The doctor’s in the house! Doctor Strange is due to hit theaters on November 4th, and will surely prove to be and interesting addition to the MCU. Until now, pretty much everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been explained away by science, but it looks like this one movie will be an exception. We’ve succumbed to the hype and compiled this list of 10 things to look forward to in Doctor Strange:
1) Scott Derrickson
Up until now, Derrickson worked mainly on horror films, so the news of his involvement worried some fans. However, according to recent reviews, we have nothing to be scared of. Critics have unanimously sung praise for Derrickson, and have even stated that he’s set to become a highly sought after director. With several projects on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how Doctor Strange effects Derrickson’s career
2) The Visuals
The other piece that fans were worried wouldn’t pan out were the visuals necessary to bring a character like Doctor Strange to life. The man is a dimension-traveling, time-warping, reality-shifting sorcerer, so the concerns were not misplaced, but early reviews suggest we have nothing to be afraid of. Magic wasn’t going to be an easy topic to tackle, but I think we collectively forgot who was behind the project: Marvel Studios, who only let fans down on rare occasions. From the first trailer, the visuals drew comparisons to Inception, which I always thought was more of a compliment than most people meant it to be, because frankly, Inception had great visuals, and the more of that we can get, the better.
3) Multiple Dimensions
This movie will most likely be introducing a new concept to the MCU: multiple dimensions. If Ant-Man was any indication of what alternate dimensions will be like, then we’re certainly in for a treat. Movies that include alternate dimensions and timelines often suffer from large plot-holes, but Marvel has done a decent job of covering those up, so why would Doctor Strange be any different? Not to mention, with the CGI capabilities of high-budget pictures like this one, we’ll likely be seeing and hearing things that are completely unique.
4) A New Beginning
Being the first film to follow a juggernaut like Captain America: Civil War isn’t going to be easy, but choosing to use that time to introduce a new character with a whole new set of abilities was smart of the studio’s part. This movie will allow for the somewhat crowded MCU to expand, by introducing us to a brand new heavy hitter that will probably play a major part in the rest of the MCU. Will Doctor Strange be our first new Avenger post-Civil War? Will he comply to the Sokovia Accords? What purpose will he serve in the MCU? Only time will tell.
5) MCU Connections
A recent trailer gave us an Avengers name drop from Wong, but this likely won’t be the only way that the movie is connected to the rest of the MCU. Being a movie that is so vastly different from other MCU properties, it’ll be important for the studio to tie this project to all of the others, so keep your eyes ears open for star-studded cameos and important references. With rumors of Tony Stark appearing, the address of the Sanctum Sanctorum popping up on the set of Thor: Ragnarok, and Tilda Swinton mentioning an appearance by “a planet,” it seems to be a given that we’ll see a connection to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the past, the character of Wong was a horrifying depiction of an Asian character. He previously severed as the stereotypical martial arts master, and to make matters worse, he severed as Strange’s servant and bodyguard, a position filled by characters of Asian decent all too often. This production, however, has flipped the role on its head and Wong is now a fellow magic practitioner of Strange’s, and will even serve as a drill instructor, as opposed to being a manservant. Turning stereotypes upside down is one of the many things that Marvel does well when they try, and it makes for a much more compelling story. Not to mention, Benedict Wong recently confirmed his involvement in Infinity War, indicating the importance of the character.
7) The Ancient One
Tilda Swinton’s character has been the center of some serious controversy of late. The studio did a good thing by flipping the gender of the character (although Swinton claims the character will exist beyond gender), however, they failed to promote racial diversity by casting a white actress in the role of a Tibetan monk. The studio has come forward and explained that Swinton’s Ancient One is not the traditional one, but a Welsh one, which may seem like they are covering their you-know-whats, but in my eyes, I see this as a positive step forward. How many times have we seen an elderly man of Asian decent teach the young, white pupil how to master a specific art? far too many, and I for one, am looking forward to the unique character. To top it all off, the studio did cast an Oscar-winning character actress in the role, so we’re in for a great performance at the very least.
In the vein of revamping the been-there-done-that stories of Doctor Strange, the studio elected to go with a villain that has only made a few small appearance in the comics, allowing them to build a compelling character, something that the villain department of the MCU desperately needs. Mads Mikkelson will no doubt give a stellar performance, and the images of his spooky eyes along have successfully scared the bejeezus out of me, which can only mean good things.
9) Chiwetel Ejiofor
Now that Marvel has proved that they can only produce blockbusters, all kinds of major talent is scrambling to take part in the MCU. One of those names is the immensely talented Chiwetel Ejiofor. The Oscar winner has proved that he can play pretty much anything (a runaway slave, a scientist, a drag queen, and so much more), and he will certainly be able to play a sorcerer. Again, the movie seems to be moving in a different direction with his character, Baron Mordo, but regardless of where his character stands, Mordo’s abilities cover drama, actions, and comedy, making him a Marvel no-brainer.
10) Benedict Cumberbatch
One of the most popular contemporary actors, Cumberbatch has proven time and time again that there is no character that he can’t play. Having won an Emmy (and being nominated for 3 more), and being nominated for an Oscar and two Golden Globes, we have nothing o worry about when it comes to our soon-to-be-favorite sorcerer. Being able to balance comedy and drama are an important skill Cumberbatch has proved he possesses, and in my opinion, he’ll be much better than some of the studio’s alternative choices.