The Marvel Cinematic Universe is no stranger to character development.
Tony Stark went from a snarky arrogant billionaire to the heart and soul of the Avengers and a loving father. Bruce Banner went from a man terrified of his alter ego to someone who integrated it into himself (he also transformed from Edward Norton to Bruce Banner). As for Thor, well, we all know how Thor transformed recently.
But Stephen Strange has always seemed like a constant. That is, until the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, where he’s shown as a rebel, disobeying Wong’s warnings about magic use and granting Peter’s wish to be forgotten. But was this Dr. Strange at all? Many theories have suggested Mephisto or an evil version of the character could be behind his strange behavior.
Here’s one new surprising theory on how it could be someone else entirely.
The theory suggests Wanda Maximoff convinced Mystique to take on the guise of Doctor Strange to get access to the Sanctum and find her long-lost kids in the multiverse. Last we saw Wanda, she was researching from the Darkhold, but maybe she needs some supplemental reading.
As for this hypothetical MCU Mystique, she has a mischievous streak, and she could attempt to make Peter’s wish come true all the same. Considering her lack of command over magic, Mystique causes the spell to go awry, kicking off the misadventures of No Way Home and further establishing Doctor Strange’s sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
This theory would be a massive shock for the MCU, but it’s not without precedent. Multiple characters have revealed themselves to be Skrulls. They have played imposters so many times that it's practically predictable at this point. So why not make a move that nobody would expect and re-introduce to fans a character they have been anticipating since the Disney/Fox merger?
Wanda Maximoff is already slated to appear in Multiverse of Madness, and there’s no better way to introduce mutants into the fold than her. She was the one who allowed Evan Peters to appear as her twin brother Pietro, and she’s famously a mutant herself. She would make for the perfect liaison for the X-Men in this new iteration of the MCU.
With the multiverse on the table, the only thing guaranteed about the MCU’s future is that it will be unlike anything we’ve seen before. The multiverse is infinite, and so are the possibilities.
Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters on December 17, 2021.