It’s been a long road for Stephen Strange to get to the big screen, but the wait for the Sorcerer Supreme to hit theaters is finally coming to an end. Various scripts for a Doctor Strange movie have been floating around Hollywood since the 80’s – with some even entering the pre-production phase – but it took Marvel Cinematic Universe overlord Kevin Feige to finally make the project a reality. Considering that Marvel’s 80’s film output consisted of Howard the Duck and the Dolph Lundgren Punisher, it’s pretty safe to assume that the delay was a blessing in disguise.
Up until now, Doctor Strange has been filming in Nepal, doing primarily outdoor location shooting. This has led to many leaked set photos that have given us our first looks at the cast in costume and various scenes being shot. Unfortunately, that era of freebie peeks may soon be coming to an end, as filming has moved indoors to the UK’s Longcross Film Studios.
While it’s likely that some additional exterior sequences still remain on the calendar, most of the UK filming will presumably be done on stages. The news that filming had moved to the UK was first reported by ScreenDaily, and is also supported by a recent BBC interview with lead Benedict Cumberbatch, in which the actor said that he’s finished up in Nepal and is getting ready to do some in-studio work.
Doctor Strange is set to not only serve as an origin story for the character within the MCU, but also introduce the supernatural realm into the theatrical Marvel landscape. Well, as long you don’t count an Asgardian god as a supernatural being. Also in the cast are Tilda Swinton as Strange’s mentor The Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, Michael Stuhlbarg as Nicodemus West, and Rachel McAdams, Amy Landecker, and Scott Adkins in still unannounced roles. Hannibal’s Mads Mikkselsen is also reportedly in talks, but has yet to be officially confirmed. Sinister helmer Scott Derrickson is directing the picture.
Many Marvel fans believe that Doctor Strange is a risky box office bet, and could very well be the MCU’s first flop. Of course, many people made similar proclamations about the financial viability of Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, both of which saw critical and commercial success. There were also doubts that Daredevil could be saved from the bad memories of his Affleck incarnation via a TV series, which also proved to be entirely unfounded. While it’s natural for audiences to wonder just when Marvel’s epic reign of hits will finally end, the time to keep expecting the studio’s next effort to bomb has passed. With Feige in control, Marvel seems on track to keep ruling theaters for some time to come.
Doctor Strange premieres in theaters on November 4th, 2016.