How many badass superhero movie trailers did Comic-Con bless us with this year? Enough that three days later, we’re only just now getting around to breaking down Doctor Strange. And guess what? This one’s a doozy. We found six secrets you may have missed that tell us a lot about the Sorcerer Supreme’s next movie, so let’s break it down!
First up, Night Nurse! We see Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer early in the trailer, as a fellow surgeon who’s had a longtime friendship with Stephen Strange. She’s there at his bedside after his car wreck, and even shocks him with a defibrillator at some point presumably late in the movie (since he’s already rocking his Master of the Mystic Arts garb). This is telling, because we know that Palmer eventually becomes Night Nurse, trusted surgeon to superheroes everywhere.
Fun fact: originally, Rosario Dawson was set to play Night Nurse on Daredevil, but showrunner Steven DeKnight claimed the feature department had plans for her “down the road.” Is it possible we’ll see Night Nurse pop up in other Marvel flicks? Like, oh, say, Spider-Man: Homecoming? Let’s just say we wouldn’t be surprised.
Moving on, we’ve got our bad guy, Kaecilius! Wong warns Strange that “stronger men than him have lost their way,” a nod to the villain’s days as a former protege of The Ancient One, which we glimpsed in the movie’s prequel comic. A pre-pink eye Kaecilius actually fought alongside Wong, Mordo, Daniel Drumm, and Tina Minoru as the Masters of the Mystic Arts.
But what went wrong between the comic and the film, leading Kaecilius from magical fun-times pal to a dude who claims “he is death?” Well, we’ve got a guess. We think he’s after the Darkhold, a book of evil spells that acts as a counterpart to Strange’s benevolent Book of the Vishanti. Which we’re pretty sure we see in the trailer, leading us to…
Number three: the insane variety of magic! I mean damn, this movie does not hold back. We’ve got sizzling orange portals that teleport you around the world. We’ve got more of that crackly orange magic being used like a whip, which we’re assuming is a take on the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. We’ve got even more crackly orange magic used as a shield at the end of the trailer, likely the Shield of the Seraphim. Perhaps all this orange stuff, used defensively, is based in spells from the Book of the Vishanti.
And how about those crazy, reality-bending effects? We see The Ancient One use these powers in London, and we see Kaecilius use them pretty much everywhere. It’s, like, his favorite spell. He even quickly warps space to send Strange and Mordo sliding away from a portal they’re desperately trying to race to. And here’s something interesting to note: none of the civilians around seem to be noticing the effect at all. It actually looks a hell of a lot like the quantum realm effects we saw in Ant-Man. Could it be that true masters of the mystic arts learn how to manipulate and travel through the quantum realm at will? Or better yet, since these muggles don’t seem to be noticing, is it possible the masters move through the world unseen because they’re always traveling through the quantum realm? Is that the barrier The Ancient One backs our hero through at the beginning of the trailer? How wild and weird will Doctor Strange get? Let’s hope for “exactly that wild and weird.”
Oh, and lets not forget all the destruction and purple-y magic we see in New York during what we can only assume is the final battle between Kaecilius and Strange. If Kaecilius gets to the Darkhold at the end of the film, is this the result of that book’s demonic, evil magic? We’ll talk about that more in a minute. But first, lets look at how this movie ties in to the rest of the MCU.
Two words: green magic! The best kind of magic. We see Strange wielding some cool, mystical green runes throughout the trailer, which create some trippy mirror effects. And within that mirror, we see multiple versions of Strange’s face looking in different directions. Could be the angle of the mirrored panels, or it could be a glimpse into multiple timelines. Which could mean that Strange is dealing with the Time Stone, one of the missing Infinity Stones.
So far in the MCU, we’ve only seen four of the six that Thanos needs to wield the Infinity Gauntlet: the blue Space Stone, currently in Odin’s possession; the yellow Mind Stone, which lives on Vision’s forehead; the purple Power Stone, now safely in the hands of Nova Corps, and the red Reality Stone, which was handed over to The Collector. That leaves a green stone and an orange one. One is the Time Stone, the other the Soul Stone. According to Kevin Feige in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Eye of Agamotto that Strange wears around his neck has the ability to “screw around with time.” It’s no wonder the Eye has a bit of a green glow to it on the latest poster for the flick. Time Stone confirmed!
But what foe could really stand against the power of an Infinity Stone, even with all the spells the Darkhold contains? Hm. It’d be pretty tough. Unless Kaecilius were summoning someone strong enough to do it for him. Someone like…Dormammu! Yes, we’re thinking we might see the unannounced Doctor Strange super-villain in this film after all, though we’ll admit our reasoning is a little loose. See, when the Comic-Con trailer for Doctor Strange dropped, a new name appeared on the cast list that we’d never seen before: Benjamin Bratt. He’s apparently in this flick, and in a prominent enough role to get some decent billing in the trailer. But Bratt was never announced for this movie, was never spotted on set, and hasn’t appeared in a frame of footage. Which leads us to believe he may be playing a surprise character rendered in CG. Like we said, take it with a grain of salt, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Dormammu make an appearance in the movie’s third act.
But what do you guys think? Are you psyched for Doctor Strange? Do you think he’s got the Time Stone? Which movie do you think we’ll see the Soul Stone pop up in? Let’s discuss!