We all know Doctor Strange – former surgeon, current Master of the Mystic Arts, fan of goatees and flying capes and (of course) the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Sorcerer Supreme.
Or so we thought.
Because new Marvel movie Spider-Man: No Way Home reveals that Benedict Cumberbatch’s heroic magician didn’t actually assume the title of Sorcerer Supreme when the previous holder (Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One) was killed.
Unlike in the comics, where Doctor Strange is (almost) always Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, someone else has taken the mantle in live-action: Benedict Wong’s character Wong, last seen in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and now sparring with Strange in Spider-Man: No Way Home’s opening scenes.
“He got it on a technicality because I blipped for five years,” Strange grumbles, while Wong heads off for more of his “many responsibilities” as the main magical protector of Earth (which could also explain why he was so involved in Shang-Chi).
It’s a small beat but could inform the events of the upcoming Strange solo movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
If Strange does shatter the Multiverse once more, it could be that he’ll have to face off with Wong in the latter’s capacity as a defender of Earth/general magic overseer.
Alternatively, maybe the film will see him earn his traditional title over the course of the story.
It seems like an odd detail to throw up in No Way Home if it doesn’t have some relevance going forward – though it wouldn’t be the first time any of us have over-analysed a minor detail from a Marvel movie that turned out to go nowhere…
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Spider-Man: No Way Home is in UK cinemas now. For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.
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