By now, Marvel fans and moviegoers in general are aware that Avengers: Infinity War is not simply going to feature the titular team reuniting to face a new cosmic threat, but also a wide assortment of guest stars and supporting characters from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That assortment potentially includes new characters who won’t yet have appeared in any of the MCU films released prior to Infinity War hitting theaters in 2018.
One question yet to be answered is whether or not any of the characters meeting the Avengers for the first time will end up joining the team themselves. As it turns out, ahead of his first big-screen solo outing, Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed the name of at least one new Avenger: himself.
At a London press event for the upcoming UK premiere of Doctor Strange, Cumberbatch was joined by other members of the film’s cast; including, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, and Rachel McAdams. According to an attendee from Screen Rant, the Sherlock star offered the following with regard whether or not Stephen Strange will become one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in Infinity War:
“There’s so much going on in this film [Doctor Strange]. There’s such a great story arc, there are so many great challenges for me, as an actor, in every department, from wirework to kung fu to great dialogue scenes with the most incredible cast and great characters. [I] put it on the back-burner that I was playing a superhero… At the premiere, which was the first time I’d seen the film, and – I won’t spoil it for you – but there’s a moment near the end where I thought, ‘Oh yeah, that’s it, he’s a superhero, he’s going to be an Avenger,’ so that’s really cool.”
The news may sound obligatory to casual fans who’ve first come to know the makeup of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes through the MCU – where, so far, almost every Earth-bound hero introduced has eventually united with The Avengers. Doctor Strange becoming an Avenger (and not just helping them) was less cut-and-dry for comic book readers. The character has been a part of the Marvel Comics Universe for almost as long as the founding members of The Avengers, but he’s largely worked on his own (or as part of smaller short-lived teams like The Defenders), dealing with supernatural threats that other superheroes are often not even aware exist.
Left unsaid is what that means about why Doctor Strange is showing up in Infinity War in the first place. In traditional Marvel mythos, the cosmic and supernatural realms tend to bleed together at a certain point, and the Sorcerer Supreme oftens finds himself contending with entities like Eternity, Infinity, and Death Herself (characters that more typically menace the likes of Thor or the Guardians of the Galaxy). However, Infinity War is expected to spin out of the inter-dimensional events of Thor: Ragnarok, so its possible that Strange will be drawn into the conflict that way.