The first trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hints towards the death of a major character, but killing him could be a mistake.
The teaser trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hints at the death of one of the franchise’s main characters, who has already died once before in the MCU. Doctor Strange 2 will delve deep into the multiverse, hence the title, which opens up infinite possibilities for what could transpire in the film. However, alongside the obvious mystery for Marvel fans is the very real possibility that the movie could culminate in a beloved character’s death.
For Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as the titular character alongside most of the main cast from 2016’s Doctor Strange, which includes Benedict Wong as Wong, Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo. Joining the ensemble is Elizabeth Olsen, who will reprise her role as the MCU’s Scarlet Witch, and Xochitl Gomez, playing America Chavez in her MCU debut. The first trailer for Multiverse of Madness avoided revealing any story details. While there have been numerous leaks and rumors regarding the plot of the film and the plethora of cameos fans expect to see, though few of these claims were confirmed by the trailer.
However, certain frames in the teaser hint towards the death of Wong, who, as Spider-Man: No Way Home confirmed, now holds the title of Sorcerer Supreme. A few scenes in the trailer feature Wong in peril, captured by some entity with scars on his face, indicating that Multiverse of Madness could be the end of Wong. There are a few reasons that could justify Wong’s death in Multiverse of Madness. First of all, Doctor Strange would regain the title of Sorcerer Supreme if Wong were to die, which is the natural progression of Strange’s character. Additionally, Wong has become a beloved character and is Strange’s closest friend, killing him would give the film great emotional stakes, both for the audience and the characters within it. However, killing Wong could also be a mistake. Wong has appeared in multiple films since his debut in 2016 and could continue to do so in the future to tie MCU films together. More importantly, however, Wong has already died and been resurrected in the MCU once before.
Ever since his MCU debut in 2016’s Doctor Strange, Wong has gradually become more integral to the MCU with every one of his appearances. Since 2016, Wong has appeared in Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and No Way Home. So far, Wong has played a similar role in Phase 4 to the one Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) played in Phase 1, tying MCU movies together through his presence. Killing Wong in Multiverse of Madness would rob the MCU of the character’s potential future and would force Marvel Studios to find another character to use as a link to the wider MCU, which is especially necessary when introducing new characters like Shang-Chi.
Moreover, killing Wong might come off as redundant. Wong has already died in the first Doctor Strange film when Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) killed him while attempting to open up the Dark Dimension. Wong only survived because Strange used the time stone to reverse Kaecilius’ actions. A similar situation happened with Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Loki was seemingly killed so many times that audiences were no longer impacted by his deaths. While Wong was only dead for a few moments in Doctor Strange, killing him in the direct sequel to the film he died in the first time might not have the impact the studio is looking for, and could end up wasting the character for nothing.
With Multiverse of Madness still shrouded in mystery, it remains hard to speculate which characters will survive the film and which will not. However, even though the trailer hinted towards Wong’s death, that does not necessarily mean he will die in the film. Marvel is known for using trailers and other promotional footage to misdirect audiences and keep the true plot of the film a mystery. They could easily be doing the same with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, to ensure that whatever multiversal shenanigans take place in the Marvel film remain a secret until it releases in May 2022.