Doctor Strange IMAX Footage Reveals Avengers Easter Egg, Timeline

Update/Correction: Well, the headline isn't wrong, but the content is. It turns out, the line is a 35 year old Marine Colonel, not 45, director Scott Derrickson confirmed. That means the line is likely referring to one of the marines who tested Justin Hammer's Iron Man knock-off suits before he went full drone in the time of Iron Man 2, placing the start of this film then. With the extended period of time that Stephen Strange is hunting for the hidden magical city of Kamar-Taj, it's likely that the movie spans the timeline of several Marvel films; but it starts sometime relative to Iron Man 2's events.

Thanks to reader Kyle Yasinski for the tip!

Original Story: There's been some question as to the place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline that Doctor Strange lands, but wonder no more. At the special IMAX preview screening of fifteen minutes of the film, the first few minutes were centered on Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in his life before the accident that caused him to seek out an alternative manner of healing, leading him to magic.

During the car ride that would eventually be that fateful accident (the crash crushes his hands, ending his surgical career), Strange gets a phone call from his assistant. In that call, he is offered up several options for his next high profile surgery. The first one? Well that tells us exactly where this film lands in the MCU.

"I've got a 45 year old Marine Colonel, crushed his lower spine in some kind of experimental armor," his assistant says.

Remind you of anyone? That's almost certainly referring to Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes. In the War Machine armor, Rhodey sustained a serious injury during Captain America: Civil War, leaving him partially paralyzed.

Not only is that a nice nod to the events of Civil War, but it also definitively places Doctor Strange after the events of that film. Of course that throws a big question mark into the previous Captain America movie, The Winter Soldier. In that film, "Dr. Stephen Strange" was one of the people mentioned as targeted by the experimental program. Now, that could just be because of his advanced medical career and influence upon the city and humanity as a result of that - it could also mean his untapped potential as a Master of the Mystic Arts was simply meant to be.


The Doctor Strange IMAX preview also revealed the mind-bending nature of magic in the film, but we'll give a full description of the footage, best described as viewing a kaleidoscope while high on psychotropics and dreaming.

Doctor Strange hits theaters November 4, 2016.