Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the first MCU offering of 2022 – and it seems there could be an extra treat in store for Loki fans.
The teaser trailer for the upcoming sequel was debuted as Spider-Man: No Way Home’s post-credits scene, before landing online as an early festive treat. It didn’t give away many plot details, although it did reveal Benedict Cumberbatch’s second role as Strange Supreme and gave fans more of Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch.
That’s exciting enough for anybody who watched What If…? and WandaVision. However, it turns out there was another connection to Marvel’s Phase 4 TV shows in the background that you might have missed.
And if it is what it looks like, then we could well expect a certain Tom Hiddleston to pop up in the sequel as Loki.
The Doctor Strange 2 teaser starts with an ominous montage backed by Strange pleading with an unknown person. “It was the only way, but I never meant for any of this to happen,” he tells them, likely referring to the spell he cast in No Way Home.
During this montage, we see Wong (Benedict Wong) in danger and Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) getting married. The part we want to focus on though is the brief shot of Wanda Maximoff (Olsen) enacting a spell.
Behind her hand, there’s a yellowy-orange glow in the shape of a door. Now, it could just be an ordinary door as it’s such a quick glimpse, but Loki fans will be fairly confident that it’s one of the Time Variance Authority’s timedoors.
The TVA use them to access any point in time in any timeline, with agents using them to prune alternate timelines and capture Variants. Magic doesn’t work in the TVA, so if it is a timedoor then Wanda isn’t in the TVA, but potentially being chased down by the TVA.
Then again, with the Sacred Timeline all messed up by the end of Loki, perhaps all bets are off as to what can and can’t be done in the TVA.
If the TVA are involved in Doctor Strange 2, it would make sense given that the sequel is dealing with multiversal madness. It felt a bit odd that they weren’t around for No Way Home’s timeline-changing shenanigans, so it’s better late than never.
We know from the teaser that Strange reaches out to Wanda for help with the multiverse and as a Nexus Being, she can reshape reality so will prove useful. That is unless she’s trying to mess with the multiverse herself to rescue some version of her children, which was hinted at in the WandaVision finale.
If the TVA are involved in the sequel though, there might be some timeline trickery that has to take place. Loki was set shortly after a Loki Variant escaped after the Battle of New York in 2012 and while the TVA is set outside of time, not much time passed during the first season’s events.
It could be that the version we see of the TVA in Doctor Strange 2 is actually an earlier version from before the events of Loki. Since TVA agents can travel to any time, they might be agents trying to prune the timeline that’s been messed up by Strange’s spell and they could have been sent long before they ever met the Loki Variant.
But if, chronologically, it is the TVA after the events of Loki where the Sacred Timeline was messed up, that sets up the delightful possibility of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki appearing in Doctor Strange 2.
Shortly after the Loki finale, The Hollywood Reporter had noted that Hiddleston was “expected” to appear in Doctor Strange 2. This has yet to be confirmed by Marvel, but fans even found some evidence that he was clearly in the movie due to his hairstyle.
In January 2021, Hiddleston appeared at the virtual launch for WandaVision to give a ‘fan question’ and he was sporting the Loki hairstyle, as well as appearing to be in the UK at the time. This was around the time that the sequel was filming in the UK, so fans put two-and-two together and came up with cameo.
As mentioned, this hasn’t been confirmed in any way by Marvel so take it with a pinch of salt, especially as Hiddleston lives in London. But if it really is a timedoor in the teaser trailer, we’d be surprised if Loki didn’t make an appearance somehow.
Strange has previously thought Loki was a right scoundrel, one of the people on his “watchlist of individuals and beings from other realms that may be a threat to this world”.
But if he helps out with his multiversal issue, maybe Strange will change his mind.
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