The ‘Doctor Strange’ Movie May Be The Linchpin For The Entire Marvel Cinematic Universe [Spoilers]

The new Doctor Strange trailer is goosebumps-good. The trailer is one of the only Marvel teasers that can induce a chill for Marvel fans. It is not just a passing response that results in brief goosebumps either, but one that produces a lasting tingle, like when you hear someone nail every note in the National Anthem. Tyrone Magnus posted his reaction to the trailer on YouTube and it was fairly typical.

[Warning: Video contains brief adult language.]

Even for people who are not big fans of the character or the comic book, the trailer is affectual. Is it the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch from the series Sherlock has the lead role? Perhaps. Is it the visual effects? Maybe. Is it the thought of actual magic, as opposed to superpowers or mutations, being introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? Possibly. The impact of the Doctor Strange trailer could also be due to the possibility that it is the one Marvel movie that may prove to be the linchpin that holds the entire MCU together.

[Warning: From here on there could be spoilers, theoretical and otherwise, for past and future Marvel movies, including Doctor Strange. If you are not current with your Marvel movies or do not partake in plotline speculation, don’t read any further.]

First, there is the concept of multiple dimensions or universes. The Nine Realms, as presented in the Thor movies, introduced the idea of nine worlds interconnected by the world tree Yggdrasil. This concept dates back to Norse mythology, and the Thor movies exposed a few of these realms.

In the Doctor Strange trailer, The Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton, speaks of multiple realities. This acknowledgment of multiple realities nods to the concept of multiple dimensions. In Marvel comics, there are a multitude of dimensions or realms. Asgard, Thor’s home, is one of a few that have been introduced to the MCU. Doctor Strange will most certainly present at least one more in the form of The Dark Dimension.

Odd layered multiple dimensions in Doctor Strange [Image via Marvel Studios]The Dark Dimension is the home of Dormammu, who is a longtime foe of Strange in the comics. It is highly likely that the film will at least introduce viewers to this realm. After all, Doctor Strange will need an antagonist. However, the statement of The Ancient One about multiple realities should be enough assurance that the movie will elaborate upon the idea that multiple dimensions are a truth of the MCU.

Why is that important? It is important because part of the premise of the Infinity War relies on the cosmic entity Eternity, who has yet to debut in a film, attacking the Earth realm with superhero doppelgängers from another dimension. The Infinity War tie-in is what makes this movie an interesting one on which to speculate.

Doctor Strange could be the linchpin behind the complexity of the MCU as well as the very beginning, or at least the prelude to, the Infinity War. We already know that the Infinity War is coming due to hints in past movies and the title of the upcoming movie, Avengers: Infinity War. Theories on how Marvel will proceed with this story arc persist, but one, in particular, is quite interesting.

The Infinity War story arc is largely based on powerful artifacts known as Infinity Stones and Thanos’ use of them to power the Infinity Gauntlet. The Collector, in the Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy, described these six stones as “singularities left over from the Big Bang.”

The 6 Infinity Stones, the Infinity Gauntlet, and Thanos [Image via Regancraig (Own work) | Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0]Four of these stones have been found in previous Marvel films, and Doctor Strange could reveal the fifth. According to Moviepilot, the movie may expose one of the Infinity Stones to be contained in Stephen Vincent Strange’s amulet, the Eye of Agamotto. The theory is, in part, based on the fact that the four previously revealed stones have been protected or housed in a similar fashion.

“The Space Stone lies within the Tesseract (which first appeared back in Captain America: The First Avenger), while the Mind Stone is currently to be found in The Vision’s forehead [ed. Avengers: Age of Ultron], having spent some time in Loki’s Sceptre back in The Avengers. The Reality Stone, meanwhile, is currently being guarded by The Collector, having been deposited there after turning up in Thor: The Dark World as The Aether, while the previously Orb-contained Power Stone was left with the Nova Corps by the Guardians of the Galaxy after being reclaimed from the villainous Ronan.”

Could the next stone be found in Doctor Strange? The only stones not yet accounted for are the Time Stone and the Soul Stone. Moviepilot references “the theory of powerful objects” that was asserted by a Redditor named, stevethesquatch. His assumption makes the supposition that the Eye of Agamotto, being a powerful object, may house another Infinity Stone since the four previous stones have been linked to powerful objects. He also predicts which stone Doctor Strange’s amulet will contain.

“It’s simple; Doctor Strange will be using the powers of the Time Stone. The Eye of Agamotto has many different abilities, including the ability to see into the past and suspend time. Marvel produce [sic] Kevin Feige even said in an interview that the Eye would be dangerous in the wrong hands, especially with its ability to manipulate probability. This sounds an awful lot like the Time Stone and its powers.”

Doctor Strange in his cape [Image via Marvel Studios]The speculation on the Doctor Strange trailer is indeed intriguing, and the visual effects shown in the trailer, with their surreal quality, are certainly unlike anything shown in a Marvel film so far. Those who fall into the hardcore Marvel fan camp will definitely be watching to find clues or elements that link Doctor Strange back to other MCU films.

However, for those in the general moviegoer camp, the trailer still makes the film look fantastic and intriguing. Whether it is the trailer’s lack of spandex-clad heroes or the stunning visual effects, the trailer seems to appeal to a wider audience than the usual Marvel fare.

No matter which camp you may fall into, the wait will not be long. Doctor Strange hits theaters November 4, 2016.

[Image via Marvel Studios]