Avengers: Endgame introduced time travel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Phase Four will take it a step further by including the multiverse, alternate timelines, and warped realities. We know that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will somehow connect to Disney+ series WandaVision and Loki. A new leak suggests that the Doctor Strange sequel maybe even more of a departure from the previous movie than we thought.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is going through some changes at the moment, with Scott Derrickson out as director and Sam Raimi rumored to take his place. Despite the shake-up, fans can still expect the titular character to be joined by Wanda Maximoff and Wong for whatever adventures awaits them. However, a leak from scooper Jeff Sneider recently revealed Rachel McAdams’ Dr. Christine Palmer won't return for the sequel.
What might that mean for the film? While the news is a tad disappointing, Christine’s absence from the film may reveal that Doctor Strange 2 won’t take place on Earth at all. At the very least, the sorcerer will probably be venturing to other timelines and realities. After all, "multiverse" is in the title.
We don't know much about the sequel at the moment, but it's obvious Loki and Wanda will be involved somehow. It’s possible Doctor Strange will venture into the multiverse in search of Loki and the Time Stone. Remember when the Ancient One warned Hulk of alternate timelines in Endgame? Doctor Strange might discover that Loki has taken the Tesseract, created a new timeline, and goes off to find him, traversing space and time to do so.
Perhaps that’s even how Loki ends up being caught by the Time Variance Authority. Meanwhile, another leak suggested Nightmare might be the villain for both WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It's important to note that Doctor Strange has fought villains in other realms before and the same could be true in the sequel. With that in mind, it’s possible that Doctor Strange will be too busy visiting a variety of dimensions to stay in New York, which is why Christine isn't around.
What's more, Doctor Strange hasn’t been a surgeon in quite some time. Being a doctor and working alongside Christine were the only tethers he had to his past. If the sequel is dealing with otherworldly concepts and time travel mayhem, then it makes sense that she no longer factors into the story. There has also been speculation surrounding the potential casting of Clea, a powerful sorceress and Doctor Strange's lover in the comics. If Clea were to join the film, it lends credence to chatter about Doctor Strange 2’s inter-dimensional plot and makes Christine’s return even less likely.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 7, 2021.