The first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home was finally released by Sony and Marvel today, providing the best official look yet at the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster. Rumors and speculation have been swirling around the film in recent months, both with regards to Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) himself, and to the other Marvel characters potentially in his orbit. With the trailer, we did get confirmation on one other Marvel hero's role in the proceedings — Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).
As the trailer reveals, Peter goes to Doctor Strange for help with his secret identity being known to the world, after J. Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons) publicly revealed it at the tail end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Peter asks Strange to perform a spell that can cause the public to forget his secret identity, outside of a few key exceptions of his close friends and family. Another scene in the trailer shows Wong (Benedict Wong) calling out Strange for considering performing the spell, but he does so anyway, even as he warns Peter of the consequences of the multiverse. Strange can be seen throughout the trailer that follows, including helping Spider-Man fight on some sort of train sequence.
So, Doctor Strange's role in the film seems to be a stand-in for Mephisto's in the iconic "One More Day" story arc, which saw an adult version of Peter literally make a deal with the devil to erase public knowledge of his identity. Some had speculated that that would be the case prior to the trailer's debut, but seeing the extent of it is definitely fascinating. That's especially true when you factor in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is set to see Strange further go down a rabbit hole of the Marvel multiverse.
"The title of the next Doctor Strange movie is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so that is our biggest clue that that movie will embrace the Multiverse and the madness therein, very directly," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told Rotten Tomatoes TV. "There are, as we always like to do, connections before and after that, which will remain to be seen and discovered. But it seemed appropriate that it would be Doctor Strange that takes that on in the most direct way."
Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to be released on December 17th.