One of Marvel’s most prominent heroes since 1964, there have been many attempts to get a Doctor Strange movie made over the years, but now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is growing exponentially more popular, the time has come to finally have the Sorcerer Supreme get his live-action due.
Just like the comics, Doctor Strange will follow the adventures of Stephen Strange, a brilliant neurosurgeon whose life is veered off course when he’s caught in a car accident. Although he survives, his hands are irreparably damaged, thus ending his career. Desperate to restore his hands, Strange travels around the world for a cure and eventually finds The Ancient One in the East. Rather than help him return to his old life, The Ancient One tutors him in the mystic arts, and after completing his training, he moves to New York and sets up shop in the Sanctum Sanctorum as the new Sorcerer Supreme.
Using both his own natural abilities and objects like the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation, Doctor Strange will battle mystical threats on Earth and in alternate dimensions like the Astral Plane and the Dark Dimension. The movie has also been described as “psychedelic”, and having a different feel compared to the other Marvel movies, so fans should be in for a visual treat.
When Will It Take Place
Although Doctor Strange will be an origin story, Stephen Strange was first mentioned in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as one of the folks that could pose a threat to HYDRA. Marvel hasn’t revealed yet when exactly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline Doctor Strange takes place, but given how these movies tend to follow one after another, the reasonable assumption is that it will happen after Captain America: Civil War. So even before he studied magic, Strange’s reputation was big enough that he was on the terrorist organization’s radar.
The Ancient One
Stephen Strange couldn’t have become the Sorcerer Supreme without training under The Ancient One, and in Doctor Strange, that mysterious instructor will be played by Tilda Swinton. This casting is without a doubt the most radical departure from the source material. In the comics, The Ancient One is an elderly, Asian man. There will presumably be some explanation about how they assumes many forms or may be neither fully woman or man. Whether we get a specific reason or their gender is left ambiguous, The Ancient One (who is the latest individual to carry that title) will train Stephen Strange in the mystic arts after he comes to them originally to heal his hands.
Baron Karl Mordo
Stephen Strange won’t be the only student of The Ancient One seen in Doctor Strange. Baron Karl Mordo will be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, and although he also doesn’t look exactly like his comic book counterpart, he’s being set up as a major player in this movie. Doctor Strange fans know Mordo as the Sorcerer Supreme’s chief human antagonist, but moviegoers won’t see Ejiofor’s iteration as a villain…at least not right away. Instead, this Mordo is described as an “amalgamation” of several characters from the Doctor Strange mythos who won’t be entirely villainous. It sounds like Mordo will start out as an ally/associate to Stephen Strange when we first meet him, but given their history in the comics, don’t be surprised if Mordo eventually turns to the dark side, whether in this story or another.
Since Mordo isn’t Doctor Strange primary antagonist, someone else needs to fill his villainous shoes, and that’s where Hannibal’s Mads Mikkselen comes in. Mikkelsen’s character hasn’t been named yet, but he’s been described as a sorcerer who “breaks off into his own sect.” He believes The Ancient One is only keen on protecting her power base and believes our world would be better off “if we were to allow some of these other things through.” When Mikkelsen‘s casting was first rumoured, many fans speculated he was playing Dormammu, the Dark Dimension‘s ruler and arguably Strange’s greatest enemy. That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore unless they’ve altered Dormammu so that he was originally a human, but later transforms into a demon. Either way, it sounds like Mikkselsen’s character is not only powerful, but has a fair amount of followers at his side, so it won’t be easy for Strange to take him down.
Going off the news that’s been release so far, it looks like Doctor Strange will be mostly faithful to the comics. He’ll still have his unique abilities and artefacts, his hideout will still be the Sanctum Sanctorum and the movie will feature major players from his supporting cast.
Doctor Strange will come to theatres on the 4th of November 2016.