When does Doctor Strange take place, with regards to the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline? It's a questions Marvel fans have been raising for some time. The neurosurgeon was name dropped by HYDRA agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But if Strange was actually Strange by that point, why didn't he and the rest of The Ancient One's sorcerer's help out during the Age of Ultron, or even the recent Civil War? These are excellent questions, though CB reader Siddhant Tambe eagle-eyed something in the most recent Doctor Strange trailer that puts the movie in a specific time frame for the MCU. Here's Avengers Tower, screengrabbed in the most recent trailer:
The blue "A." The landing pad. This clearly shows Avengers tower, circa Avengers: Age of Ultron in the cityscape shot of Manhattan folding in on itself during the events of Doctor Strange. As you may recall, the building looked like this in Joss Whedon's sequel:
So from what we can determine, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will be facing off with Kaecillius and his minions while the Avengers are defending Sokovia from Ultron and his robotic forces. Which begs the obvious question: Did the Avengers know that New York City was in danger while they were fighting Ultron? And, why didn't Doctor Strange intervene in Civil War, which would take place after the events of Ultron?
Marvel President Kevin Feige has a theory. When we interviewed him on set for Doctor Strange, he explained why the Sorcerer Supreme leaves the events of other MCU superheroes off his radar. Feige said:
People inhabiting the same world, who are stopping buildings from falling down and robots from doing this or aliens from doing that, these people in this movie are stopping inter dimensional forces from wiping out all of reality. So, although it doesn't necessarily come up, we've always sort of assumed that the sorcerers have bigger fish to fry. When they hear there's something happening in the city, or there's a bank being robbed, they're not thinking about it. They're thinking about, 'If we don't keep vigilant, our sense of reality will disappear and there won't be a bank to rob and there won't be a city to be conquered.'
There you have it. Doctor Strange definitely occupies a space in the MCU that is around or after Age of Ultron, but the Sorcerer Supreme doesn't intervene in Avengers happenings because he has bigger fish to fry. This will help the timelines synch up later on, when Strange possibly crosses paths with Thor, Iron Man, and other Avengers... maybe even in Infinity War. Or, the tower could just be a fun little Marvel Easter egg that the visual effects artists dropped in, thinking no one would notice.
Want to see the full clip? You need to see it in context, to see how Marvel used it. We have it for you on the next page.
What do you believe?