Doctor Strange at one point seemed like Marvel Studios’ first film that could fail at the box office. Then again, people said the same thing about Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Not only were both big hits, with the former far exceeding expectations, but they’ve both been given sequels. Doctor Strange, meanwhile, just debuted at #1 in Japan, upping its global box office sales to $660 million and making it the 96th highest earner of all time. It’s also the 9th biggest hit in the MCU, proving that audiences are more than keen to explore the weirder side of Marvel’s universe.
More than just a commercial hit, fans and critics agreed that it was another success for Marvel. The film’s even been nominated for numerous awards, including an Oscar. All told, Marvel more than got a return on their investment and will certainly be giving the future Sorcerer Supreme a sequel following his appearance in the upcoming Infinity War. Director Scott Derrickson is excited for Strange to meet Rocket Raccoon, but first, he’ll be helping the God of Thunder out in Thor: Ragnarok. Before any of those movies, however, Doctor Strange will be heading to home video along with a number of extras.
Thanks to EW, we now have our first look at those bonus features in the form of a deleted scene title “Nervous Zealot.” You can watch the scene by clicking on the link, and read below to check out what Derrickson had to say about all the parts of the movie that were cut for the final product.
“I really liked those scenes and I think everyone did a good job on them, but they weren’t hard to cut. We tested the movie with and without them. It wasn’t just about the audience’s reaction, it was really how the movie felt. Pauline Kael used to always talk about the director needing to know where the audience wants to be, and at that point of the movie, the audience didn’t want to be jumping around, they wanted to stay with Strange, who’s on this very interesting, very personal, and very dramatic journey. The intrusion of those scenes was breaking up the soul of the movie in a way that just wasn’t necessary. We didn’t need it. When we removed them, we found that we lost very little, and we gained more power in the major arc of the character. So, it was a pretty easy choice in the end.”
Though the scene is an interesting look at Kaecilius and his followers, the Zealots, as they first summon the dreaded Dormammu, Derrickson is right that it probably would have pulled the audience out of the story. While it helps to flesh out how ruthless Kaecilius is and let’s us see how he and his acolytes first gained their power, it’s nothing that we couldn’t have surmised from the other scenes we saw.
Still, it would have given us more time with the main villain of the movie, something Marvel has continually struggled with. Though plenty of people loved the film, it wasn’t without its critiques. The best set came from the How It Should Have Ended crew, who hilariously sent up the film’s plot holes. With Strange’s origin story out of the way, let’s hope the sequel to the film can spend a bit more time on story and characterization.
We’ll bring you more news about Doctor Strange as it appears. Until then, the film will be out on Blu-ray February 14th.