Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Trailer Breakdown

The upcoming movie Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness got a full trailer during the 2022 Super Bowl, as many more details were revealed regarding the film that is seemingly about to change the trajectory of the MCU. There were plenty of details and easter eggs shown in the trailer, as we await what will ultimately happen in the film once it hits theaters on May 4. For now, let’s try to break down what we saw in the newest trailer.

What Is Stephen Strange’s Nightmare, And What Caused It?

The trailer of the new Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness opens with Stephen Strange talking about a nightmare he keeps on having, as he sees different visions that may or may not happen in the movie. One such vision was the Sanctum Sanctorum in bad shape and with skeletons surrounding it.

We do know that Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness was said to be a horror film, and the nightmares that Strange is having might play a role in this. Of course, we are still wondering why Strange is having these nightmares, as before the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, he seemed to be fine.

Then again, we do know that what he did during No Way Home had a huge effect on reality itself, as he may not have entirely closed the doors to the parallel universes in the final events of the Spider-Man film. The fact that he was the sole reason why the universes clashed with one another may have had an impact on his psyche, as the multiverse may be coming back to haunt him in his dreams.

We Are Going To See America Chavez

It wasn’t a secret that there was a good chance that a relatively new superhero named America Chavez was going to make her debut in Doctor Strange 2. And the trailer all but confirms that she is going to make an appearance in the film.

In the trailer, we can see that Chavez is showing off her powers, as she uses a star-shaped portal to fight a mysterious multiversal creature that we know nothing of as of this writing. We know for a fact that America Chavez is a powerful superhero capable of creating star-shaped holes that will allow her and her teammates to travel through different realities. And such a power might come into play in this film.

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Of course, there is still the issue of the creature that she is fighting, as America Chavez is displaying her full array of powers, such as her super strength and flight. She should be the newest addition to the MCU, depending on what happens in the film. And her ability to travel through different universes might come into play in the future. 

What Happens To Wong, And Why Does He Look Beaten Up?

There was a brief moment when we got to look at Wong looking like he was beaten up while he was chastising Doctor Strange for his actions when he messed up with the multiverse during the events of No Way Home. Of course, this was only for a very brief moment, but it makes us wonder why he looks beaten up in that scene.

It could be due to the possibility that he was out on one of his missions as the Sorcerer Supreme, as he told Peter Parker back in No Way Home that he had plenty of responsibilities to take care of. But it is also possible that he looks beaten up because he came from a huge battle that will be featured in the film, especially when there was a scene when Kamar-Taj was seemingly under attack (we’ll get to that later).

Karl Mordo’s Return

It has been a while since we last saw Karl Mordo, who was once one of the best allies that Stephen Strange had during the events of the first Doctor Strange film. At the end of the film, Mordo had seemingly gone rogue, as the scene was quite possibly setting him up as the next villain of the film series. However, we have never heard from him since then, despite the fact that numerous MCU characters appeared in the subsequent MCU films.

In the trailer, Mordo returned as the person that seemingly apprehended Strange for his desecration of reality. From there, Strange is escorted by guards that seem to resemble the Ultron robots that we saw in the second Avengers film (more on that later).

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Of course, several scenes later in the trailer, Mordo was seen attacking Doctor Strange, who was restrained. It seems like Mordo is now on a different path to life and is most likely a member of the Illuminati (which we will get to later). And because he and Strange have gone different ways, it was not a secret that he and his former ally would eventually clash in a battle. 

Then again, it seems like Mordo isn’t totally the bad guy in the scenes where he apprehended and fought with Doctor Strange. There is some sort of justification in his actions, considering that he had some animosity towards Strange, who affected the fabric of reality in ways that we cannot fathom.

How Does “No Way Home” Play Into This?

One of the things we know of based on the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home is that Doctor Strange was the one who used a spell that allowed people to forget who Peter Parker was except for a few certain people. Parker’s indecisiveness botched the spell, as the multiverse opened up and allowed different villains and characters from the older Spider-Man movies to appear.

