The third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe got off to a rousing start this summer with Captain America: Civil War. It continues this fall as Doctor Strange makes its way into theaters in November. Starring fan-favorite Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme, it will be the first film in the MCU to truly dive into the realms of magic and mysticism. So far, the studio has put together a strong marketing campaign, with numerous trailers and images teasing mind-bending visuals that are unlike anything fans have seen in this franchise before.
Like most MCU installments, Doctor Strange will be playing in IMAX, allowing viewers to witness director Scott Derrickson's vision on the largest screen possible. There's no denying that Strange seems tailor-made for the premium format, and now Marvel is beginning to promote the project's release in those theaters. The latest advertisement (watch it above) is described by the company as an "IMAX 3D Exclusive first look."
For the most part, the footage and overall set up of the trailer are recycled from earlier clips, in which the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) explains to Strange that the world he currently lives in is just one possible reality of many. Since this preview is geared specifically towards IMAX, it's no surprise that the set pieces receive a majority of the screen time, with collapsing buildings and spells popping out for all to see. It remains to be seen how Doctor Strange bucks the traditional Marvel origin story formula, but Derrickson certainly has a nice handle the look of his film.
The dialogue is also a treat for moviegoers. Wong (Benedict Wong) highlights one connection to the larger series (of what's sure to be many), stating the primary difference between the kinds of threats the Avengers face (which are more of a physical nature) and the mystical ones they square off against. That will surely be a key component of the final film and serves as a good reason for why other Avengers are not present in Strange's solo vehicle (a tricky question most MCU movies face). It's nice to see Marvel expanding their horizons and further fleshing out their universe, which will hopefully make it feel more grander in scope.
So far, Doctor Strange seems as if it will be "darker" and more serious than its predecessors, but the filmmakers still found places for the franchise's trademark brand of humor. The exchange between Strange and the villain Kaecilius (where there's some confusion over Stephen's official title) is worth a chuckle. It's reminiscent of the wi-fi joke that's been used in other trailers. Marvel has done a great job over the years balancing comedy and drama, which has been one of their calling cards since the beginning. The box office figures (and professional reviews) show that the moviegoing public at large enjoys this approach, so they're not going to change things too drastically. When Strange opens, the MCU will be 14 films deep, and they're showing no signs of slowing down.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet-untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: Marvel Studios