How Charlize Theron's MCU Character Clea Will Shake Things Up for Doctor Strange (Exclusive)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Marvel Studios

Screenwriter Michael Waldron explains why Theron's addition to the franchise 'is super exciting' for the MCU.

Charlize Theron is officially a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks to her surprise end-credits appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Less than a week after the film’s theatrical debut, the actress took to Instagram to confirm her mysterious character is, in fact, Clea -- someone who screenwriter Michael Waldron spoke about to ET, offering some clues about what comes next for her and the titular sorcerer played by Benedict Cumberbatch

[Warning: Spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

At the end of the sequel, Theron makes an unexpected appearance as Clea while Dr. Strange is walking down the street. She tells him that his journey through the multiverse -- which he made in an attempt to save America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) from the clutches of the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) -- has caused an “incursion.”

She then rips a hole through the fabric of reality to reveal access to her home, the Dark Dimension, and asks Strange, who now has a third eye after handling the Darkhold, to join her to help repair the damage.

When it comes to Theron playing Clea, a prominent character from Dr. Strange’s world, Waldron said her casting “is super exciting.” 

“Clea is one of Dr. Strange’s most famous counterparts in the comics,” he continued, explaining that she, “in a lot of ways, is equal as a sorcerer and a ‘will they, won’t they’ love interest throughout the ages and she’s Dormammu’s niece.” 

Dormammu, of course, is the overlord of the Dark Dimension who Dr. Strange battled in his franchise debut. In the 2016 film, Dormammu (voiced by Cumberbatch) was eventually defeated by the sorcerer and acquiesced to Strange’s demand that he permanently leave Earth alone. Upon leaving, he also took  Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) and his zealots with him.  

Given that in the comics Clea and Dr. Strange become inseparable, could her presence in the film also mean the end to Christine Palmer’s (Rachel McAdams) time in the MCU? Although things are “still complicated” between Christine and ex-boyfriend, she still would “do anything for Dr. Strange,” McAdams said of the sorcerer’s former love interest, who had a large part to play in the sequel. 
But what makes Clea a great addition to the franchise is that “she becomes a great foil of his and they can go onto some really fun adventures together in the future,” Waldron said, teasing the potential for more of Clea and Dr. Strange to come.