In its first 24 hours since being dropped, the maiden trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home became one of the most studied motion pictures since the Zapruder film. There were a lot of Easter Eggs and assorted teases. There were so many that not everyone caught one detail right away: a shot of Wong, Doctor Strange’s sidekick/colleague, getting the hell out of there before things get real. And no wonder: Wong is about to become one of the most overworked characters in the MCU.
In the comics, Wong is an infamously racist Asian stereotype: a man-servant usually depicted getting the Caucasian hero, who’s already co-opting Asian culture, some tea. The MCU’s Wong, played by the excellent English actor Benedict Wong, is not like that. He’s a fellow Master of the Mystic Arts, who is more experienced — and more level-headed — than the main character. He returned for Infinity War and Endgame. And he’s back, sans Benedict Cumberbatch’s Strange, in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. And then, just three months later, he’s back again for No Way Home. In other words, the guy’s gonna need a break.
Wong’s frustration is palpable in his No Way Home trailer cameo. After Tom Holland’s Peter Parker pays a visit to Doctor Strange, imploring him to help him rewrite history, we see Wong seething. “Don’t cast that spell,” he tells Strange. “It’s too dangerous.” But it’s to no avail. And as Strange prepares to unwittingly unleash the multiverse madness that will consume the rest of the movie, you can see him in the background, bags packed and in his hands, ducking into a portal hole to relieve himself of duty.
Again, this is just one of many, many details in the trailer. But once people caught it, they had nothing but empathy for the poor guy. People related to him being tired.
— jarvis romanoff ◇ shang-chi eraaa (@jrvsscarlet) August 24, 2021
And disappointed that Doctor Strange wasn’t listening to his advice.
Wong when he comes back from helping Shang Chi & sees Dr Strange has opened the multi verse pic.twitter.com/wqyZVcTZHt
— ‘ (@SherzCapone00) August 24, 2021
dr strange after messing up the multiverse even more after wanda and loki, especially when wong told him not too pic.twitter.com/LcYEerzB7V
— ashleigh ⍟✨ rt/like 📌 (@capsiclecevans) August 24, 2021
He was relatable in general.
Wong will always be the most relatable character in MCU pic.twitter.com/lJUkvAVuRD
— Okiro (@TheFirstOkiro) August 24, 2021
I’m team Wong on this one. pic.twitter.com/7wkUK3uXoj
— Spider-Man: No Way Home Updates (@spideyupdated) August 24, 2021
And they were more than cool with him sitting this one out.
Don’t nobody leave a function quicker than Wong lol https://t.co/eVh0qBO3Fe
— ΛDRIΛN (@AdrianXpression) August 24, 2021
WONG IS LITERALLY THIS EMOJI 🚶♂️ pic.twitter.com/sKCdOoIlQj
— Lexi ⎊- 4 days until im legal 😼 (@whatsdatmumbles) August 24, 2021
Wong be like pic.twitter.com/YC1oGo4SAg
— javelin✌🕊#ReleaseTheEmpanadaCut (@whatajokc) August 24, 2021
Wong really be like "aight imma catch y'all later." 😂😂😭😭 pic.twitter.com/ME4RElOrWN
— Captain Nigga (@youvebeen_duped) August 24, 2021
But maybe Doctor Strange enjoys torturing Wong, which is just mean.
Stephen-Wong's dynamic, summarised pic.twitter.com/bh0j1h4a6C
— ۞Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness🦋 (@dailyDSITMOM) August 24, 2021
Who knows how much of a role Wong will play in No Way Home. Maybe he’ll return, helping clean up his colleague’s mess. Or maybe, better yet, Benedict Wong himself will get to slip in an appearance and still collect a paycheck, on top of the ones he’ll be getting for Shang-Chi and the in-the-works Doctor Strange sequel. And you know what? Good for Benedict Wong, a fine actor who deserves all he gets.
If you missed Wong’s appearance, feel free to watch the No Way Home trailer again: