After finally and officially being named Doctor Strange by Marvel Studios, Benedict Cumberbatch is now doing is part to pump up the hype for the film. Although there have been numerous tests for how much the audience will invest themselves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – from Iron Man to Thor to The Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy to the upcoming Ant-Man – Doctor Strange still represents another one of those trials: will the audience believe in magic, Marvel style? Of course, the answer, you’re thinking, is yes, but the magical worlds of Marvel are a little bit funkier than what you might find at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Cumberbatch wants to put you on notice that there’s a huge new element coming in Strange.
Here’s the quote from Cumberbatch in the Wall Street Journal:
“I don’t think it’s a risk because of Marvel. Marvel is a stable of bringing out ordinary comic characters and turning them into screen-like gods. It’s very different, it’s an Astral Plane. There’s a huge new element to this Marvel universe that’s going to be employed in building this story and this character. But you know, I’m really excited about it, about working with Scott [Derrickson] whose imagination is endless, and all the boys and girls at Marvel who know what they’re doing. I’ve got a few things to get under my belt first. I’ve got to do that little stage production of “Hamlet” in the summer and the Christmas special of “Sherlock,” which we start shooting in about three days’ time – Whoops! Yeah, that’s there.”
True, Marvel has had a pretty good habit of not just beating the odds, but trouncing them, however, Doctor Strange does still carry its fair share of risk. Concepts like the Astral Plane, or villains like Dormammu or Nightmare are a bit more to wrap your head around than more straightforward bad guys like Loki or HYDRA. Or concepts like a helicarrier.
Also added to the degree of difficulty is that while Doctor Strange has been a regular presence in comic book form, his own ongoing series haven’t been especially appealing to comic book fans. Of course, the same could be said about Guardians of the Galaxy, and it became the most popular movie box office-wise of 2014.
Of course, Marvel is eying Strange as a major piece of its next phase in film production, with the Doctor, perhaps, being seen as an obvious sub for Robert Downey Jr. heading on into the future of films in the MCU as the linchpin character. There are some traits that both Strange and Tony Stark share: arrogance, drive, intelligence, power, and both are seen as leaders in their respective fields, technology and magic. Perhaps that’s the shift that Cumberbatch is referring to, with the exception of Thor, much of the Marvel U thus far has been science and technology driven, but with Strange and later Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Inhumans, things are about to get weirder. Time will tell.
Doctor Strange will be in theaters everywhere on November 4, 2016.
Source: Comic Book.com