Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Trailer Breakdown: Things Just Got Out Of Hand

It has been a heck of a week for Marvel fans. Not only did "Spider-Man: No Way Home" finally arrive in theaters, but the "Hawkeye" finale also made its way to Disney+. But was that enough for Marvel Studios? Absolutely not! After debuting as a post-credits surprise for "Spider-Man: No Way Home," the first teaser trailer for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has arrived online for the world to see as an early Christmas present. While it's only a teaser, given how mysterious this movie has been up to this point, there are plenty of details to discuss. So let's break it down and go over all of the multiversal madness at play here.

Desecration of Reality

The trailer opens with some re-hashed dialogue from "No Way Home," where Wong (Benedict Wong) warns Doctor Strange about casting a spell to help the world forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Obviously, Strange did it anyway, and that came with consequences. We see the above shot of Benedict Cumberbatch returning as Strange in the reflection of his broken watch. This appears to be the same one that Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) gave him that we saw in "Doctor Strange," and one of the only worldly possessions he kept when making his way to Kamar Taj.

The Only Way

Next, we see Strange stepping out of the Sanctum Sanctorum and into a hauntingly grey vision of New York City. The multiverse appears to be ripping and things are not right. This looks devastatingly grim, and Strange looks downright shocked. Yet, he assures in the voiceover that the multiverse-ripping spells he used in "No Way Home" were "the only way." 

Never Meant for This to Happen

We then hear Strange say that he "never meant for any of this to happen," he walks through an equally broken Sanctum Sanctorum. It is murky and flooded. We also see him curiously holding his hand up to the window at the top of the stairs.

The moment looks downright desperate, like a man in jail getting his first glimpse of sunlight in ages, longing for the outside. Something is very wrong. 

Bad Day for a White Wedding

Intriguingly, before we even get to the Marvel Studios logo, we see Rachel McAdams returning as Christine Palmer, this time in a wedding dress! And, wouldn't you know it, Stephen Strange is in a tuxedo.

It looks like these two love birds are finally tying the knot. Also, if you'll care to notice, Michael Stuhlbarg's Nicodemus West can be seen just over Stephen's shoulder there. He had a small, though certainly not insignificant, role to play in the first "Doctor Strange" as another surgeon who worked with Stephen. Sadly, it looks like the happiness of this matrimony will be short-lived. 

Hello, Wanda

We then get a quick, bizarre little montage of shots that includes a suspicious crow, our first glimpse at America Chavez (more on that in a minute), and Wong looking pretty rough, which looks like a shot from something that happens later (again, more in a minute). But then we finally get to the meat and potatoes of it all, as Strange, dressed in surprisingly casual garb by sorcerer standards, pays Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) a little visit in a surprisingly peaceful field.

This picks up in the aftermath of "WandaVision," and at first, Wanda assumes Strange is there to discuss what happened in Westview, even going so far as to say that she knew he would show up. Instead, Strange is there to ask for her help, specifically with regards to the multiverse. This question brings a great deal of concern to the Scarlet Witch's face.

Into Another Dimension

We then move onto a particularly intriguing little sequence that sees Strange opening a door, quite literally, into another dimension. Cue up Rod Serling's voice from "The Twilight Zone" intro.

Strange then emerges from the door into an actual multiverse of madness. Looking out into the cosmic craziness with him is Christine Palmer, but, perhaps more importantly, America Chavez! Played by Xochitl Gomez, this serves as the character's introduction to the MCU. How does she fit into this big puzzle that Strange has to put back together? That remains to be seen, and this trailer doesn't provide much context. But she does go on to become a superhero known as Miss America in the world of Marvel Comics, so this is very much worth paying attention to.

Mordo Returns

Well, look who it is! Chiwetel Ejiofor returns as Mordo, who we haven't seen since the end of "Doctor Strange." Last we saw, he was amassing power from various sorcerers on Earth and was at odds with Stephen and Wong after feeling betrayed and misled by The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Now, he's got a new hairstyle, and given that the first words out of his mouth are, "I'm sorry, Stephen," we're guessing he's not here to help.

Big Trouble In Kamar Taj

Next, we move to a pretty big sequence that seems to take place in Kamar Taj, where Stephen first learned the ways of sorcery from The Ancient One, Wong, and Mordo. This same forboding, ugly fog appears to be rolling over the Sanctum, which is bad news.

Wong and Stephen look on, and they look uneasy about this. Stephen looks more concerned than anything, whereas Wong looks stone-faced and straight-up angry. Are we going to see Wong open up a can of major, unhinged whoop-ass? One can only hope. 

A Wanda Vision

Here, we get Wanda doing some serious witch business in her full Scarlet Witch attire, summoning circle and all. This is not unlike what we saw in the original post-credits scene attached to "WandaVision," so it appears her evolution in that show will carry over in a big way to the movie.

Let Them Fight

We get a quick shot of Mordo and Strange duking it out. Again, Mordo is fundamentally at odds with the way Strange has handled things, and he's no doubt wildly unhappy about him tampering with the multiverse. They are going to fight about it.


Circling back to the Kamar Taj craziness, we get a glimpse of a huge explosion happening at the Sanctum. Amdist that explostion, if we look at the center of the image, we can see a large sorcerer with horns. Well, that appears to be none other than Rintrah, a character I have a feeling we are going to be talking a lot about come May of next year. In the comics, the big green minotaur is an extra-dimensional being from the planet of R'Vaal. How the MCU will handle it remains to be seen, but this is going to be a weird (and, in my opinion, welcome) introduction.

Strange Spell

Not too much to discuss here, but we see Strange casting a pretty cool spell of sorts here. It's a departure from the orange/yellow rings (or Tao Mandalas) we're used to seeing, so it appears the type of magic being explored in this movie will be a little different. These actually look like the kind of spells that Wanda Maximoff has cast before, and that's pretty interesting.

To that end, we also see Strange shooting snakes (maybe magic dragons?) out of this hands in a shot right after this, not unlike Scorpion from "Mortal Kombat." Things are going to get weird. 

Shuma Gorath

Speaking of weird, did we mention that one of the main villains of this movie is a gigantic inter-dimensional tentacle monster? Well, there it is, and that is absolutely a thing. This had been heavily rumored through toy leaks and various things of that sort, but now we can see that director Sam Raimi is absolutely going there. However, even though fans believed this might be Shuma Gorath, one particular toy leak labeled this creature as Gargantos, so there you go.

Clearly this is going to be a major threat, as the creature throws a bus that Strange has to magically cut in half in order to save some folks. If this is what Marvel is willing to show us at this point, imagine what they're not showing us

Evil Doctor Strange

That brings us to the big finale of this teaser. We see Strange looking out into the abysmal void of the multiverse, with a swirling, cloudy spiral seemingly swallowing everything whole. This seems to be a bit reminiscent of what we saw in the "Loki" finale

But here's where things get really interesting. Doctor Strange comes face-to-face with an evil version of himself from elsewhere within the multiverse. He says, in an evil voice, "Things just got out of hand." Those who watched "What If...?" will probably feel that this version of Doctor Strange looks familiar. The big takeaway here is that "What If...?" may be more than a tangential animated series that was used to help bolster Marvel's offerings on Disney+.

We are left with much to process and much to ponder. This is a teaser in every sense of the word, raising infinitely more questions than answers. We'll have to wait and see what the eventual full-length trailer has in store, but put your money on Marvel and Raimi saving the surprises for opening night. 

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2022.