With “Captain America: Civil War” setting the bar high for Marvel this year, the franchise is set to continue its winning streak with this week’s release of “Doctor Strange”.
Brace yourselves Marvel fans, things are going to get a lot more weirder when Benedict Cumberbatch makes his cinematic debut as the surgeon-turned-sorcerer Doctor Stephen Strange. Although mystical elements have been slightly explored before, “Doctor Strange” will dive straight into magic and mysticism.
The movie synopsis is as follows:
“Marvel’s Doctor Strange follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilising a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artefacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe.”
The film has been described as “psychedelic” and has a different feel compared to all previous Marvel movies. No doubt, fans will be in for a visual treat. Before you watch The Sorcerer Supreme make his big screen debut, here are 7 fun facts about “Doctor Strange” and its cast members.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch was almost Doctor Nobody
Can you imagine anyone else playing Doctor Strange other than Cumberbatch? Yeah, neither can we. But last month, Empire revealed that the Oscar-nominated actor almost didn’t land the role due to other work commitments.
At the time, Cumberbatch was committed to playing Hamlet in London, which conflicted with film production for “Doctor Strange”. The actor wasn’t willing to give up on the play, saying, “I can’t bail out of Hamlet. I’ve given my word.” After reportedly considering Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, and Ryan Gosling for the role, director Scott Derrickson and Kevin Feige both agreed that “it’s got to be Benedict”.
“I really did think I had to kiss it goodbye. If you can’t jump on board when the ride’s going past, that’s usually it, so the hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me. It motivated me to try to fulfill their faith in me,” Cumberbatch told Empire.
2. The significance of Sanctum Sanctorum
Besides acquiring magical superpowers in the form of his Cloak of Levitation and a hugely powerful artefact, the Eye of Agamotto, Strange also relies on his Sanctum Sanctorum. As you can see from the image above, the light at the background is “coming through the Window of the Worlds (also known as the Anomaly Rue or the Seal of the Vishanti)”. This magical window protects the building from invasions from the occult while keeping the public protected from the mystical artefacts contained within the building.
3. The misunderstood villain Kaecilius
Kaecilius is already damaged when we meet him in “Doctor Strange”, but actor Mads Mikkelsen insists his villainous character is simply misunderstood. His sentiments were also echoed by Scott Derrickson.
Here’s what the director had to say about Kaecilius:
“What we do have is a villain who has a very cogent point of view. He’s a man of ideas, and the way he thinks and what he is motivated by has some merit, and it pushes the movie into some moral ambiguities, into some moral questions, that I think is really interesting.”
4. Tilda Swinton on the whitewashing controversy
When Tilda Swinton took on the role of The Ancient One, many people accused Marvel of whitewashing the mystical character who is of Tibetan descent. However, the Oscar winner has stepped up to address the controversy, saying the casting choice is a “positively diverse” one, and that the character is gender neutral.
“Anybody calling for more accurate representation of the diverse world we live in has got me standing right beside them. I think when people see this film, they’re going to see that it comes from a very diverse place, in all sorts of ways. Maybe this misunderstanding around this film has been an opportunity for that voice to be heard, and I’m not against that at all. But I do think that when people see the film, they’ll see that it’s not necessarily a target for that voice,” the Anglo-Scottish-Australian actress told Entertainment Weekly.
5. Rachel McAdams’ character won’t become Night Nurse yet
From the promotional campaign so far, the only non-magic person in a major role is Rachel McAdams. She’s playing Christine Palmer, who is the love interest of Stephen Strange. More importantly though, Christine Palmer is the 3rd character in the comics to take on the mantle of Night Nurse.
However, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that Christine Palmer won’t be becoming Night Nurse in “Doctor Strange”, at least for now. There is still the possibility that might happen down the road.
6. Benedict Cumberbatch & Benedict Wong confirmed for “Avengers: Infinity War”
It’s a no brainer that Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange will be joining a much bigger group of superheroes in “Avengers: Infinity War” and recently, actor Benedict Wong, who plays Strange’s faithful aid, Wong (coincidence much?) also confirmed that he will be appearing in the highly-anticipated film. This suggests that Wong will have a prominent role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
7. Mid and post-credits scenes revealed
It’s a given that for every Marvel blockbuster, there’ll be 2 end credits to tease fans on what to expect next. Without giving too much away, we’re only going to reveal that Chris Hemsworth’s Thor will be coming face to face with Doctor Strange in the mid-credits scene while the post-credits scene will feature Baron Mordo. If you don’t mind the spoilers, then head on over here for the full scoop.
Here’s a compilation of all the “Doctor Strange” clips in 1 video. Enjoy:
“Doctor Strange” is ready to cast a spell on Malaysian audiences in cinemas nationwide today!