Marvel surprised everyone when they released the first, exciting Doctor Strange trailer last week. Although purely a teaser, we were given a fabulous look into the world or Stephen Strange that will be brought to life by Benedict Cumberbatch, and it did not disappoint.
Co-screenwriter of Doctor Strange, C. Robert Carghill spoke with The Sunday Service, and provided insight on the development process for Doctor Strange and how little we currently know about the film.
When it came to writing for Marvel, he said that it was everything that a fan could dream of. As he explained, the people that are lucky enough to work with Marvel are people living the dream. He also describes the Marvel folks as a “really great family.” To it’s not really surprising that Carghill had nothing but positive comments about the Marvel development process.
They are constantly trying to evolve the comic book movie, rather than going, “This is what works, we’re doing this.” They’re like, “What haven’t we done yet? Like, what crazy stuff can we do?”
We saw some of the weirdness that Doctor Strange is set to bring into the MCU, but Carghill promises that what we have seen doesn’t even begin to show us what’s to come.
This teaser is, it’s the definition of a teaser. You are only getting a like a small taste of just how crazy this movie gets. We have only just the slightest hints of magic in there. There are major characters you don’t even glimpse in that trailer, there is so much stuff going on, that this thing is just nutty, the stuff they let us do, I can’t believe they let us do it. Like, just, … Kevin Feige and other producers like Stephen Broussard would be “How can we make it crazier?” and I was like “Aw right, let’s play around.” It’s just a hell of an experience.
He went on to say that the oversight from Marvel wasn’t too controlling. Any guidance from the folks at Marvel was meant to push the creative teams to make the movie, as a whole, better. Some creative-types don’t deal with feedback like this very well, but for those that can handle a creative team pushing everything to be the best that it can be, the Marvel system works. Carghill even went on to speak highly of Marvel executive Kevin Feige, who controls the overall universe established within the MCU.
We did a lot of story meetings over the time that I was working on it. He was on set often. We would have these really long note sessions, but we got along really well. Originally the scheduling didn’t work out, but as things evolved, he was brought onto the team.
When asked how this movie will appeal to the greater audience given all of the mysticism, Carghill explained that the film has a little bit of something for everyone.
The key is, the main thing about Doctor Strange is that he’s got such a great story, he’s got such a great arc … he’s just such a cool character, but essentially it’s got a little something for everybody in the way that Dr Strange has a really great character arc, and is very much about characters. But it’s a superhero story, but it’s also a fantasy film, so if you’r like “Man, I don’t want to watch people fly around and shoot lasers at each other and just watch robots hit each other, I want to watch a fantasy film, I want something like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, you get a whole taste of that with Dr. Strange because it’s all very, it’s a very magical fantasy universe, but at the same time it plays by some of the superhero tropes that people enjoy
He went on to explain Doctor Strange’s origin story as a classic “superhero trope.”
This is a guy rising to heroism, Dr. Strange starts as a very selfish, vain guy, who’s one of the most successful neurosurgeons in the world, he’s good looking, he has no problem getting women, he’s wealthy, he’s very full of himself … then he gets his hands shattered in a car accident and everything goes away. He loses everything and he becomes desperate, and he’ll try anything, so he falls in with magic and… I don’t want to spoil anymore about that.
When asked if this movie could have been done before movies like Harry Potter had introduced the world to the idea of wide-spread magic and mysticism, he said that he feels that the trust that people have in the Marvel Universe is what will ultimately help sell the more magical mystical parts of the story.
We are tackling the origin story, because the origin story is so awesome that Christopher Nolan ripped half of it off for Batman Begins.
(Carghill also said it makes him happy to see people complain about Doctor Strange being too much like Nolan’s Batman Begins.)
As to what went into shaping the movie’s story, according to Carghill, there were some ideas that they brought in early on, but that Marvel determined to be too much for the MCU at this time. They were, however, told to hold onto them in case there are future Doctor Strange movies. And while the MCU is all connected, Carghill said that there wasn’t pressure to set up anything for future movies, or to tie in to the past movies.
The one thing that Marvel really wanted to do with this one was let the movie kind of stand on its own. They’re aware that several of their movies are starting to feel cluttered… there’s a joke that these movies are essentially two hour-long commercials for their next two-hour long commercials, and that’s not what they want to be.
There was no pressure for, “Hey can you use add in this character, can you tie into this and this event?” The one pressure there was, was “No, we’ve already played around with that idea in this move and we don’t like repeating ourselves so let’s not do that, and no we don’t want this, we want to do something fresh, instead of it feeling like this character.” And so yeah, the big pressure was to do something different and fresh. The fact that this trailer looks unlike everything else is what they would really like Phase 3 and Phase 4 to be. They want these movies to run the gambit of looks and feels. They don’t want that one Marvel Movie look and feel. They want all of these characters to exist in their own worlds the same way the comics exist as the comics.
At this point, it’s expected that we’ll see some Easter eggs in each new Marvel release, whether it be on the big screen or small screen. When it comes to Doctor Strange, Carghill said that he may have put some Easter Eggs into the movie, but he isn’t going to talk about them – not because they would be a spoiler, but because he doesn’t want somebody to take them out in the editing process.
In regards Tilda Swinton being cast as The Ancient One, Carghill says that there was no way to win on the casting. One reason behind the decision regarding the change in The Ancient One for the film was to be able to market the movie to China, which could ban the film with certain depictions of the political situation in Tibet. He also went on to say that every depiction of the race that they considered risked angering part of the audience.
We can’t, there’s no real way to win this, so let’s use this as an opportunity to cast an amazing actress in a male role.
Carghill also noted that the Ancient One is a character that has a very ugly history, some of which wouldn’t be accepted if the character were being created today. Keeping something true to that story, but acceptable today, was a losing battle. Carghill continued to stress that we have seen very little of the universe that has been created.
We’ve made one of the most multi-cultural films that we’ve seen in years.
We’ll be able to see this big multi-cultural, mystical movie when Doctor Strange premieres November 4, 2016.
For now, those that need a quick rundown of the character, be sure to check out our latest MCU Profiles video focusing on Doctor Strange below!
Source: The Sunday Service