Wong
Marvel Cinematic Universe character
Benedict Wong as Wong in Doctor Strange (2016)
First appearanceDoctor Strange (2016)
Based on
Adapted by
Portrayed byBenedict Wong
In-universe information
TitleSorcerer Supreme
OccupationSorcerer
AffiliationMasters of the Mystic Arts

Wong is a fictional character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name and portrayed by Benedict Wong. In the franchise, Wong is depicted as Dr. Stephen Strange's friend and fellow sorcerer, being a member of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, succeeding Dr. Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme on a technicality.

As of 2021, Wong has appeared in the films Doctor Strange (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), and will return in the film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). Alternate versions of Wong from the greater multiverse also appear in the Disney+ animated series What If...? (2021)

Concept and creation

The character is depicted in Marvel Comics as Doctor Strange's Asian, "tea-making manservant", a racial stereotype that Doctor Strange (2016) director Scott Derrickson did not want in the film,[1][2] and so the character was not included in the film's script. After the non-Asian actress Tilda Swinton was cast as the other significant Asian character from the Doctor Strange comics, the Ancient One, Derrickson felt obligated to find a way to include Wong in the film. The character as he ultimately appears is "completely subverted as a character and reworked into something that didn't fall into any of the stereotypes of the comics",[1] which Derrickson was pleased gave an Asian character "a strong presence in the movie".[3] Actor Wong was also pleased with the changes made to the character, and described him as "a drill sergeant to Kamar-Taj" rather than a manservant. He does not practice martial arts in the film, avoiding another racial stereotype.[2] Derrickson added that Wong would have "a strong presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe" moving forward.[3]

Appearances

Benedict Wong promoting Doctor Strange at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con

Fictional character biography

Mentor to Strange and resurrection

Further information: Doctor Strange (2016 film)

Prior to 2016, Wong becomes the Sanctum Sanctorum's librarian after the previous one was beheaded by Kaecilius. In 2016, he meets Dr. Stephen Strange while on the latter's journey to fix his hands, listening to the songs of Beyoncé after hearing Strange mention her. A few months later in 2017, he is killed while defending the Hong Kong Sanctum, but is revived by Strange using the Time Stone.[11] After defeating Kaecilius and Dormammu, Strange takes residence in the New York Sanctum and continues his studies with Wong.

Infinity War and becoming Sorcerer Supreme

Further information: Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame

In 2018, Bruce Banner crash-lands in the Sanctum Sanctorum and warns Wong and Strange about Thanos's plan to destroy half of all life in the universe, recruiting Tony Stark. Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian then arrive in New York and battle Wong, Strange, Stark, and Peter Parker, with Wong defeating Cull Obsidian by sending him through a portal. With Strange kidnapped by Ebony Maw, Wong stays behind to guard the Sanctum. Wong later survives the Blip while Strange does not, becoming the Sorcerer Supreme.

In 2023, Strange is revived, and calls in Wong to get the other sorcerers, the restored Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, the Ravagers, and the armies of Wakanda and Asgard to defeat an alternate Thanos's army. Following the battle, Wong attends Stark's funeral alongside Strange.[12]

Underground fight club and recruiting Shang-Chi and Katy

Further information: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Some time later, in an underground fight club, Wong battles Abomination, defeating him in combat by creating a portal through which Abomination punches himself in the head. Wong and Abomination then leave together, Wong addressing him as Emil. Later, Wong appears before Shang-Chi and his best friend, Katy, in a restaurant, and has them accompany him to the Sanctum Sanctorum, where they meet with Bruce Banner and Carol Danvers via holographic projection and learn that the Ten Rings are sending out a beacon.

Vacation to Kamar-Taj

Further information: Spider-Man: No Way Home

When Peter Parker arrives at the Sanctum to consult with Doctor Strange to enlist his help in making the world forget that Mysterio revealed Parker's identity, the latter agrees despite Wong's stern warning that the spell is highly dangerous. Wong does not try to stop Strange, who insists on helping Parker as the latter has been through a lot, only asking to be left out of it as he heads to Kamar-Taj on vacation.

Alternate versions

See also: What If...? (TV series)

Alternate versions of Wong are seen in the Disney+ animated series What If...?, with Benedict Wong returning to voice the character.

Doctor Strange Supreme

Further information: What If... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

In an alternate 2016, Wong opposes Doctor Strange Supreme's several attempts to save his girlfriend, Dr. Christine Palmer. Despite these efforts, Supreme's universe-destroying paradox occurs, consuming Wong. After the timeline is split, an earlier Wong and Strange attempt to stop Supreme, only to be consumed again.

Zombie outbreak

Further information: What If... Zombies?!

In an alternate 2018, zombified versions of Wong, Strange, and Tony Stark devour and infect Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian. They attempt to eat Bruce Banner, but they are killed by Hope van Dyne while Banner is saved by Peter Parker.

Reception

Shania Russell of /Film called Wong "the [MCU]'s most underrated wonder".[13] Wong's appearances in Shang-Chi, No Way Home, and Multiverse of Madness has drawn comparison between him and Phil Coulson.[14][15]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Strauss, Bob (September 9, 2016). "How Benedict Cumberbatch's 'Doctor Strange' will bend minds". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Mellor, Louisa (June 27, 2016). "Exclusive: Benedict Wong on new direction of his Doctor Strange role". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on June 27, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Disney's Live-Action Casting Controversies". E! Online. July 15, 2019. Archived from the original on April 21, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  4. ^ Mueller, Matthew (October 21, 2016). "Benedict Wong Confirmed For Avengers Infinity War". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  5. ^ Dumaraog, Ana (September 21, 2018). "Avengers 4 Reshoots: Chris Hemsworth Headed to Set, Benedict Wong Already There". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on October 19, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  6. ^ Bonaime, Ross (June 24, 2021). "New 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' Trailer Gives a Closer Look at Tony Leung As the Real Mandarin". Collider. Archived from the original on June 25, 2021. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  7. ^ D Bennett, Tara (July 19, 2021). "Benedict Wong Says Joining Marvel's Shang-Chi is 'To Be Sat At A Table of Asian Excellence'". SyFy Wire. Archived from the original on July 20, 2021.
  8. ^ Donnelly, Matt (August 23, 2021). "'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Trailer Officially Drops, Multiverse Villains Descend on Tom Holland". Variety. Archived from the original on August 23, 2021. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (December 11, 2018). "Scott Derrickson Returning to Direct 'Doctor Strange' Sequel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  10. ^ McNary, Dave (December 11, 2018). "'Doctor Strange' Director Scott Derrickson to Return for Sequel". Variety. Archived from the original on December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  11. ^ Tyler, Adrienne (June 6, 2020). "Every Major MCU Character Who Died & Came Back To Life (Before Endgame)". Screen Rant. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  12. ^ Dumaraog, Ana (May 1, 2019). "Every Marvel Character At The Funeral In Avengers: Endgame". ScreenRant. Archived from the original on April 6, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  13. ^ Russell, Shania (September 7, 2021). "An Ode To Wong, The One MCU Dude Who Is Just Vibing". Slashfilm. Archived from the original on September 7, 2021. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  14. ^ Zachary, Brandon (September 4, 2021). "Shang-Chi Cements Wong as the MCU's New Coulson". CBR. Archived from the original on September 5, 2021. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  15. ^ Tyler, Adrienne (September 7, 2021). "How Wong Is Becoming MCU's Phil Coulson Replacement For Phase 4". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on September 7, 2021. Retrieved September 12, 2021.

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