Rachel McAdams Has Mysteriously Vanished From The Latest Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Teaser

There used to be a time when trailers would make you worry that your favorite characters might die. These days, they'll make you worry that your favorite characters might not even show up. "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is just the latest blockbuster to perform some trailer trickery, as The Direct notes that someone has cut Rachel McAdams' character out of the film's latest TV spot.

McAdams played Dr. Christine Palmer, the titular character's ex and ally, in 2016's "Doctor Strange." First photos and a previous trailer from the film's sequel indicated the actress was all set to return for the new film, as she stands in a doorway beside Strange and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). But the film's latest TV spot, subtitled "Fate," seems to say "not so fast!" In the same shot, we see just America and Doctor Strange, with only a door in the spot where Christine had been standing. Is Christine in the new movie? Yep. But why would she be taken out of the latest TV spot? There's a lot to speculate about here.

Some multiverse strangeness is afoot

First and foremost, I'd like to issue a formal plea to the powers-that-be at studios like Marvel to stop messing with viewers' minds with all this trailer tomfoolery. The practice of digitally deleting people from ads is an extremely odd and trippy tactic that has somehow become normalized in recent years, despite the fact that it's frustrating and misleading. Sometimes it's done on purpose to prevent spoilers, like when "Avengers: Endgame" promos edited characters out of the background of shots. Other times, it seems like the result of some behind-the-scenes lack of cohesion, as with the seemingly endless amount of stuff that appeared in the "Morbius" trailer but inexplicably was not the final film.

But why get rid of a character we've already seen in a previous official image and trailer? This move doesn't seem to fall under the purposefully misleading "Avengers: Endgame" school of thought, as McAdams' presence, if a spoiler, has already been spoiled. Superhero movies seem to be in a pretty constant state of post-production, even after initial trailers and photos have gone out, so there's a chance the team decided to use a different version of the scene without McAdams after all.

I like to imagine a third option: a movie of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" that's so freaky and brain-melting, it involves several variations of the same exact sequence played out with different characters. I'd love to see these heroes get caught in an MC Escher painting of alternate universes — that's the sort of trippy mental manipulation I can get behind.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" will debut in theaters on May 6, 2022.