Before the Super Bowl had even started, Marvel Studios was already making waves, thanks to a brand new trailer for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” This new trailer introduced us to even more alternate reality versions of Doctor Strange (all of them played by Benedict Cumberbatch), gave us a much better look at Wanda/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and introduced many more surprises that will have us pondering and puzzling until the film’s May 6 release.
Now, our most pressing questions about the “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse” of madness questions — including the identity behind that voice.
Who Is That Voice?
The biggest question revolves around a vocal cameo from an unseen speaker (adding to its importance is that this moment featured prominently in the Super Bowl spot and the full-length trailer). At one point Doctor Strange is detained, presumably because he’s getting into some multiverse shenanigans, and brought before a tribunal (or maybe a council). Strange is being flanked by robots that look positively Ultron-y, and then a voice says, “We should tell him the truth.”
If that voice sounds familiar, that’s because it should. It sounds an awful lot like Patrick Stewart, and his iconic “X-Men” character Professor X.
Speculation has been that Strange will run afoul of the Illuminati, the kind of super-powered secret society working behind-the-scenes to pull the strings (they were first introduced in the comics by Brian Michael Bendis in 2005). Professor X and Doctor Strange have been past members (its current roster includes Black Ant and Enchantress), so it makes sense that Stewart’s character could be introduced, especially with the latitude afforded by the multiverse.
As for how the 20th Century Fox X-Men character could enter the MCU, we’ve previously seen Evan Peters, who starred as Quicksilver in the same “X-Men” universe, appear in “WandaVision” — although that turned out to be a weird misdirect. The probability of this being Professor X is high, using the multiverse as an excuse to introduce and acknowledge the existence of the past “X-Men” films before Marvel Studios reboots the mutants for their own purposes.
Let the speculation of who else is a part of the Illuminati begin!
How Will ‘WandaVision’ Factor In?
Speaking of “WandaVision,” one of the more striking moments of the trailer involves Wanda, in her full-on Scarlet Witch guise, interacting with Wanda in her Westview home from “WandaVision.” Previously, we had been told that the events of “WandaVision” would tie directly into “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” with the film being released shortly after the Disney+ series concluded.
Of course, given the pandemic and two years of Marvel Studios projects getting reshuffled, this didn’t happen exactly. Instead, “WandaVision” became the first Marvel Studios show on Disney+, and now we are finally getting the long-awaited “Doctor Strange” sequel.
It seems, for one scene at least, that the film will still be pretty connected to the series. Our question remains: just how much of “WandaVision” will be tied into “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?” Is it too much to hope for an Agatha cameo?
Is That Captain Marvel?
Another tantalizing moment has a figure who looks awfully lot like Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) blasting through the multiverse. She is in full-on energy mode, so it’s hard to tell exactly who it is. Could it be Photon (Teyonah Parris)? Or even Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), soon to be introduced in her own Disney+ TV show? (They are both confirmed to be a part of “The Marvels,” the “Captain Marvel” sequel opening in February 2023.) Whoever it is, somebody is in trouble. And by “somebody” we mean Doctor Strange. Doctor Strange is in trouble.
What’s the Deal with the Weird Bull-Headed Guy?
Another cool, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance comes courtesy of a shot that seems to be of Kamar-Taj, the ancient palace of the sorcerers supreme (supreme sorcerers?) and the place where Doctor Strange got his training from the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) in the first movie. There seems to be a threat looming over the palace, and one of the sorcerers in training is a green, bull-headed creature.
This is Rintrah, a minotaur who is one of Strange’s protégés. It’s unclear how sizable his role will be, but at the very least Rintrah’s appearance speaks to the willingness of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” to get very strange indeed.
Will America Chavez Have a Big Role?
Another character that gets more screen time in this trailer than in the teaser is America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), the denim-wearing teen that is paling around with Strange as he trips the light fantastic. Chavez’s role is crucial to the story and to Strange’s quest. Canonically, Chavez can open wormholes that she then uses to traverse the multiverse. Our guess is that Strange visits her to help him go through the various parallel universes, becoming an unlikely heroic duo in the process. She could easily be one of a crop of new, younger Marvel heroes that could potentially team up later down the road, along with people like Hailee Steinfeld’s Hawkeye and Florence Pugh’s Black Widow. As any scary movie can attest (and this is indeed supposed to be the most horrific Marvel Studios movie yet), it’s always important to have new blood.
Is That Zombie Doctor Strange and Evil Doctor Strange?
The first teaser trailer for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” introduced us to Evil Doctor Strange, as he will forever be known. We might have seen a version of this character in “What If…?,” the animated Marvel Studios series that aired last year on Disney+. The episode that introduced Evil Doctor Strange was called “… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands,” and dealt with Strange trying to change fate after his love Christine (Rachel McAdams) died. Much of this centers on his would-be marriage to Christine, and there’s a shot in the trailer that looks like Christine in a wedding dress, which makes us wonder just how closely this movie will be connected to the animated series.
Another set of characters that were introduced in “What If…?” were the Marvel Zombies. (“Marvel Zombies” is a forthcoming animated series and spin-off of “What If…?” coming soon to Disney+.) We seem to see Zombie Doctor Strange as well, doing a truly macabre version of his Vishnu pose from “Avengers: Infinity War.” (Vishnu is a Hindu god with multiple arms. Doctor Strange, historically, has deep ties to Hinduism.) With Zombie Doctor Strange, his extra arms are skeletal. And they are very cool and scary. Bring on the creepy side of the MCU.
Written by Drew Taylor \ The Wrap