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The new Marvel’s ‘What If...?’ trailer teases the return of a major MCU villain

Evil Doctor Strange might return to Marvel’s ‘What If...?’ in the second half of the season

Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) appears in “Doctor Strange.”
Doctor Stephen Strange in “Doctor Strange.”
Marvel

Marvel Studios released a new midseason trailer for Marvel’s “What If...?” on Tuesday, and there was a brief clip that hinted at one of Marvel’s biggest villains returning to the show.

The trailer, which you can watch below, recaps some of the episodes we’ve seen on the show so far. But the teaser also had a brief glimpse of a scene of Thor and Evil Doctor Strange, who emerged in Episode 4 as an alternate timeline Doctor Strange, walking around together.

In fact, Doctor Strange’s return is seen in the thumbnail art for the trailer, too, as you can see below:

Evil Doctor Strange first appeared in Episode 4 of “What If...?,” which is considered one of the darkest episodes of the series to date.

In that episode, an alternate timeline version of Doctor Strange got into a car accident with Christine (Rachel McAdams). In the original “Doctor Strange” film, Stephen Strange got into a car accident alone, which led to him breaking his hands and seeking out the mystic arts to heal himself. But in this timeline, he sought out the mystic arts to bring back Christine.

His desire to bring back Christine led him to learn even more mystical arts, including some of the dark arts. And thus, he became more and more evil with time.

By the end of the episode, the entire universe had been destroyed. As I wrote for the Deseret News, the episode’s main message might be that these alternate timelines and multiverses could lead to the end of the universe itself, which could spell doom for our characters in the main timeline.

It’s unclear when Evil Doctor Strange’s return will take place. But there’s a chance it might be in the season finale, which would be a solid time to bring back characters from other episodes.

“What If...?” director Bryan Andrews told me in an exclusive interview back in August that the season finale had a lot of ambition that will impact the MCU forever.

“I wouldn’t want to spoil anything,” he told me. “But, what episodes were ambitious? I would say the finale is ambitious. That’s about as much as I can say without ruining it for anybody. We want people to discover it as they watch it.”

Marvel’s “What If...?” head writer AC Bradley also told me that the episode featuring Doctor Strange was ambitious. But could this have been a hint at the season finale, too?

“We do go to places that I feel like other Marvel movies and Marvel shows hadn’t gone or been able to,” she told me.