Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Trailer Breakdown: Guess Who's Coming To The MCU?

During the Super Bowl tonight, "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness" dropped a new trailer, sending the minds of Marvelites into meltdown as we all scramble to process what we just witnessed. Let's dive right into it and see what hints we can glean from this trailer about the plot of the upcoming Marvel Studios film, directed by Sam Raimi and starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

The trailer opens with a shot of Stephen Strange's eyes. "Every night, I dream the same dream," he says in voiceover. We see him standing in a ruined landscape, watching a building crumble away.

He throws open the doors to the proverbial stairway to heaven (or hell, or the titular multiverse of madness). Then, we get some quick shots of various things, including a cup dropping and shattering, and a nightmarish monster with a glowy face (probably not Nightmare, though original director Scott Derrickson wanted to use that villain) roaring at someone.

Judging from the star on back of her jacket, that someone would appear to be the newest MCU hero, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez).

Stephen wakes up in his own bed and it was all just a dream ... or a movie trailer in his head. He looks into the face of that cracked wristwatch from the first movie and the Marvel Studios logo comes up. 

"I did what I had to do to protect our world," he says, seemingly alluding to the events of "Spider-Man: No Way Home," unless he's forgotten everything that happened in that movie along with Peter Parker's identity.

The next line from Wong, played by Benedict Wong, however, would seem to indicate that they both retain some memory of what happened, as Wong says, "You opened the doorway between universes and we don't know who or what will walk through it."

Wanda Maximoff, Karl Mordo ... and Professor X?

Strange's former lover, Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), appears in what looks like wedding attire on the front steps of a church. She's looking up at something in the sky, and then it cuts to the POV of whatever that thing is, bearing down on the street as people run in terror.

Our first shot of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olson) shows her seated in a circle of candles in her Scarlet Witch costume. 

We see her and Strange walking among cherry blossoms as we did in the first trailer back in December. He asks her what she knows about the multiverse and she says Vision (Paul Bettany) had his theories and that he believed it was dangerous.

Cut to a shot of the Minotaur-looking dude, Rintrah, and some other Masters of the Mystic Arts looking up at the sky as a cloud of black smoke rolls in over their temple.

Strange opens a floating door to some kind of dreamscape or the astral plane, and we see Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) with longer hair than he had in the first "Doctor Strange" movie. 

He says, "I'm sorry, Stephen, your desecration of reality will not go unpunished," and we see Strange being handcuffed and escorted by futuristic guards who somewhat resemble Ultron or Iron Man drones.

They lead him into a throne room with a line of chairs, where the biggest moment of the trailer occurs, as we hear the voice of Patrick Stewart saying, "We should tell him the truth."

That's right: it appears Professor X is making his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I immediately thought of the Illuminati, the secret society of Marvel heroes working behind the scenes of comic book history. Two of the original members of that group were Professor X and Doctor Strange.

The Doppelgänger Effect

Strange freefalls through different dimensions, including the mirror dimension and what could be a cartoon dimension. He meets the dark version of himself from "What If...?" (who we also saw in the first trailer), and that alternate-reality Strange tells him, "Things just got out of hand."

We also see him looking up at a statue of himself outside the Sanctum Sanctorum. Is this another alternate reality?

Chavez yells, "Look out!" and the cyclopean squid villain, Shuma-Gorath, throws a bus at her and Strange. Shuma-Gorath is the one who has sent humans fleeing in terror on the street.

Meanwhile, in voiceover, Wanda says, "You break the rules and become a hero. I do it, I become the enemy. That doesn't seem fair." 

Wanda stands over her own doppelgänger in the house from the '90s, "Malcolm in the Middle"-themed episode of "WandaVision." Mordo and Strange fight, and America launches a running and jumping punch. Shuma-Gorath continues his rampage, and Wong yells, "Strange!" and we see that the dark version of Strange has gone full evil, sprouting additional arms and giving rise to swirling black entities.

It's a lot to take in, but my biggest takeaway from this trailer is that Marvel is ready to start folding the X-Men and possibly the Illuminati into the MCU, while Strange and Wanda will be facing other versions of themselves in lieu of any other traditional big bad. Shuma-Gorath seems more like a mindless monster who escapes from containment and goes on the rampage. But we shall see! 

"Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness" hits theaters on May 6, 2022.