After prepping for weeks in London for the production of Marvel’s Doctor Strange where the bulk of the project’s principal photography will take place, director Scott Derrickson and crew having begun shooting scenes in Nepal this week. And thanks to the public locations we’re getting out first first unofficial photos of Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Vincent Strange – out of control beard and all.
Doctor Strange is an origin story, the first new origin to be explored in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and by all accounts the film is taking cues from the comics and the wonderful 2007 animated feature which told the same story. And now we have a few more details.
In the source material, Stephen Vincent Strange goes from being a brilliant and arrogant surgeon to superheroic Sorcerer Supreme after injuring his hands in a car collision. Desperate to be able to perform operations again and to get his life back, and after exhausting all known resources and options, Strange sets off on a mystical journey of sorts to find the Ancient One (played by Tilda Swinton in the film) – an urban legend of sorts whom he hopes my be his savior. The man of science becomes a man of faith in a way.
Siguen saliendo las imágenes de Benedict en Nepal Hoy Doctor Strange estará filmando en Patan Durbar Square, Nepal pic.twitter.com/hOskIzAwpf— Cumberaddict ARG. (@Paulascocozza) November 6, 2015
According to an inside source of LR, all of these story beats remain in the live-action adaptation of the Doctor Strange story. They report that the film will actually open with a sequence in the past, in 1968 where in Kathmandu (the capital of Nepal) there are “Zealots of dark magic” opening a portal to another dimension. We know from what Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said about Doctor Strange when he officially announced the film a year ago that it would explore and introduce the MCU to quantum mechanics, string theory, parallel dimensions – a bit of which was teased in Ant-Man earlier this year via Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) brief journey into the “Quantum Realm” (also known as the Microverse in the comics).
In this other dimension, we meet Kaecilius, who in the comics is a field agent for Baron Mordo. Mordo is the antagonist of the film and will be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. After this intro, the film skips forward to present day where Strange is introduced performing an operation on a gunshot victim in New York. Not long later, while chatting on a phone while driving home, the envitable happens and Strange’s journey begins.
Dr. Nicodemus West, a fellow surgeon and admirer of Doctor Strange in the comics, can’t seem to fix Strange’s hands through multiple operations. LR’s scoop continues to reveal that somehow Strange has an “encounter with magic (and sub-atomic particles)” which leads him on the path to Nepal and to the Ancient One who initially refuses to help or mentor him. And this segment of the film is what Marvel is currently shooting. Soon, Strange will trim that beard into something more familiar. And it will be glorious:
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 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.
Doctor Strange vs Dormmanu art by Peter V Nguyen.