The day has finally arrived! After nearly a year and a half of concept art and most recently set images, we finally have our first official look at Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel’s magical character Doctor Strange. When Cumberbatch was first cast as the character, I’ll admit that I was a bit bummed that Marvel chose him for the character. Not because he isn’t talented or the right fit, because that clearly isn’t the case, I was just kind of hoping for an unknown ‘take a chance’ type of casting. But don’t get me wrong, in no way am I disappointed with Cumberbatch in the role.
Strange is more than likely the most unknown out of the newer characters being introduced my Marvel Studios in the new few years, but that does not mean you shouldn’t be excited. All I can really say is that the character and the universe/dimensions he operates in is magical and straight up weird sometimes, something his name lives up to.
While it took Marvel quite some time to figure out who their Doctor would be, Kevin Feige explains that no matter the obstacles, they always wanted Cumberbatch:
“[Benedict] was someone that we were very interested in for a very long time, but he kept getting more popular, and more popular, and he kept getting busier, and busier, and it looked like the timing wasn’t going to work. So we looked at some other actors for a while and ultimately decided, ‘We have to try and make it work with Benedict and with his schedule.”
Other than a name, maybe two, Cumberbatch was always a perfect fit for the character. And Feige is right, he’s slowly been rising the ranks of Hollywood stardom through the last few years. And with Marvel wanting to sign actors and actresses for big multi-picture deals, I can see how that could’ve been difficult.
Even though Cumberbatch was brought on last year and that filming has been shooting for some time now, he had never actually put on the costume before the EW photo shoot for the first look images you see. As a result, Cumberbatch says that he’s still in the process of figuring out the sorcerer’s hand gestures:
“I’m still in the infancy of learning all that. It was like, okay, I’ve got to keep throwing these poses, these spells, these rune-casting things, everything he does physically. I’m thinking, there’s going to be a huge amount of speculation and intrigue over the positioning of that finger as opposed to it being there, or there. And I’m still working on that. We haven’t played any of those scenes yet. I felt really self-conscious. But, then, by the end, it was great. It’s like anything, you just have to experiment.”
“These gestures are ways of creating the magic. It’s a beautiful thing, it’s balletic, it’s very dynamic,” says Benedict Cumberbatch. “And once the boys in the backroom get to work on it, there’s going to be crazy s–t going on.”
Like I had mentioned above, this film easily surpasses the weirdness that was Guardians of the Galaxy. Doctor Strange is an entire new entity, and a welcomed one at that. It will touch corners of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe that many didn’t even know were there, which is why it’s so damn exciting. Both Kevin Feige and director Scott Derrickson commented on the weirdness that the film brings. First up is Feige, who talks about the comic book backbone:
“When this comic appeared in the early ’60s, it really informed, in a way that is pretty amazing, a lot of the psychedelic ’60s as we know it. I don’t know that they were doing anything weird in the bullpen in Marvel, but certainly the stuff they were doing inspired all those people who were doing mind-expansion experiments at the time…” “So, that’s inherent to the property. And that’s our mission statement for the visual effects on this movie.”
While I think that horror background Scott Derrickson is a fantastic choice for this property, he says that he still can’t believe he’s making it:
“I’m perpetually awestruck that I’m getting to make this movie…” “I keep waiting for the knock on the door when somebody says, ‘This movie’s too weird, we can’t make this.'”
It may be coming out next year, but Doctor Strange is definitely one of my most looked forward to MCU movies of the next few years. Right now, it has everything going for it. A studio who just knows what they’re doing, a director who is strange enough for the property, and an insanely talented supporting cast to go along with Cumberbatch.
I didn’t even talk about his look in the duds, but do I really need to? He rocks it, and ricks it hard. It’s a total badass look, as well as something completely different from any superhero character we’ve seen to this point. Not only that, but it’s going to be a visual treat. The magical aspects that the film feature are going to play out beautifully on screen. While we love our Iron Man or Captain America movies, we’re always looking for something new and different, and that’s exactly what Doctor Strange is.
Doctor Strange opens November 4th, 2016. Directed by Scott Derrickson starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Mads Mikkelsen.