We all knew that Doctor Strage was going to be appearing in Thor: Ragnarok, when that film is released later this year. The tag scene in the credits to last year’s Doctor Strange movie pretty much tipped that off, as did Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who stated that the short sequence was actually overseen by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi.
But the question remained, just how much of a role will the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Sorcerer Supreme play in the Norse God of Thunder’s film? It looks like the answer is perhaps a bigger role than previously expected. Disney’s official fan site D23, recently ran a “Things We’re Excited For In 2017” promotional puff piece and in it described Thor: Ragnarok as such –
Thor: Ragnarok in November brings together Thor, the Hulk, and Doctor Strange to face off against intergalactic baddies both familiar and new.
Granted, Doctor Strange might not be getting as full billing as the above blurb suggests, but that doesn’t mean he is being reduced to only a scene or two either. We know from the teaser that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) meets with Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in New York while searching for his half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Given how we saw things left at the end of the last Thor film, Thor: The Dark World, this meeting will come at a point after Thor discovers that a disguised Loki has replaced Odin (Anthony Hopkins) on the Throne of Asgard and presumably pursued him to Earth. That feels to me like that would encompass the film’s first act, with Strange entering in the beginning of the second. Of course, Thor has to eventually get to some other planets. Previous reports have Thor meeting up with Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who exiled himself at the end of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, with the two going on an interstellar journey that supposedly takes some of its cues from the fan favorite Planet Hulk storyline. So, does Doctor Strange go with them on this part of the film’s journey? The quote from D23 certainly suggests it, though I think the answer may more lie with how much the film will contribute to the overall “Infinity Gems” storyline that will culminate in The Avengers: Infinity War in 2018.
But Doctor Strange’s involvement in Thor: Ragnarok also bring up the question as to how many of Marvel’s Phase Three films are going to feature crossing over for supporting roles? We have previously seen short crossovers in the previous two phases of Marvel’s films, but it seems as if they are increasing in size and number. In last year’s Captain America: Civil War, nearly every superhero that the studio has put into their shared universe showed up for the film’s big throw down. Robert Downey Jr has a supporting role in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming that appears to bigger than just a quick cameo. Also, given how things ended in Civil War, it isn’t hard to suspect that there will be more heroes in 2018’s Black Panther than just the titular one. Can we expect some other Avengers to show up in 2018’s Ant-Man And The Wasp? (You know you want to see a return of Anthony Mackie as the Falcon, don’t you?) We’ll see as Marvel’s Phase Three continues to roll out.