2016 stands to be a landmark year for Marvel Studios, a company that is no stranger to landmark years. In just a few months, their long touted Phase 3 officially kicks off with the release of Captain America: Civil War. That movie is set to be a game changer for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Marvel has already begun steadily moving forward on the studio's second major film project of next year: Doctor Strange.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Rachel McAdams (True Detective), Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer), Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Martian), Doctor Strange is also set to disrupt the MCU status quo with the introduction of magic and sorcery into a world that has, until now, been largely science and tech driven. Indeed, mysticism and magic add an intriguing layer to the increasingly dense world of the MCU - but could one of Marvel’s most famous scientists be making an appearance in the film?
Marvel co-president Louis D’Esposito tweeted a picture of himself, director Scott Derrickson (Sinister), and new Spider-Man actor Tom Holland (In the Heart of the Sea) on the set of Doctor Strange, sparking a flurry of speculation regarding an appearance by Spidey in the upcoming film.
— Louis D'Esposito (@louisde2) December 16, 2015
Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, beyond this photo, but is it possible that Spider-Man will make his second MCU appearance, following his debut in Civil War, in Doctor Strange? Honestly, this can go either way. While Spidey and the Doctor aren’t necessarily strangers and the two have fought side by side occasionally in the comics and in cartoons, it seems unlikely that Marvel would pull the trigger on this team up just yet.
That being said, it’s possible that Holland can appear without it being some sort of superhero team up. Dr. Strange, after all, was a world class surgeon before an accident crushed his hands and ended his career. It’s already been said by Marvel’s higher ups that that Holland’s first Spider-Man movie won’t be another rehash of his origin story. But what if they included a piece of that in Doctor Strange? Could there be some past connection shared between Vincent Strange and Peter Parker?
It’s an intriguing idea, to be sure, and it’s certainly in Marvel’s wheelhouse. With audiences so burnt out on the Spider-Man origin story, referencing it in both Doctor Strange and in Civil War would be an interesting way to weave it into the larger MCU framework without forcing moviegoers to sit through it in yet another origin story film. If, indeed, Holland is making a cameo in Doctor Strange, however, you can bet that his role will be small and won’t play into the larger narrative.
On the other hand, it’s also just as likely that Holland was just paying a visit to the set to see how Marvel weaves their cinematic magic. Without official confirmation from Marvel Studios, there’s no way to know for sure and, honestly, that this was just a friendly visit from your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man feels like the safer bet. Of course, we’ll keep you updated on any and all information as it develops.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Source: Louis D'Esposito