Doctor Strange And America Chavez Get Locked Up In New Multiverse Of Madness Images

A lot of the past year's "Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness" hype has centered around the multiverse of it all, and with good reason. Multiverses are cool! America Chavez, though, might be cooler, which is why the latest exclusive images from the new movie — coming to us from Empire – are worth getting excited about!

A new still shows America (Xochitl Gomez) seemingly imprisoned in a clear glass cell opposite Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). She has her hands in a slight shrugging position, as if she's saying something sardonic or arguing with Strange. The sorcerer is facing away from us in a separate enclosure, and is noticeably missing his signature sentient Cloak of Levitation (which has rescued him from tight spots on more than one occasion). A second exclusive photo shows Strange in handcuffs, with a blurry figure on the left side of the frame, as if in a rack focus shot over someone's shoulder.

Cumberbatch teases the multiverse

These new photos don't provide a ton of insight into the plot of "Multiverse of Madness," which we know from trailers will follow Strange through a twisted multiverse, meeting Chavez and encountering Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) somewhere along the way. The glass cells look a bit like the ones Strange himself sets up to capture multiverse-hoppers in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," so it's possible the duo may find themselves on the other end of a similar plot as they traverse alternate realities. The most recent trailer showed Strange wearing those handcuffs while being brought in front of the Illuminati, so it looks like the shadowy power players of the multiverse manage to capture America Chavez and Doctor Strange together.

Cumberbatch, for his part, insists the Sam Raimi-directed sequel will go all out. "It's a big, big movie. It's going to be an absolute riot," the actor tells Empire, before adding, "And if it brings off the level of ambition it's got, we're going to have a success on the level of Spidey. There you go, I'll put my flag in the sand." That's a bold prediction, but you've got to admire Cumberbatch's zeal for the movie.

Personally, I'm hoping Marvel's continued journey across the expansive multiverse will result in a pretty basic discovery: meaningful queer representation. The massive studio responsible for many of today's biggest blockbusters hasn't always had the best track record when it comes to remembering LGBT+ people exist, but the comic book version of America Chavez is canonically lesbian. These new photos might be fairly nondescript, but it's still exciting to see Chavez on screen in any capacity.

In the interview with Empire, Raimi explains that the young hero is a vital part of the team, one-upping Strange thanks to her superpowered ability to navigate the multiverse. "Here's a character that can actually travel through it. He's such a know-it-all all the time, and to have to learn from a kid probably smarts." That's our girl!

"Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness" will debut in theaters May 6, 2022. The May 2022 issue of Empire Magazine hits shelves on Thursday, March 17.