The new Doctor Strange movie is an origin story, meaning that its primary purpose is to introduce a bunch of new characters and mechanics into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, while we'll be meeting characters like Mordo and the Ancient One for the first time, there's one side character that we know for sure we won't see. Marvel Studio's head honcho Kevin Feige told us that Stephen Strange's inter-dimensional love interest Clea won't be in the new film. The primary reason for this is simply the fact that introducing her would have been a lot of additional work that wouldn't really fit with the rest of the film..
Well, the superpowered girlfriend for Strange wasn't in the first issue, you know. There' a lot of backstory required for her, which is one of the reasons why we didn't go that way. There is so much to set up in this. I think it's always a huge mistake when you throw the kitchen sink at everything in the first movie. ... We thought that, you know, an inter-dimensional girlfriend who is the daughter of an inter-dimensional demonesque creature was a step too far, in introducing this world.
When CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell visited the set of Doctor Strange he got to speak with the Marvel Studios President about all things MCU. His comments regarding Clea, or in this case, a lack there of, fall in line with some other statements that he made about the reason that Marvel villains are so often mirror images of the hero. Essentially, because with all the groundwork that MCU movies have to do, especially in origin story films, it's simply easier to create villains that are born from that same ground work. To add something entirely new to the story requires a lot more work, and then you run the risk of too much backstory, and not enough story.
Clea seems to fall into this same category. If the character were a human involved in the mystic arts, as Doctor Strange himself will be, it would have been easy to slot her into the story. However, the character is from another dimension entirely. In order to introduce Clea, you'd have to introduce her dimension, and also figure out a way to make it relevant to the plot, just to give Stephen Strange a girlfriend. It would seem easier to just let him have a human love interest, assuming he needs one at all.
This would appear to be the role that Rachel McAdams will play in Doctor Strange. While we don't know a great deal about her character, we know she's also a surgeon, and based on shots of her crying by the bedside of an injured Stephen Strange, it's clear they have, or had, a relationship.
Not seeing Clea in the first film certainly doesn't mean she won't show up at some point. Once Doctor Strange has established the mystic arts, a sequel would certainly have time to delve into other dimensions. We certainly wouldn't mind seeing Clea somewhere down the road. Let us know what you think of the character in the comments below.