Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) won’t be coming back as Doctor Strange’s love interest in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
In the Spring 2022 issue of Disney’s D23 Magazine, Doctor Strange 2 producer Richie Palmer confirmed that Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) won’t be rebuilding a relationship with his previous love interest:
They are not back together, unfortunately… as we saw at the end of Doctor Strange, he chose to stay in the Sanctum, meaning he cant entertain his selfish desires. He would’ve loved to stay with Christine at the end of that movie, but he did the hard thing. He said, ‘No. I’m going to be a Super Hero and defend our reality. I have to move on. Our movie shows him dealing with the decisions he’s made. He might regret how things ended with Christine; he still carries a torch for her.
Strange has been selfless as a superhero, but why is Christine Palmer returning for Doctor Strange 2? Superheroes in the MCU haven’t had the best luck with relationships and if things don’t end up working, the character doesn’t return. For McAdams to return as part of the cast means that her character will play a role that most fans won’t expect.
What If Connection
Doctor Strange 2 will have strong ties to Marvel’s animated show, What If, as fans have already spotted zombie variants, Captain Carter’s shield, and Strange Supreme. Doctor Strange’s evil variant, Strange Supreme ironically has a tragic past with Palmer as his story centers around trying to bring her back from the dead. This can’t be done and Strange Supreme ends up destroying his universe.
Palmer is shown to possibly be marrying somebody else in the trailer leaving fans to wonder why Strange would go since the two of them were close at one point, but ever since the Blip, it’s unclear if Palmer was gone or left on Earth for the five years, Surely that time would make it hard for the two to reconnect as Strange has been busy trying to get the world back under control. With Palmer no longer a close friend to Strange, it’s likely she would reject Strange Supreme offer.
After the initial rejection, he might attempt to take Christine Palmer to show her the Multiverse as a way to prove that he isn’t the Strange that she knew. Palmer would still reject Strange Supreme because she would realize that he loves a different variant of herself that she could never live up to.
The only problem with this is the fact that Palmer can be seen with Strange and American Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) several times in the trailer leaving little room for Strange Supreme to show Palmer the Multiverse. Yet, he could have this similar interaction with another variant of Palmer which would allow this story to get told. Perhaps Strange Supreme becomes bitter as he never can have Palmer in his life so he decides to use her power to bend the Multiverse to his will to change this outcome. Something like this would attract the attention of any Multiversal traveler and hero.
Connection with the Illuminati?
Another possible connection would be with Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) using Palmer to force Strange to surrender. Strange may have moved on instead of pursuing the relationship he used to have with Palmer, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have feelings for her. This would be the perfect tool to get Strange to back down and surrender to Mordo and the Illuminati without a fight. Since the Illuminati is a secret society focused on saving the world in the shadows, it would make sense for their encounter to be discreet.
Another piece of evidence for the theory is that the trailer has a shot of Palmer standing in the middle of what appears to be a room in the Illuminati headquarters — indicated by an Ultron-like robot running by — with America Chavez trapped in a containment cell.
Overall, Strange Supreme does have a better motivation for why he would want to include Palmer in his plans. The Illuminati is still an enigma as Mordo has stated that what Strange has done with reality must be punished, but what does that have to do with the Illuminati?
Even if we don’t know the mysterious intentions behind the Illuminati — supposedly led by Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier/Professor X — it is clear that Palmer is back and will play a sizable role in the film.
More on Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness
Doctor Strange 2 is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange in the main timeline, but he will also play other variants in the movie such as Zombie Strange, Defender Strange, and Strange Supreme. The movie will also star Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), Wong as the Sorcerer Supreme (Benedict Wong), Mordo, (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Rintrah (Adam Hugill), Charles Xavier/Professor X (Sir Patrick Stewart), and potentially other characters from the Marvel universe.
Why do you think Christine Palmer will be in Doctor Strange 2? Let us know in the comments below!
There are many things to look forward to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe while we wait for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. On Disney+ you can expect Moon Knight on March 30, Ms. Marvel in Summer 2022, and She-Hulk to debut this year. For movies, Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness comes out on May 6, followed by Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on November 11.