Of course, in the end scene, we saw different entities about to enter the MCU, as Strange tried his best to ward them off. Strange had to cast a new spell that allowed everyone in the universe to forget who Peter Parker was so that they could fix the mistake they made. Everything seemed fine at that very moment until the Multiverse Of Madness trailer revealed that the fabric of reality was still affected.

In one of the scenes, it seemed like Stephen Strange’s universe’s version of New York was crumbling due to the effects of his reality-altering spell. This could be something that’s related to the nightmares he was having, but it could also be an actual reality in the film, as the spells that he performed in the Spider-Man film might have had lasting effects on the multiverse.

The Multiverse Is Also Turning Its Ugly Head

Similar to how we saw Strange’s New York falling apart due to the effects of what he did, we also saw a part wherein Stephen Strange was falling, and he was seemingly altered by reality, as the multiverse was likely falling apart as well. The same reality-altering effect is similar to the one we saw Thanos using back in the events of Infinity War when he showcased the abilities of the Reality Stone.

A Possible Defender Strange Appearance

This scene didn’t last too long because of how quick it was, but it seemed as if there was a multiverse variant of Doctor Strange appearing through one of the portals that America Chavez created. We know that Chavez can travel through realities, and that must have been what she and Defender Strange did in this scene.

We know for a fact that this wasn’t the MCU version of Strange because he seems to have a more distinctive look in this scene. However, we don’t know what role he will be playing in the movie, considering that he only appeared in the trailer once. But what we do know is that he wasn’t the only Doctor Strange variant that made an appearance in the trailer.

How Does Wanda Play Into All Of This?

Since making his MCU debut, Doctor Strange was never someone who would ask for someone else’s opinion or knowledge on a matter that he should know more about. He was always the person that people looked for whenever they needed to learn more about supernatural events that may be connected to his knowledge of the mystic arts.

However, in the trailer, it was not a secret that Stephen Strange looked for Wanda Maximoff to ask her about what she knew regarding the multiverse, to which she replied that Vision thought that it was dangerous. Of course, Wanda is in hiding because of the events that occurred during the WandaVision series.

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Considering that Wanda is a secondary protagonist in this film, it is likely that she will also be fighting her own multiverse demons, especially after what she did back in the events of WandaVision. And we also know that this is an entirely different Scarlet Witch, thanks to how she awakened back in her own Disney+ series.

Dr. Christine Palmer Is Getting Married

One of the things we know is that Dr. Christine Palmer was Doctor Strange’s love interest during the events of the first Doctor Strange film. Since then, we didn’t hear anything about her, especially when you consider that Strange was blipped during the events of Infinity War. It is likely that Christine wasn’t erased from the world and tried to move on during Strange’s five-year absence.

So, in the trailer, we can see that Dr. Palmer is in a wedding dress and is seemingly about to get married. And the most likely outcome is that Steven Strange is not the groom, as Palmer’s new life might affect the trajectory of his life as well.

Kamar-Taj Gets Attacked And Might Even Fall

During the earlier parts of the trailer, one of the things we saw was that the HQ of all of the sorcerers was seemingly under attack from a dark force. Meanwhile, the masters of the mystic arts were lined up waiting for what was about to attack Kamar-Taj. And, considering that there were plenty of explosions happening through that scene, it seemed as if whatever was attacking them was more than what they could handle.

Later, we got to see Rintrah, a Minotaur, fighting alongside the masters of the mystic arts in the very same attack that was happening on Kamar-Taj. This is the first time Rintrah is making his appearance in the MCU, as he is a supporting character from the Doctor Strange comics and was, at one point, the Doctor’s apprentice. We don’t know what his role here is but what we do know is that it seems like he and the other masters don’t stand a chance against what is attacking them.

