‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’: Is Dr. Strange Really Acting Strange?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 is kicking into high gear with hit after hit on Disney+ and a packed schedule of theatrical releases promising tons of exciting stories for fans. Spider-Man: No Way Home has definitely given fans a lot to speculate about since it was announced, and after more than a year of only rumors to go off of, fans finally got their first look at the trailer.

While it confirmed some rumors and offered tons of interesting teasers about the web-slinger himself, the trailer has some fans talking about an entirely different character. It seemed like Dr. Strange wasn’t exactly acting like himself in the trailer.

Strange and Spidey in ‘No Way Home’

Benedict Cumberbatch from 'Dr. Strange' and 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' sitting in front of a picture of a city skyline wearing a brown cardigan and a gray polo.
Benedict Cumberbatch from ‘Dr. Strange’ | Getty Images

In Spider-Man: No Way Home, it seems that Peter Parker will enlist the help of Steven Strange to try to reverse the world, learning that he is Spider-Man. While the trailer doesn’t outright say what happens in the movie, it’s pretty safe to say Strange’s spell goes horribly wrong.

In the trailer, you can see Dr. Strange having trouble while casting the spell. Afterward, it seems like reality is fundamentally broken from the spell, with villains from other Spider-Man franchises showing up and Peter Parker running through surreal, otherworldly cityscapes. Sometimes trailers for Marvel movies have been a little deceptive about the plot, but anyway, they take it, it seems Strange, and his spell will be a central part of Peter’s adventure this time around.

Something strange about Strange

Many fans have been discussing how Strange didn’t exactly seem like himself in the trailer. When he’s first seen, he’s wearing a Parka in a snowing Sanctum Sanctorum, which definitely raises an eyebrow. His banter with Peter seems different from the cold and distant Strange we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the past, and his relationship with Wong seems particularly strained.

The trailer showed Strange promising Wong that he wouldn’t cast the spell for Peter, then immediately showed him casting the spell. Though many fans think this is fundamentally opposed to what the self-professed protector of reality would do, others aren’t sure. Some fans say that this may be someone impersonating or possessing Strange, but many say that this is just Strange being the arrogant renegade that he is.

More going on than it seems

Some fans may be jumping to conclusions a little fast based on a few minutes of footage from the film. On Reddit, one fan spoke out against those saying that who they saw in the trailer can’t possibly be the real Strange. “I don’t get this, there’s definitely a reason to believe that Strange messes up out of arrogance,” they said, reminding other fans that arrogance is a key component of Strange’s character. “I’m not saying that Strange is this wild off-the-cuff character who doesn’t care about consequences, but we’ve definitely seen him ignore warnings as he did in the No Way Home trailer.”

Fans who are claiming that Strange is acting weird don’t really have a lot to go off of, especially considering that the last time the character really took the spotlight was before he was blinked out of existence for five years. The events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame saw Dr. Strange essentially gamble with half the lives in the universe. However, he may have won his bet; who knows what kind of toll that took on him.

Whether Strange’s behavior is designed to clue fans in on something deeper going on or not, maybe Strange not being a total Boy Scout about his rules makes for a better movie if he’s coming along for the ride with Spider-Man for this one.

In response to the fan supporting Strange’s actions on Reddit, another fan commented, “I was actually happy to see that Strange still had a maverick streak, which he definitely had through the end of his solo movie.” Maybe Strange bending his rules and going a bit rogue makes for a crazier and more interesting film and sets up even bigger stakes for his upcoming Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.

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