The first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home has arrived, and fans finally have an idea of what the highly-anticipated Marvel movie is about. Spider-Man's secret identity is now public knowledge following the events of Far From Home, and with Peter Parker's life greatly affected by the secret, he went to the one person he could think of powerful enough to reverse his luck. Peter heads to Doctor Strange's house and convinces him to cast a spell that makes everyone in the world forget that he was Spider-Man.
According to the trailer, this is what sets into motion the events that will send Peter Parker colliding with the multiverse and clashing with notable villains from other Spider-Man movies this Peter was never a part of. I'm all in for the ride, but there's absolutely something suspicious about the premise. Specifically, why on Earth did Doctor Strange cast that spell? Let's get into all that below, as well as speculate on some theories brought on by this wonderful trailer.
Doctor Strange Isn't Typically This Reckless
Stephen Strange had some growing pains in learning how to harness magic as a sorcerer, but it didn't take long for his logic and work ethic to make him a calculated tactician capable of overcoming enemies with oodles more experience, like Kaecilius and Dormammu. This is a guy who worked diligently to find the one outcome that helped the Avengers beat Thanos. Everything we've learned about Doctor Strange to this point is that he thinks things through a lot.
The fact that Stephen Strange agreed to cast a spell for Spider-Man, even at Wong's insistence not to do so, is suspicious. Doctor Strange has been known to be arrogant and vain, sure, but he shouldn't even have to be told the danger in performing a spell like this. Peter's problem sucks, but is it something that sucks so bad that a sorcerer's spell is the only solution? Is this really worth that type of extreme measure?
Even if it were, surely Doctor Strange would've thought to instruct Peter on the rules of the spell prior to his meddling. Again, magic is not something to be trifled with in the Marvel universe, and someone like Strange should know that just as well as anyone. The move feels so out of character for me, and not like the Doctor Strange we last saw in Avengers: Endgame. It almost has me questioning whether or not that's the real Doctor Strange, but I'll try not to go too far off the deep end with conspiracy theories.
Why Was Wong Worried About The Spell?
As mentioned, Wong (who will also appear in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) deliberately warned Doctor Strange in the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer not to perform the spell, adding that it was "too dangerous." No disrespect to Wong, but let's remember who he's talking to. Stephen Strange didn't get in the position he's in being an average sorcerer, so I can understand why Strange may have felt a bit disrespected by the admonishment. Of course, we're making assumptions here, as we don't know for sure that Wong suggested Strange was incapable of such a spell. Perhaps there's something else going on.
I'm speculating there's something off with the magical world, given that it's a winter wonderland in Sanctum Sanctorum. I'll add that if the snow problem was easily rectified, then Doctor Strange wouldn't be wearing a winter coat like we see him sporting when Peter arrives. Perhaps this magical imbalance is the key to the spell failing and not Peter's random suggestions in the midst of the spell creation. Or it's possible there is more at play than just Peter's interference in the spell, just because I can't see that being the sole cause.
Let's also not forget the MCU TV shows on Disney+, all of which may precede or be happening simultaneously to the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Specifically, I'm thinking about how Wanda Maximoff tapped into chaos magic in WandaVision and was investigating it further at the end of the series. I wouldn't have trouble believing her investigation and actions created some problems in the magical world, which Marvel Comics has shown to be very volatile when there isn't balance.
Is Doctor Strange Just Teaching Peter A Lesson?
Towards the end of the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, Doctor Strange hits Peter Parker with a firm admonishment. Strange tells Parker that we know frighteningly little about the multiverse and that the longer Parker continues to try and live two lives, his life will only become more dangerous. It's certainly weird for Strange to be handing out advice like that when he messed up the spell. Unless... could he be in control of what's happening?
I can't help but feel there's some loose theme between Spider-Man: No Way Home, which releases near Christmas, and the famed Christmas movie It's A Wonderful Life. In the latter, George Bailey is shown a world by the angel Clarence in which he existed. Spider-Man: No Way Home sets up Peter for a journey in which the world is no longer aware he's Spider-Man.
Obviously Clarence didn't show George Bailey different realities where he was portrayed by other actors, but you get where I'm going with this. Perhaps the mistaken failed spell is all an elaborate lesson by Doctor Strange to convince Peter to face his current problems head-on and not look for the easy way out. After all, if the spell worked the way that it intended, I would assume that Strange wouldn't recognize who Peter Parker was or what he was doing during the entire adventure, right?
Full disclosure, I know absolutely nothing about Spider-Man: No Way Home, and I'm throwing a lot of theories at a dartboard here just to see what sticks. Chances are very few of them do, but if nothing else, I think we should be wondering why Doctor Strange so willingly signed on for this wild ride. Marvel has a reasonable explanation, of that, I'm sure, and I can't wait to see what it is.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to premiere in theaters Friday, December 17. Get hyped for the upcoming movie by catching up on all Marvel has around the corner with our handy movie release guide here.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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