WARNING: The following contains an explanation for a past Marvel Easter Egg that may, in some small way, act as a mild SPOILER for the upcoming Doctor Strange solo movie. Proceed with whatever level of caution the all-seeing Eye of Agamotto suggests to you is wise...
Now, if there's one thing that Kevin Feige and the rest of the creative team at Marvel Studios are fond of doing, it's hiding subtle Easter-Eggy teases throughout the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether its a throwaway gag based on an old comic book panel, a sneaky space-duck cameo, or even a full-blown reenactment of an iconic scene, the MCU is filled close to bursting with geek-tastic nods, hints and references.
One of the most intriguing, though, remains the mention — way back in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier — of the existence of Dr. Stephen Strange:
After all, as Movie Pilot's very own Max Farrow discussed earlier today, the mention of Strange in that movie actually creates some pretty substantial temporal issues for the MCU. Never fear, though, because...
Kevin Feige Has Finally Explained That Doctor Strange Easter Egg
Or, at least, Feige has clarified precisely why Hydra were out to get Strange back in The Winter Soldier (he was one of the listed targets for the dastardly organization). Speaking to journalists on a set visit earlier this year, Feige revealed that:
"He is very well-known as a surgeon. He has got various awards and plaques you're going to see over there; he attends various galas, might be driving at one point in this movie. He has name recognition and a talent and certain Hydra computers identified him as somebody that could cause trouble for their agendas."
Or, in other words, it seems that Feige has confirmed that Strange was indeed simply a talented (yet unpredictable) surgeon during the events of The Winter Soldier. Which, it seems, makes it unlikely that he was already in training to become Earth's Sorcerer Supreme. Could that, then, provide more evidence to support Farrow's theory that Doctor Strange will utilize the Time Stone in order to have its hero's training take place outside of the MCU's main timeline? In short: Has Feige inadvertently just confirmed that we're set to see Doctor Strange mess around with time in a potentially precedent-setting manner?
Well, perhaps. Though it's equally possible that the folks at Marvel Studios are simply going to pretend that The Winter Soldier's reference didn't happen, and gloss over the whole chronology issue entirely.
.With the good doctor having already been all over the place, it really wouldn't be all that surprising to see him take a temporal trip, too.
Either way, we'll likely find out in just a few short weeks, when Doctor Strange hits theaters (set your alarms for November 4, gang).
Still want more Doctor Strange-related info? Never fear — we've got you covered right here.
In the meantime, what do you reckon? Just how do you think Marvel will explain away Doc Strange's Winter Soldier Easter Egg? Let us know below!