by an series of coordinated explosions outside Kamar-Taj. Several characters are there, most of which are indistinguishable in the trailer, but a large beastlike character in lsikely the minotaur sorcerer Rintrah, who also has his own toy.
That’s followed by a wounded Wong looking up with purpose. In the next shot, Strange is back in the New York Sanctum with the glass symbol shattered behind him and all his belongings dusty, unleashing some kind of spell that looks much more like Wanda’s magic than Strange’s, but not in the way she usually casts it.
Then, back at Kamar-Taj, Strange unleashes another spell back at that looks like two serpents coming out of his hands. America can be seen standing behind him.
That then cuts to Shuma-Gorath, a very evil, very gross Marvel villain, who is in New York City throwing a bus down Spring Street. Strange cuts it with some of his magic, protecting America who, again, is behind him. How did she get there?
As this all happens Mordo has been speaking: “I hope you understand” Mordo says. “The greatest threat to our universe…is you.” Strange and Mordo are upstairs at the Sanctum looking at some sort of massive, smokey portal. And on the “is you” we see an “evil” Doctor Strange. “Things just got out of hand,” this evil Strange says, as a wounded (some sort of scratch?) Strange squints his eyes in confusion.
Now, the obvious thought here is that this is Strange Supreme from What If…? but, look…
The two are dressed differently. Strange Supreme has the big collar, with gold in his robes. This one does not. We know there are already multiple Doctor Stranges in this film so while this might be the same one from What If, it also just as likely could be a completely new one.
Also, I’m not sure the smoke portal from the previous shot (above) and the shot of Evil Strange (further above) line up. As you can see, the Sanctum window is behind Evil Strange, but here the window is replaced by this portal. Unless he standing in a dimension where it does still exist. SO many possibilites!
That then goes into the title and release date, which means we’ll have plenty more time to dissect Doctor Strange trailers in the coming months.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens May 6, 2022.
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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.