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Existential Binge-Watching: What we learned from the ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ trailer

It was a depressing end to Super Bowl Sunday for Joe Burrow supporters in Athens and Bengals fans everywhere, but at least there’s always the coveted commercials to look back on and attempt to ease the pain. In addition to the usual quippy celebrity cameo fare, there were some extremely exciting drops in the realm of TV and movie trailers - especially for Marvel fanatics.

While the first look at Jordan Peele’s Nope garnered a lot of well deserved attention, there was a lot to take in for the next MCU projects coming to both Disney+ and the big screen. Moon Knight received a new spot and after a brief teaser that was tacked on to the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, we finally have our first full official glimpse into the insanity of the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And there was quite a lot to take in. Let’s attempt to break some of it down.

First thing’s first: the return of Sir Patrick freaking Stewart. While there hasn’t been any official confirmation yet, there’s no denying that beautiful voice and the blurry glimpse of Professor X’s bald head. It remains to be seen if this is the Xavier pulled right from the Fox films or a variant, but either way it’s huge in terms of opening the door for the X-Men’s arrival in the core MCU timeline. Not to mention, this is a massive hint that the film will also be the first live adaptation of Marvel’s Illuminati. 

Essentially an even more powerful Avengers-esque group that works behind the scenes, this means a wide array of appearances and cameos are possible. The most heavily rumored ones to watch out for include variants of Mordo and Christine Palmer - so, not the one getting married in the trailer - as well as Reed Richards played by either Ioan Gruffudd from the early 2000s films or the heavily fan-casted John Krasinski and at this rate, maybe even an Iron Man variant. Whether it’s a Robert Downey Jr. pop up or a rumored Tom Cruise take on Superior Iron Man remains to be seen. Perhaps those Ultron looking bots that have captured Doctor Strange even come from a reality in which Iron Man successfully created a suit of armor around the world.

In addition to countless cameos, the trailer shows we’re bound to get some Doctor Strange variants involved too. There’s shots of a sinister looking Strange - possibly the one from What If…? - a deteriorating zombie Strange and what’s being referred to as Defender Strange. There also appear to be shots of a zombified Wanda as well as what might be a Monica Rambeau Captain Marvel variant fighting our main Scarlet Witch.

Speaking of Wanda, this new look includes some fantastic extra footage of her, providing further speculation to the belief that she’ll be the core villain in the movie. From a visit back to the Westview house featured in WandaVision to a Vision mention, all signs seem to be gearing up for a reverse House of M moment in which Wanda brings mutants into the MCU in her tortured search for her children. One way or another, the X-Men are coming. And maybe we’ll see White Vision along the way.

Some more looks at America Chavez’s introduction to the MCU are revealed as well. Seeing as her comic book counterpart can open portals to other realities, as demonstrated in the star-shaped ones in the trailer, she could be the key to potentially fixing the multiversal mess that will be prevalent throughout this entire film. 

Really, the biggest takeaway from the trailer is that anything and everything is possible when it comes to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in terms of cameos and realities showcased. After holding out on the Maguire and Garfield secret for so long in No Way Home, and now already sorta’ kinda’ revealing Patrick Stewart in the first trailer for this movie? Who knows what they have in store.

It could be as simple as an Aaron Taylor-Johnson Quicksilver return to fix the Evan Peters fake out in WandaVision or as insane as a Chris Evans reprisal of Johnny Storm. Deadpool and Captain Carter have even supposedly been spotted in the film’s newest poster, so keep an open mind. It’s about to get chaotic in the most wonderful way imaginable. Here’s to hoping we might also get a Loki or TVA appearance.

Whatever ends up happening, that Sam Raimi title card is already looking well deserved. His superhero directorial return is currently nailing the dark horror tone paired with stunning visuals and a promising story. It looks fantastic and it’s time to get ready for the madness. Now, excuse me while I go watch the trailer 50 more times.

Jackson Horvat is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.

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