Doctor Strange: Benedict Wong On the Film's Version of Wong

Doctor Strange - Wong from the Marvel comics

Now that Marvel’s much touted Phase 3 is officially in session, things are about to get a little strange. The resounding critical and fan success of Captain America: Civil War portends great things in the run up to Infinity War, but we’re a long way off from there, with new characters still to be introduced before the climatic face off against Thanos finally hits the big screen. Most notably, in the form of Benedict Cumberbatch’s (Sherlock), Dr. Stephen Strange.

Doctor Strange marks the first foray into the magical side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, promising mind bending visuals that blow the doors of the universe wide open. Directed by Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us from Evil, Sinister), the film represents an expansion of the Marvel status quo that will allow us to see the Avengers universe in a way we’ve never seen it before. That’s the hope, anyway, and if the first trailer is any indication, we’ll be in for something truly spectacular. Of course, given the general weirdness of its comic book forebear, many have wondered how faithful the movie would be to its source material - and now one actor offered some insight in the changes made to their character.

In an interview with Den of Geek, actor Benedict Wong (The Martian) discussed his character, Wong, and the changes they took bringing him to the big screen. In the comics, the character Wong is the manservant of Doctor Strange, serving as sort of the Alfred to Strange’s Bruce Wayne. While that aspect will still be in portrayed on the big screen, the actor Wong did suggest a new approach for the character in the film.

“I’m certainly not going to be the tea-making manservant. We’re heading in a different direction. He’s more of a drill sergeant. There isn’t any martial arts for Wong in Doctor Strange actually, he’s more of a drill sergeant to Kamar-Taj. He’s one of the masters of sorcery.”

While in the comics Wong does come from a long line of warrior monks and protectors of the Ancient One, he’s often seen as somewhat diminutive (though not without his warrior moments). Here, it seems as though the character will have a more direct role in the training of Dr. Strange as he journeys into the magical realm.

In keeping with the “Alfred tradition,” this somewhat mirrors the direction that character has taken as he’s evolved on the big screen. Master Wayne’s loyal servant has morphed over the years from stately butler to partner in crime (see the versions of Alfred in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the Gotham TV show), and perhaps Marvel is taking a cue from their DC counterparts here.

Marco Polo - Benedict Wong as Kublai Khan
Benedict Wong as Kublai Khan in Marco Polo

It makes sense for Wong to be evolved in such a manner, as it allows for both the inclusion of the familiar character as well as providing Strange with a skilled master to spur his training along. Some may decry the change in tone for the character, but it certainly allows for the overall narrative to be told in a concise manner while giving a knowing nod to the source material.

The actor Wong also hinted at a desire for the character Wong to show up in future Marvel movies, a prospect that seems likely with Infinity War lurking on the horizon. In typical Marvel fashion, the actor was mum on the issue, but the door was left cracked open to the possibility.

“That would be nice! No, we’ll start off with the first one. I’m just happy nearly completing in Doctor Strange. I’m very excited to see what happens.”

Depending on how powerful they make the character in the upcoming movie, it could be interesting to see what, if any, role he takes in the fight against Thanos. As jam packed as that movie is with MCU heroes, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Wong show up there in some form or fashion. We’ll just have to wait and see how Phase 3 plays out, but for the time being it seems that everything is rosy in the MCU. We’ll keep you posted on any and all news as it becomes available.

NEXT: Doctor Strange Toys Reveal Mads Mikkelsen's Character

Doctor Strange opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016, followed by 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 War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– 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: Den of Geek

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