Strange Gets Punished For His Crime

At first, we thought that all was fine during the events of No Way Home, as Strange was able to cancel out what he did in the spell that allowed several Spider-Man characters to enter the MCU. That was what the ending of the film wanted us to believe, as it was clear that there was something more to the things that happened when Strange used the spell that changed reality.

As such, we see Mordo apprehending Strange in the trailer while telling him that he committed grave crimes when he changed reality. And this is where it gets interesting because we do know that a group of people actually supervise the multiverse.

In the Loki series, we learned that a group called the Time Variance Authority was in charge of apprehending different variants from different universes to make sure that there was only one single timeline in the universe. We also know that they answer to higher beings called The Watchers, but the ones we saw in the series were fake.

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However, in the Doctor Strange 2 trailer, one of the things we saw was that it was not the TVA that handled Strange’s case, as it could be possible that this group was the higher authority that the TVA answered to. This was when Strange was brought to the person who was going to handle his trial.

Are Those Ultron Robots?

One of the most eye-catching scenes in the trailer was the one wherein Doctor Strange was in shackles and was about to be tried for his crime of altering reality. The things that were escorting him seemed to look like the same Ultron robots that we saw backing Ultron up in the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

We don’t know how these robots ended up in the multiverse or how they play a role in the greater scheme of things. It could be possible that they are the very same robots from the Ultron movie but were reprogrammed.

Of course, another possibility is that they are from an entirely different universe, considering that, in the comics, one of the founders of the Illuminati (more on that later) is Iron Man. And we know that the Ultron robots were originally created by Tony Stark until Ultron took over.

Professor X Likely Plays A Role

When Doctor Strange was finally escorted to the place of his trial, we didn’t exactly see the people handling his trial because they weren’t shown on-screen. However, we do see the back of an iconic person that we have seen in numerous Marvel films in the past. And we also heard Sir Patrick Stewart’s voice saying, “we should tell him the truth.”

In that regard, since we know that Patrick Stewart played the iconic role of Professor X in the X-Men live-action films, it is likely that he will be returning in the movie as the same character as one of the people sitting on the tribunal that would be presiding over Strange’s trial. We don’t know who the other people are, but we do think that Charles Xavier is going to make his MCU debut in this film.

Is That Strange’s “What If” Version?

Marvel’s What If series on Disney+ introduced a different variant of Doctor Strange. In his universe, Christine Palmer died in the car accident that damaged his hands. He learned that this was an absolute point in time that he couldn’t change, even with the use of the Time Stone. This caused him to go dark so that he could do whatever it took to save Christine’s life, but it also destroyed his universe.

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The trailer of Multiverse Of Madness shows a similar character in the form of a darker Doctor Strange, who still looks like the regular Stephen Strange but with skin that’s paler and eyes that looked evil. This could be the very same dark Strange that we saw in What If, as that universe could also be a part of the entire multiverse.

The Glowing Figure Fights Scarlett Witch

At one point in the trailer, we saw a human figure flying through a different plane of reality. This person was glowing and was wrapped in flames or energy that is not unlike the same flames or energy that we saw in the likes of the Human Torch or Captain Marvel. It is most likely that this very same glowing figure is a multiverse variant of either of those characters, especially when we know for a fact that there are some characters who crossed over from different movies to the MCU via the multiverse.

However, considering that this glowing figure was later seen fighting Wanda, it is likely that this is not the Human Torch because, as strong as he is, he is nowhere near the power level of someone like Scarlet Witch. Instead, it is more likely that this is a multiverse variant of Captain Marvel, as we know that Monica Rambeau, who appeared in WandaVision, is also Captain Marvel in the comics and is likely going to return in the film for a rematch with Wanda.

Why Is There A Memorial Of Strange?

Near the end of the trailer, there is a Doctor Strange statue that Strange himself is looking at, while Wanda is talking about how he is talked about as a hero for breaking the rules while she was seen as a villain when she did it. But why is there even a memorial of Doctor Strange?

