The latest Doctor Strange backwards TV spot plays like the KISS albums our parents were warned about, giving us plenty of cryptic clues about what’s going to happen to our favorite magic man. And it looks like our suspicions are probably correct: The Time Stone is coming.
Marvel’s 30-second TV spot, which partially plays backwards, centers around the idea of time. Dr. Vincent Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) hypnotically repeats the word “time” as a ticking clock thumps in the background. There’s not a lot of new footage, but the footage we do see shows Strange manipulating time with his Eye of Agomotto just as much as any other form of reality.
There’s been a lot of speculation as to whether the Eye of Agomotto, the amulet Strange wears to access various abilities (including time manipulation), will be revealed as the Time Stone. This would tie it into the Infinity Stones storyline that’s been developing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years, and will culminate in Thanos’s Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers: Infinity War.
Given Strange’s emphasis on time, it seems pretty clear that the Time Stone is set to make an appearance. That doesn’t automatically mean it will be the Eye, but one extra hint in the TV spot makes a really strong case. If you play the trailer in reverse, as shown by this Reddit post, you get another clue that ties is all together:
“Open your eye.”
Those words, spouted by Tilda Swinton’s the Ancient One, practically solidify the link between the Eye and the Time Stone. By themselves, her words could just mean “access your abilities,” but in a trailer where time is represented both literally and figuratively, they become an eye-opener. It doesn’t hurt that just this morning, Doctor Strange co-writer and director Scott Derrickson tweeted the same message just 30 minutes before sharing the Reddit reversed trailer.
Doctor Strange comes out November 4, with most of Marvel’s major players, including Doctor Strange himself, set to come together in Infinity War on May 4, 2018.