Benedict Cumberbatch is the latest star to join the ranks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Sorcerer Supreme in the upcoming Doctor Strange. Screen Rant sat down with Cumberbatch at the press day for Doctor Strange to talk about his preparation for playing Stephen Strange and his excitement at appearing in Avengers: Infinity War.
You pretty much were fan cast as soon as there was an announcement of Doctor Strange, from the very beginning. How much knowledge did you have, actually, about the character?
Benedict Cumberbatch: Well, very little compared to the fans, and the greatest fan of all being Kevin Feige. So as a superfan and Poppa Marvel he—it all came from him. A lot of the heavy lifting was done by him, and Scott’s endless universal and encyclopedic knowledge of the character and the story. So I felt very well taken care of there. But, like most actors, I do my research and paid due diligence to the source material, which is utterly inspiring. I mean, it’s really remarkable stuff. It was a huge left turn for that universe of the comics, and hopefully will be for the cinematic one that we’re making. So I was intrigued by this man. He was complex, he was supremely arrogant, to a point where I was like, “okay yeah, I get it, I get it.” But in the film I thought there’s gotta be more undermining it. I wanna see him fail, I wanna see the humor of someone struggling to understand this ludicrous, extraordinary world that he’s been asked to accept. And also, you know, the real drama of a man whose every inch of his life, every aspect of his life is through what he’s capable of with his hands, and losing that, and what would result is a breakdown physically and mentally from that. So all of those flavors were just mixed in with the great comics of old.
I like Doctor Strange so much because he’s so different than every character in the MCU, just completely different. What do you think Stephen Strange’s thoughts are on the Avengers, as a whole?
Benedict Cumberbatch: That will—it’s a good fish—but that will play out. I’m sure we’ll get to see that in the future. And not too distant future, he will be back. No, I’m gonna be in the Avengers films, which is a phenomenally exciting thing for me. I mean, I came to comics through the film, so I’ve been buying my ticket for the last eight years, and now I’m on the other side of the screen. It’s very, very exciting. And I can’t wait to see who I get to jam with. It’s gonna be great.
In the comics, Doctor Strange does wear different clothes, and gets to play with medieval weapons a lot in future books. Are you excited, when portraying this character again, that you might get to play with some of that stuff?
Benedict Cumberbatch: Yeah. Because the possibilities are endless. It’s not just what he brings to the universe, it’s also what he gets to do in it. So yeah, of course I am. And it’s funny, one of your female colleagues just now said, “it’s a shame that you moved out of the tux, you looked really good in the tux.” I’m like, “there’s no reason why he can’t be in civvies again,” you know? I’m sure he won’t be walking around the streets of New York all the time in blue and red.
Which Avenger are you most excited to share the screen with?
Benedict Cumberbatch: [smiles] A beautiful fish, and I’m not gonna do it. I’m just not gonna bite. But all of them. Really, all of them. And instead of making the joke of listing all of them, I would just say, all of them.