[Update: for our theory on who the Easter Egg is REALLY teasing, head HERE.]
Marvel Studios has just debuted the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Doctor Strange. Unlike this year’s other Marvel offering, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange is very much a standalone film, but given that it exists within a larger universe, fans are constantly looking for connections and references.
Doctor Strange had to introduce audiences to the idea of multiple dimensions, alternate realities, and true magic, but it still made time for a few Easter eggs. It is hard to miss more obvious connections like the glimpse of the Avengers tower or the super team getting name-dropped, but there are many others that we have done our best to identify. However, is it possible Doctor Strange also had a quick reference to Captain Marvel? It just may have.
EW sat down with director Scott Derrickson to discuss the Easter eggs he snuck into the film, and asked about a possible reference to Carol Danvers before she becomes Captain Marvel. The scene in question is right before Strange gets in the car wreck that sets him off on his magical journey. While driving, he is getting recommendations for new potential clients and one in particular sparks his interests: A 22 year-old female who was struck by lightning, affecting an electronic implant in her head designed to help with schizophrenia.
So is this Captain Marvel? Derrickson apparently had a smile on his face, but played coy, saying: “Remember that Brittany Murphy movie where she goes ‘I’ll never tell…’”
For Captain Marvel fans, this is definitely not the typical origin that Carol has in the comics, where she is a member of the Air Force who meets the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell, before coming into contact with a Kree machine that puts her in a coma and grants her powers. Being struck by lighting and dealing with schizophrenia would be a big change for Carol, but the screenwriters have said that major changes will be made to her origin story in order to avoid comparisons to Green Lantern.
Kevin Feige has stated Captain Marvel will be an origin story for Carol, even indicating that this could prevent her from debuting in Avengers: Infinity War. The timeline for Doctor Strange does not clearly state at what point in the universe certain events take place, but the reference happens early on in the movie and all that is known for this scene is that it comes at a time when Stark tower is rebranded as Avengers tower. This puts the event post-Avengers, and probably post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where Strange is first name-dropped as well.
A person with an electronic implant in their brain being struck by lightning sounds far too much like a superhero origin story to just be a randomly invented anecdote, but is it a reference to Captain Marvel – or some other character that we haven’t met yet?