Following the release of the record-shattering trailer for upcoming Marvel/Sony sequel Spider-Man: No Way Home, many were confused by Doctor Strange's flippant decision to cast a spell in order to help Peter Parker erase his outing as Spider-Man. Well, Benedict Cumberbatch has now offered some insight into the relationship between Strange and Peter Parker, and it may explain The Sorcerer Supreme's behaviour.

"There's a close relationship. They're neighborhood superheroes, and they've had an experience or two. They've got history. It might be the case that Peter asks me to help him do something? I think I'm allowed to say that much. I help him fill in his tax returns. That's what I do."
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While many Marvel fans have since wondered whether this a variant, dark version of Doctor Strange, or whether it's even Doctor Strange at all, Cumberbatch reasons that the connection between the two superheroes is now so strong that he would of course step in to help him in his hour of need. With Peter being so young, Strange (who has been long-established as being rather arrogant anyway) would want to assist his fellow Avenger, and it seems that that's all there is to it. No great mystery, or twist necessary.

Despite the honeyed words from Benedict Cumberbatch, this is unlikely to convince everyone, with many no doubt still hoping that the infamous Mephisto will still play into proceedings. For now, what we do know about the next MCU adventures is that Spider-Man: No Way Home picks up following the dramatic events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, and with Peter Parker's identity as Spider-Man now exposed thanks to Mysterio, Parker's life and reputation are turned upside down. Seeking help from Doctor Strange, he asks The Sorcerer Supreme to help restore his secret identity with magic, but this has dangerous repercussions that force Parker to learn what it really means to be Spider-Man.

There are so many rumors flying around regarding No Way Home that it can be quite hard to keep up. It was long rumored that the movie would bring back villains from previous Spider-Man franchises, including the likes of Alfred Molina as Spider-Man 2's Doctor Octopus, Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, and Jamie Foxx as The Amazing Spider-Man 2's Electro. The trailer has confirmed that at least two of these are absolutely happening, with some of the footage even hinting at a comeback for both The Sandman and The Lizard.

Despite constant denials and push backs, it is still hotly rumored that both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home, with both actors reportedly reprising their respective iterations of the beloved character. While this has not yet been officially confirmed in any way, returning star J. B. Smoove recently replied with a no-nonsense "Tobey Maguire, of course man" to a question about which actor he was most excited to see Tom Holland share the screen with. With this in mind, is there really any room left for Mephisto or a dark Doctor Strange?

All will be revealed when Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters on December 17, 2021, as part of Phase Four of the MCU. This comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.