Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness post-credit scenes: what they mean for the MCU

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness poster
(Image credit: Marvel)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is here and, as is Marvel tradition, that means even when the movie is over things aren't done yet thanks to post-credit scenes. These stingers are often used to tease future developments for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and/or just send out audiences with a good laugh. We're going to discuss what the post-credit scenes in Multiverse of Madness mean for the MCU moving forward, but first the basics.

First off, there are two post-credit scenes in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — a mid-credits scene that comes after the main credit sequence and then a post-credits scene at the very end.

We're about to get into the details of the post-credit scenes, so if you have yet to watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness we recommend that you stop reading and go see the movie, as some major SPOILERS are ahead.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness mid-credit scene explained

With the title including "Multiverse of Madness," there was always talk about what alternate versions or new characters might pop up in this Doctor Strange sequel. We of course got plenty thank to the inclusion of the Illuminati that featured a new version of Chiwetel Ejiofor's Mordo, Patrick Stewart's Professor X, Haley Atwell's Captain Britain, Lashana Lynch as an alternate Captain Marvel, Anson Mount as Black Bolt and, after many, many rumors, John Krasinski as the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards. However, Marvel was able to keep the biggest surprise for the mid-credits scene pretty well under wraps until the movie's release.

In the mid-credits scene we see Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) walking down the street when someone calls out his name. He turns around to find a woman in a purple, other-worldly looking suit played by Charlize Theron. She tells him that he has caused an incursion (the collision of two realities) and she needs his help to fix it. She opens up a portal to another dimension and Doctor Strange readily accepts, opening his new third eye as they head out.

Theron's arrival into the MCU is exciting in and of itself, but who is she playing? While her character's name is never uttered, piecing things together she is likely playing Clea. In Marvel lore, Clea is the niece of Dormammu, the villain from the first Doctor Strange movie. However, this doesn't make them enemies, as they worked together to defeat Dormammu and eventually got married.

This all certainly points to Theron being a part of the next Doctor Strange movie (the credits do include the "Doctor Strange will return" line), with the strong likelihood Clea will be a new love interest for Doctor Strange now that Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) is married.

UPDATE May 11: Now that the cat's out of the bag on Clea, Charlize Theron has posted the first official looks at the new character on Instagram:

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness post-credit scene explained

With the mid-credit scene teasing what is to come for Doctor Strange in the MCU, the post-credit scene is a fun tag on from a joke we got earlier in the movie.

When Doctor Strange and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) arrive in an alternate version of New York, America grabs something for them to eat, pizza balls. However, they aren't free as she initially thought (apparently food is free in most universes) and Pizza Poppa (Bruce Campbell) wants his money for them. To get away, Doctor Strange casts a spell that has Pizza Poppa douse himself in mustard and then punch himself in the face. As they walk away, Doctor Strange says that the spell will ware off soon enough... in three weeks.

The post-credit scene finds Pizza Poppa exhausted but still punching himself in the face until it all of a sudden stops. Deliriously happy, he gives out a big laugh, looks at the camera and declares, "It's over!"

Though we can argue if Pizza Poppa deserved his punishment — he was rude but America did technically steal those pizza balls — the bit is a fun one that gave Sam Raimi favorite Campbell a cameo and the last line in the movie.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.