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

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. After Strange disappears during the Blip, he assumes his position of Sorcerer Supreme, which he retains even after Strange returns five years later.

As of 2022, Wong has appeared in six films, most recently in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as well as in the Disney+ television series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (both 2022). Alternate versions of Wong also appear in the 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] Benedict 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 MCU moving forward.[3]

Appearances

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

Benedict Wong portrays Wong in the MCU films Doctor Strange (2016),[1][2] Avengers: Infinity War (2018),[4] Avengers: Endgame (2019),[5] Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021),[6] Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021),[7] and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022),[8][9] and in the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022).[10] The actor was excited "to be sat at a table of Asian excellence" amongst the cast of Shang-Chi.[11] He also voiced an alternate version of Wong in the What If...? episode "What If... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?", while another version of the character has a silent appearance in "What If... Zombies?!".

Fictional character biography

Mentor to Strange and resurrection

Further information: Doctor Strange (2016 film)

Prior to 2016, Wong becomes Kamar-Taj'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.[12] 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 and warns Wong and Strange about the coming threat, recruiting Tony Stark. Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian then arrive in New York and battle Wong, Strange, and Stark, with Wong defeating Obsidian by sending him through a portal. With Strange kidnapped by Maw, Wong stays behind to guard the Sanctum. Wong later survives the Blip and becomes the next Sorcerer Supreme by default, retaining this position even after Strange is returned from the Blip.

In 2023, Wong is called in by a restored Strange to get the other sorcerers, the restored Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, the Ravagers, and the armies of Wakanda and Asgard to defeat an alternate Thanos’ army at the destroyed Avengers Compound. Wong later attends Stark's funeral.[13]

Fighting Abomination and meeting Shang-Chi

See also: She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Further information: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and The People vs. Emil Blonsky

In 2024, in order to train as Sorcerer Supreme, Wong facilitates Emil Blonsky's prison escape and battles him in an underground fight club while in his Abomination form by creating a portal through which Blonsky punches himself. Wong offers asylum at Kamar-Taj, but Blonsky decides to return to prison.

Later, Wong appears before Shang-Chi and Katy in a San Francisco restaurant and has them accompany him to Kamar-Taj, where he calls Banner and Carol Danvers via holographic projection. They learn that the Ten Rings are sending out a beacon to a location unknown. Afterward, Wong joins Shang-Chi and Katy to sing karaoke at a nightclub.

Vacation to Kamar-Taj

Further information: Spider-Man: No Way Home

Wong later encounters Peter Parker, who came to the Sanctum to consult with Strange about making the world forget Quentin Beck's public revelation of his identity as Spider-Man. Strange proposes a memory spell, which Wong cautions to be dangerous, but does not stop Strange as Wong concedes that Parker had suffered a lot. Wong leaves for Kamar-Taj, not wishing in being involved further.

Fighting the Scarlet Witch

Further information: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Sometime later, after Stephen Strange begins fighting an interdimensional demon in New York, Wong joins the fight and the two eventually kill the creature while saving a girl, who introduces herself as America Chavez. Chavez explains she can travel through the multiverse and other creatures are after her power. Chavez takes Wong and Strange to the corpse of an alternate version of Strange who was killed by the demon, with Wong and Strange being determined that witchcraft was involved and takes her to Kamar-Taj.

Strange tells Wanda Maximoff about Chavez, not realizing that she has become corrupted by the Darkhold and intends on using Chavez to take her power to find her children Billy and Tommy, whom she created during her time in Westview. Strange tells Wong about Wanda, with him and other sorcerers preparing to protect Kamar-Taj. Maximoff arrives and attacks Kamar-Taj, killing many sorcerers. During the attack, Chavez's powers are triggered and she and Strange escape in a portal, leaving Wong behind in Maximoff's captivity. Maximoff begins to conduct a Darkhold spell known as "dream walking", to find a version of herself with her kids across the multiverse and take over her body. After Sara, a sorceress, sacrifices herself to destroy the Darkhold and break the dream-walk, Maximoff forces Wong to lead her to Mount Wundagore, the source of the Darkhold's power and the location of a shrine to the Scarlet Witch, allowing her to reestablish the dream-walk with her Earth-838 self.

Strange, in another universe, kill that universe's corrupted Strange and takes his version of the Darkhold to dream walk into the corpse of his deceased counterpart and go after Maximoff, who was casting a spell on Chavez on Mount Wundagore to take her powers and kill her. With help from Wong and Chavez, they transport Maximoff back to Earth-838 and that universe's Maximoff household, where she realizes that her actions have frightened that universe's kids. Out of regret, she decides to destroy the Darkhold in all universes, apparently sacrificing herself to do so by using her powers to bring down Mount Wundagore. Chavez returns Strange to Earth-616, where Chavez begins training at Kamar-Taj under Wong's supervision.

Legal problems

See also: She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Further information: The People vs. Emil Blonsky and Is This Not Real Magic?

In 2025, Wong meets with lawyer Jennifer Walters, who is representing Blonsky for parole, after footage of the fight between the pair was leaked and released. Wong confirms he broke Blonsky out of prison and attends his parole hearing as a witness; he departs after a parole board member states he committed a crime by facilitating a prisoner escape.

Later, Wong finds out about magician Donny Blaze who was misusing the magic he learned at Mystic Castle after Madisynn King accidentally ended up in Kamar-Taj where she spoiled an episode of The Sopranos for him. Jennifer Walters is enlisted as his lawyer where he told her that Blaze was expelled from Kamar-Taj for unethical power use by bring beer kegs and a fraternity brother to Kamar-Taj. This leads to Walters and lead a cease and desist case against Blaze and Mystic Castle's owner Cornelius P. Willows. Madisynn was used as a witness to corroborate Wong's claim. Judge Hanna states that she will take a week to render her verdict as Madisynn leaves with Wong and Walters while spoiling another episode of The Sopranos. During his next show, Blaze accidentally summons a swarm of demons into his magic show, causing Walters and Wong to help. Before Walters has Wong banish the final demon, she uses it to intimidate Blaze and Willows to follow the cease and desist order which they reluctantly do. In the mid-credits, Wong and Madisynn later watch This Is Us together.

When Blonsky is sent back to prison, Wong breaks him out and allows him to move into Kamar-Taj.

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 Wasp while Banner is saved by Spider-Man.

Reception

Shania Russell of /Film called Wong "the [MCU]'s most underrated wonder".[14] Wong's appearances in Shang-Chi, No Way Home, Multiverse of Madness, and She-Hulk has drawn comparison between him and Phil Coulson.[15][16]

Accolades

Year Work(s) Award Category Result Ref(s)
2022 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Film Pending [17]

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 May 25, 2022. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  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 May 17, 2022. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  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 23, 2021. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  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. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (December 11, 2018). "Scott Derrickson Returning to Direct 'Doctor Strange' Sequel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 25, 2022. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (December 11, 2018). "'Doctor Strange' Director Scott Derrickson to Return for Sequel". Variety. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  10. ^ Paige, Rachel (May 17, 2022). "'She-Hulk: Attorney at Law': First Trailer Introduces Jennifer Walters". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on May 17, 2022. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Tyler, Adrienne (June 6, 2020). "Every Major MCU Character Who Died & Came Back To Life (Before Endgame)". Screen Rant. Retrieved September 1, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Tinoco, Armando (August 12, 2022). "Saturn Awards Nominations: The Batman, Nightmare Alley, Spider-Man, Better Call Saul Top List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 17, 2022.