In a little more than a month, Marvel fans will have the chance to see yet another of their favorite comic book heroes on the big screen. The “Sorcerer Supreme” aka Doctor Strange was created by comic book artist and writer Steve Ditko. Doctor Strange debuted in an issue of Marvel Comic book Strange Tales in 1963 and is now coming to the big screen on November 4th.
Doctor Strange evolved from the character of Stephen Strange, a surgeon whose hands were badly injured in a car accident. Strange was drawn into the world of sorcery when he could no longer perform surgery. After studying sorcery, Strange became a powerful wielder of magic and the Earth’s protector against threats from the occult.
Doctor Strange will be played by actor Benedict Cumberbatch while Mads Mikkelsen will play the primary villain Kaecilius. Fans can expect surreal sorcery and lots of adventure as well as plenty of special effects. The trailers out now reflect big budget movie magic that is certain to please even Marvel’s most loyal fans.
The film has been in planning stages since the mid 1980’s. Only now has production come to a head as many different directors, producers, actors, writers, and other cast members were considered for and are a part of what now has become the final production. At one time Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street) was brought in to work on the film as was co-writer of Back to the Future, Bob Gale. However, as the early stages of the film’s development sputtered on several occasions, the two would eventually part ways with the project. Not until Iron Man struck box office success in 2008 did the project actually gain some momentum. Marvel then brought in a rather large group of writers to bring other Marvel Comics to the big screen which resulted in screenwriters Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly being given the task of writing the Doctor Strange movie script.
The movie was filmed in Nepal, the UK, and New York City. The supernatural elements of the Marvel Universe as relates to Doctor Strange are all there while the Cinematographer of the film, Ben Davis, has hinted that there will be somewhat of a “psychedelic” tone to some of the visual effects in the film comparable to and influenced by the artistic work and output of the famous artist M.C. Esher.
As far as the story goes, the movie chronicles Doctor Strange’s evolution as he searches for a cure to his injuries and eventually turns to sorcery and mystical solutions by which he gains his special powers. A pivotal point in the evolution of the character is when Doctor Strange encounters a figure known only as “The Ancient One” and discovers that he has exceptional talent in the magical arts that far exceed his skills in medicine. As this happens in the film, Doctor Strange also transforms psychologically, ultimately becoming Earth’s defender from the supernatural.
The film will also include the character Baron Mordo, a longtime foe of Doctor Strange in the comic who will be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. “The Ancient One” meanwhile will be played by Tilda Swinton, which some Marvel fans might not like as in the comic, “The Ancient One” was an elderly Asian man. Other lead roles include Christine Palmer, a fellow female surgeon of Doctor Strange who, played by Rachel McAdams, helps Strange stay connected with his humanity after his transformation. Michael Stuhlbarg will play Nicodemus West, one of Steven Strange’s rivals prior to his transformation and Benedict Wong will play Wong, Strange’s assistant and companion throughout the movie.
Many predict that Doctor Strange will be the best superhero movie of 2016 and the cast and crew has expressed confidence in the final product. The cast is solid and the plot has the strong premise of a long running and hugely popular comic book series, which, complemented by what already appears to be perhaps the most visually exciting movies ever made by the franchise. Doctor Strange may become one of the year’s best new films and one worth going out to see.