If you have seen Doctor Strange, this likely will not come as much of a surprise. It has seemingly been confirmed that Doctor Stephen Strange will be joining Thor and Hulk in Marvel’s third film of 2017, Thor: Ragnarok. You can read more about the news here.
The reason the news does not come as much of a surprise is because of the mid-credit scene that aired during Doctor Strange in November. Following the events of the film, Strange found himself face to face with none other than God of Thunder in the Sanctum Sanctorum. Thor was telling Strange how he was looking for his father Odin, and from the sound of things, Loki was with him. Strange agreed to help Thor, as he sees Loki as a threat and wants him gone as fast as possible. The sooner they can find Odin, the sooner they leave.
Now we know that the film is supposed to be a buddy type road trip between Thor and Hulk. But will Strange be joining in on this fun, or will he be left to a glorified cameo? There are plenty of questions surrounding the mid-credit scene and how it fits into the film.
So to help answer this question, let’s run through some of those questions. First off, where are Bruce Banner/Hulk and Loki during the time of the conversation between Thor and Strange? As mentioned above, it sounds like Loki is on Earth with Thor. It also sounds like Thor knows of his whereabouts, as he is confident he can bring him back home with him when they find Odin. So before getting to the Hulk part of the question, this fact leads us to our next question. Is Loki working with Thor, or does he have some sort of leverage over his half-brother?
In the last Thor film, Thor: The Dark World, the two did work together for a period of time. Loki is a not someone who can be trusted, however, and sure enough, Thor would know that by now. So my best guess says Loki gets banished from Asgard by Hela, who will likely be the film’s true villain, and has his powers taken away from him, much like Thor will likely lose his hammer when banished. This will likely lead to Thor convincing him to help in defeating Hela, and the two will find their way back to Earth somehow. But will Hulk be with them?
There is no mention of Hulk during the mid-credit scene, so it is entirely possible he does not make the trip to Earth. Or he could simply be watching over Loki while his golden-haired half-brother has his conversation with Strange. There were no Mark Ruffalo sightings that I was aware when the cast was spotted filming some outdoor scenes set in New York. But then again, Benedict Cumberbatch was not spotted either.
Since I would believe Hulk came along for the ride to Earth, this makes me lean towards an answer to our Doctor Strange question. If Banner was not spotted during the filming of those scenes, it is very plausible him and Strange were only needed for indoor scenes at the time. Given Strange’s role could simply be assisting in finding Odin and wanting nothing to do with Loki (which sets up for some pretty funny scenes I might add), it appears he is only really needed to find Odin from the comfort of the Sanctum Sanctorum, and never actually hit the streets with Chris Hemsworth.
Given there will be a lot going on in this film, it appears a quick visit to see Doctor Strange will only be one stop along the way. He will not want to be going around with Loki, so once he does his job, he will likely disappear for the rest of the film. As a result, Strange will likely just be making a glorified cameo in Thor: Ragnarok.