Thor: Ragnarok took over Brisbane, Australia today and as with all on-location filming, set photos were inevitable. The best photos, however, came from the cast and director Taika Waititi rather than fans or paparazzi. One particularly strange detail emerged in photos tweeted by Daley Pearson, who played Thor’s roommate, Darryl Jacobson, in the Thor mockumentary that was shown at Comic-Con last month.
Since this qualifies as a potential spoiler, though we have no real context for it, I’ll throw out a warning for those who wish to proceed no further.
Check the address on the card Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is holding. It reads “177A Bleecker St.” Many Marvel fans will recognize this as the Greenwich Village address of one Stephen Strange. Yep, Thor is looking for Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the latter’s Sanctum Sanctorum, part of which you can see below in an image from the first Doctor Strange teaser.
Finding the Sanctum Sanctorum may be easier said than done, however, as one of Pearson’s other photos shows only a pile of rubble.
We do not know if this pile of bricks is all that remains of the Sanctum Sanctorum, but knowing the comic book history of that location, it probably is. Doctor Strange’s home is notorious for collapsing or completely disappearing only to reappear intact later on. Such are the ways of the mystic arts that the Sorcerer Supreme’s home is always in jeopardy or in need of repair.
There are a few questions racing through my mind as I see these pictures. If that rubble is the Sanctum Sanctorum, did it fall in Doctor Strange or Thor: Ragnarok? Why is Thor looking for Doctor Strange? Is Loki (Tom Hiddleston) helping in the search? Will we actually see Doctor Strange? Does this scene take place in the actual story of Thor: Ragnarok or is this a tag at the end of the film?
If the Sanctum Sanctorum has collapsed, my guess is we will see it happen in Doctor Strange this November. Thor: Ragnarok has its own story to tell and it would be a little too distracting to deal with Stephen Strange’s home being wrecked. That is, of course, unless this is mid or post-credits scene that’s meant to leave us wondering what happened.
The reason Thor might go looking for Strange is fairly simple. Remember that when we last saw Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he left Earth to investigate the relatively sudden appearance of several Infinity Stones. Thus far, we have been introduced to four of them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the Tesseract (Space Stone) in Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, the Aether (Reality Stone) in Thor: The Dark World, the Power Stone (inside the orb) in Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Mind Stone, which we first saw inside Loki’s scepter in The Avengers before officially learning what it was in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
That leaves two Infinity Stones unturned: Time and Soul. It is possible, maybe even likely, that we will encounter one of these two Infinity Stones in Doctor Strange. The trailers show Doctor Strange’s ethereal self leaving his body and tapping into mystical powers that could fall in line with the Soul Stone. In the new trailer, The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) tells Strange, “We travel great distances, in an instant.” Perhaps that ability is linked to the Time Stone, though there would need to be more to it than that since the Tesseract already serves that exact same purpose.
If Doctor Strange includes either one of these Stones, then we know why Thor has come knocking. Thor is investigating Infinity Stones and Doctor Strange will have encountered one. There you have it.
Tom Hiddleston was on set for all of this, so it seems like Loki will join Thor for this trip. One can never trust Loki to truly “help” Thor (or anyone) unless it fits within the God of Mischief’s own plans. Thor knows this better than anyone, but since Loki actually got his hands on the Mind Stone and worked for the guy trying to acquire more of them, Thanos (Josh Brolin), Thor will probably need Loki to aid in the investigation.
This could very easily be a mid or post credit scene, but for now, I’m going to bet on this happening in the film. A few months back, Marvel Studios President and Thor: Ragnarok producer Kevin Feige told the Empire podcast that there are “couple scenes on Earth in this movie.” Most of the film takes place elsewhere, but with a couple scenes reserved for Earth, a visit to the Sanctum Sanctorum could be one of them. It fits perfectly within Thor’s stated mission for the film, so it makes sense for it to happen in the main plot.
There is no telling whether or not we will see Doctor Strange in Thor: Ragnarok. If the Sanctum Sanctorum is in pieces, it’s possible the doctor is not in. It’s also possible, however, that what the Sanctum Sanctorum looks like on the outside is not actually what it is on the inside. Doctor Strange could still be lurking within the surprisingly intact walls of his home, hidden inside another dimension. Thor could find the man he’s looking for after all. I just would not go as far as to say Doctor Strange is definitely in this film.
Thor: Ragnarok is likely to have a massive finale in Hel, Asgard, or some other realm not called Earth or Midgard (Asgardian for Earth). The cost of a battle between Thor and the film’s villain, Hela (Cate Blanchett), could be too great for Thor and Loki to go strolling around Greenwich Village, New York immediately after. That, or I’m completely wrong and this is a tag at the end of the film. Either way, it’s pretty cool.
Also of note, Thor: Ragnarok seems to be leaning heavily on Walt Simonson’s essential run of Thor comics. With the wardrobe and ponytail in place, all Thor needs is a pair of glasses to assume his alter ego, Sigurd Jarlson, from that run.
There were a few other photos shared during the shoot, including Hemsworth and Hiddleston showing some entrepreneurial spirit and looking beyond their Marvel careers, plus Hemsworth being all handsome in front of some understandably adoring fans.
A photo posted by Taika Waititi (@taikawaititi) on
Marvel’s Doctor Strange is in theaters November 4, 2016. Thor: Ragnarok will be in theaters November 3, 2017.