There’s something Strange in the neighborhood and it has nothing to do with the Ghostbusters. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, after months of waiting fans will finally be able to watch the 14th entry to the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange.
If you’re not really a comic book reader and you’ve only been exposed to the Marvel universe through the films, you might not be too familiar to Doctor Stephen Strange. Is he a real doctor? Why does he dress like a middle-aged magician at a children’s party? Here’s everything you need to know about Marvel’s Doctor Strange.
1. He’s really a doctor.
Not all superheroes are like Captain America who are lab-grown with the sole purpose of defending human race from Hydra and all the evils of the world. Some superheroes do have day jobs. Stephen Strange who first came out in the comics in 1963, is actually a gifted neurosurgeon before he decided to put on the cloak as Doctor Strange. Arrogant and selfish, his life changed forever after being in a car accident that robbed him the use of his hands. With traditional medicine failing him and desperate to find healing, he finds himself in the unlikeliest of places – a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that not only is this place a center for healing, it is also the forefront in the battle against dark forces that are out to destroy our reality. Now it’s up to none other than Doctor Stephen Strange himself to take up the mantle as the most powerful sorcerer and defend all humanity. But in doing so, he has to turn his back on a life of fame and fortune that he has grown to know and love.
2. The movie features a cast of acclaimed actors and actresses.
Ryan Gosling, Ethan Hawke, Viggo Mortensen, and Joaquin Phoenix were just some of the names that were considered before the powers that be from Marvel decided on British actor Benedict Cumberbatch. While you could argue for each name on that list, Academy Award nominated Benedict Cumberbatch lends the movie the perfect mix of a lead actor with critical acclaim and commercial success. Rounding up the cast are actors who have also been recognized by critics and award-giving bodies. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Mordo, who serves as Doctor Strange’s mentor and friend throughout his journey. Rachel McAdams plays Dr. Christine Palmer, Strange’s colleague and love interest in the movie. Benedict Wong (who some of you might know as Kublai Khan on the Netflix series Marco Polo) plays Wong the keeper of Kamar-Taj’s vast library of mystical tomes. The Ancient One went to Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, a wise and centuries-old figure who has safeguarded the secrets of the mystic arts for a very long time. Mads Mikkelsen plays the villain Kaecilius. Kaecilius arrived at the mystical compound seeking the secrets of The Multiverse, but he turned his back on The Ancient One when he believed certain knowledge was being kept from him. “We have a cast that I think has more awards and more award nominations than any single cast we’ve ever put together,” according to Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige himself.
3. Doctor Strange opens up MCU’s magical and mystical side.
Marvel movies have long relied on an established formula. There’s a threat against humanity, whether it be aliens or homicidal robots, and someone has to come forward or come together to stop that threat. It’s a formula that works because its simple and easy to understand. But while previous Marvel movies have leaned towards sci-fi or political themes, Doctor Strange opens up the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a whole other facet. This time the threats are dark forces whose origins are mystical.
The movie is directed by Scott Derrickson who is a veteran of the horror genre so expect a different tone than the one you’ve come to expect from previous Marvel movies. Early reviews of the movie have been positive and have welcomed this refreshingly new dimension to the Marvel Universe.
4. It gives a whole new meaning to the words “eye candy”
We’ve all been used to seeing spectacular set pieces not only in Marvel movies but in blockbuster movies in general that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to impress audiences. And from what we’ve seen in recent releases, bigger hasn’t always been better. The airport battle scene in Captain America: Civil War was far more memorable than seeing Cairo in ruins in X-Men: Apocalypse.