‘Doctor Strange 2’: Why Rachel McAdams Won’t Return for the Sequel

Everyone remembers Rachel McAdams from modern classic films like The Notebook and Spotlight, though some have probably lost track she’s another A-list actor who joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe fray. While it’s been only one movie so far (Doctor Strange), she played an intriguing character straight from the comic books.

Those familiar with Doctor Strange comics of lore know Christine Palmer was a close friend of Dr. Stephen Strange and also became a superhero of sorts on her own. She was named Night Nurse, perhaps an odd name for a superhero existing in today’s age.

Fans might be disappointed to learn McAdams won’t return in Doctor Strange 2, apparently for a good reason. Most analysts think it’s because Doctor Strange moves on from normal human contact. Or, maybe it’s that Night Nurse thing.

Doctor Strange going into the world of the strange

Rachel McAdams on the red carpet
Rachel McAdams | Taylor Hill/Getty Images

As many know, Dr. Stephen Strange started out his doctoral career in NYC where he meets Christine Palmer. Just about everyone agrees Strange is going to be leaving the Big Apple to interact entirely in the MCU multiverse.

Christine Palmer is sure to be left behind in Strange’s life as a result. A lot of people may be disappointed in that because Christine was worth exploring more. When dealing with the multiverse, though, it’s going to mean the return of the more mysterious figures like Mordo.

Reports also have Brother Voodoo, America Chavez, and Clea (a sorceress) appearing in the movie, not including Scarlet Witch. All of these characters are within the realms of magic, proving the human world is being set in the background.

Some might reiterate this is a recurring problem with the MCU in abandoning any examination of human relationships.

Is it a mistake not having Christine Palmer around?

Maybe Christine will be back later since this isn’t going to be the last of Doctor Strange. There’s even all possibility some of the sideline characters will interact on Disney+’s WandaVision since the two franchises will be connected.

One could argue dropping McAdams’ Christine character is a mistake since it did keep a human connection some big names in Hollywood say makes the MCU lack. Not that they haven’t brought a few great human moments, mostly in films like Endgame.

Having a human friendship (or maybe romance) between Strange and Christine Palmer could have added an interesting layer. At least WandaVision will have an ongoing romance between Wanda and Vision, outside of it apparently being artificially created in a 1950s sitcom universe.

In the case of Christine Palmer, Marvel might have some problems on how to deal with making Night Nurse a real superhero down the line.

Can Night Nurse become a real character in the MCU?

In today’s time, seeing a superhero named Night Nurse might look like self-parody, something MCU doesn’t do often. If they’ve broached some comedy angles in the Thor franchise, most of the other MCU movies stay within the realm of the serious.

The character of Night Nurse was several different characters in the original 1970s-era comic books, including someone named Linda Carter (a seeming nod to the iconic Wonder Woman actress).

However, Christine is also one of them, making the character somewhat forgotten due to only vague references in Marvel shows like Daredevil with Rosario Dawson playing someone similar.

Imagining a superhero with that name might be a little too cheesy for Marvel’s taste, hence why McAdams bowed out. Even if McAdams could probably bring in bigger paychecks in the MCU, she’s still being successful as an actress in other TV/movie projects.

If she does come back as Christine, it may be strictly to stay within her real identity. Marvel does show a few people who stay human (like Pepper Potts), giving some grounded interaction in the real world. Let’s hope Christine isn’t gone forever to bring some of that back.