Sinister director Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange will be the first Marvel Studios film to explore the concepts of magic, mythicism, and sorcery within the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, when it arrives in Fall 2016. Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame is playing Stephen Vincent Strange – the brilliant if arrogant surgeon who becomes a practitioner of the magic arts after a life-changing accident – in the movie and much has already been made of not just his abilities, but also the magical artifacts that Strange employs (such as the Cloak of Levitation).
Strange’s base of operations is also known as the Sanctum Sanctorum and has already seemingly been partially revealed via previously-released concept art for the Doctor Strange film that shows a location referred to as the Chamber of Relics – a place where Strange keep important magical objects (such as the Eye of Agamotto). Additional concept art for Derrickson’s comic book adaptation has been unveiled, revealing yet another section of Strange’s headquarters, along with a set photo that shows off (part of) the real thing.
Doctor Strange producer Louis D’Esposito posted the following set image to his verified Twitter account, showing the architecturally stylized window to Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum. Following that is concept art that offers a larger view of the room (as was also officially released by Marvel):
The Doctor Strange movie script, as was co-penned by such people as Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) and Derrickson’s frequent collaborator C. Robert Cargill, will explore its namesake’s origins; meaning, those filmgoers unfamiliar with the character though the world of Marvel Comics will be provided background information on not only the Sanctum Sanctorum, but also those key magical artifacts it houses and how Strange came to acquire them. Seeing as the movie includes a straight-forward villain – a mystery character being played by Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) – whose thoughts about how to control the world of magic differ strikingly from those of Strange’s teacher, aka The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), the idea of Strange being entrusted to guard precious magical objects from the more malevolent magic-users of the MCU (during his solo film) seems pretty self-explanatory.
Meanwhile, the aesthetics and visual style of Doctor Strange appear to be on the level with those of the Thor movies, which is appropriate enough – seeing as out of all the Marvel features released in Phase I and II of the MCU, they have dipped their foot the deepest in fantasy (though Asgard and its concepts of “magic” are technically grounded in fictional science). Doctor Strange does promise to be somewhat darker and much more trippy than the Thor movies though, and it’s in that respect that Derrickson’s background in supernatural horror (having also directed such films as Hellraiser: Inferno and Deliver Us from Evil) should come nicely into play – when it concerns the “scary things” that Strange must protect the people of Earth from.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.