It is likely that Strange and Wanda found themselves in a different universe wherein Strange did something to save the whole world, as he most likely broke the rules to do so. And despite his reckless actions, the world saw him as a hero because he most likely sacrificed himself to fix the mistakes he made in the past.

Shuma-Gorath Makes An Appearance

Shuma-Gorath is portrayed in the comics as a Lovecraftian god in the sense that he is like Cthulhu, who is regarded as one of the great old ones. In that regard, he is a cosmic entity with powers that are nearly omniscient. And it is likely that he was actually created by someone inspired by HP Lovecraft’s works.

The trailer shows a creature that appears to have the same appearance as Shuma-Gorath but is actually called Gargantos. This monster is a giant eye with tentacles all over his body, as he is shown fighting America Chavez. It is likely that he came from a different dimension in Doctor Strange 2, as we do know that Shuma-Gorath is also an interdimensional being.

Scarlett Witch Returns To Westview

Despite how the events of WandaVision ended, it seems like Wanda is yet to come into terms with the things that she did in that series, as we saw her returning to Westview face-to-face with a different variant of herself. We don’t know which one is which because one is wearing her Scarlett Witch costume while the other was plain old Wanda.

Then again, we do know that Maximoff is still bitter about how the world saw her when she did what she did in the events of WandaVision. This can be surmised from her words when she said that she was seen as a villain when she broke the rules back when she controlled the minds of everyone in Westview. This scene of her in Westview is likely going to help her come to terms with what she did back then, but there is also a good chance that she will be facing her multiverse self to understand the ramifications of her mistakes.

Wanda Was In A Fight

Of course, in one of the scenes in the trailer, Wanda looked like she had been through a tough fight that she most likely lost because she looked bloodied. This could be the aforementioned fight with her own self, but it could also be a fight with another character, such as Doctor Strange, with who she might not be completely allied in the film.

Has Dark Strange Gone Full Dark?

Going back to what we talked about the dark Strange that we saw in What If, it was revealed in the series that this variant of Doctor Strange was able to learn how to absorb different types of mythical creatures into his body so that he could transform himself into a being that’s powerful enough to change an absolute point in time. And he could use the powers of these creatures at his disposal, as seen in the fight against Ultron fully powered by the Infinity Stones.

The trailer of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness ends with an unsettling image of Strange, who looked like some sort of a zombie, as different shadowy creatures were behind him. This is one of the most interesting scenes in the trailer so far because of how it opens up different possibilities.

This could be the dark Doctor Strange himself using his powers to go fully dark so that he could take on the MCU Stephen Strange. However, it is also possible that this is an entirely different version of Strange from a different universe (and possibly even the zombie universe we saw in What If). Then again, we are leaning towards the possibility of it being the dark Doctor Strange who uses the powers of the different shadow creatures he absorbed to transform himself into that hideous and horrifying form.

X-Men And Illuminati Might Join The MCU (Finally!)

There is a good possibility that X-Men will be joining the MCU, especially after Disney acquired a share of Fox. Of course, Fox owns the rights to the X-Men films, and it could be possible that the X-Men have a role to play in the film, considering that we did hear Charles Xavier’s voice in the tribunal that was about to oversee Strange’s trial.

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However, there is also a possibility that this tribunal is the Illuminati, which is a powerful group of superpowered beings. The Illuminati was formed by Tony Stark in the comics, but we do know that it is unlikely that Stark will be returning to the MCU so that he could play a multiverse version of himself leading the Illuminati.

In the comics, we also know that other notable characters such as Professor X and Doctor Strange himself are part of the Illuminati. As such, Charles Xavier overseeing the tribunal might open up the possibility of Strange teaming up with the members of the Illuminati in the future.

  • Ysmael Delicana

    Ysmael “Eng” Delicana is a writer based in Davao City, Philippines. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at Ateneo de Davao University before continuing to teach part-time at the same university. While teaching was a fun gig, being a geek and a writer seemed to be his cal...