In November audiences will meet one of Marvel's darkest and most mystical characters: Stephen Strange, also known as 'The Sorcerer Supreme.' Strange will debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in his standalone movie, Doctor Strange, as part of Marvel's Phase Three, injecting mysticism and, apparently, time-altering mechanics to the studio's superhero universe.
Marvel has been especially mysterious about Strange, but the details are finally starting to arrive. After getting the first official look at Benedict Cumberbatch in full Doctor Strange costume, as well as some extra images and concept art, the Marvel crew are now sharing details on Strange's powers and magical artifacts.
Marvel Studios President (and Doctor Strange producer) Kevin Feige spoke to EW about the powers available to the starring sorcerer, once he's set aside an esteemed career as a neurosurgeon in favor of the mystic arts. Most fans were delighted to see Strange's costume for the movie is surprisingly faithful to the comic books - and somehow not cartoonish in the slightest. That commitment to the source material is a top priority, Feige explains, and that extends to his powers:
"He can do a whole host of things, eventually. He does cast spells, which in the comics have very sort of tongue-twisty fun names. We don’t want to shy away from that, because that’s what makes Doctor Strange 'Doctor Strange'. He has a Cloak of Levitation that allows him to fly, but he doesn’t fly like Superman or like Thor. It’s almost got a consciousness of its own, this cloak, which, again, gives us a superhero with a red cape — which we’ve seen a few times — but allows us to do it in a wholly unique and wholly original way.
"He can create these mandalas of light that he can use as shields and he can use as sort of weapons. He can create portals that will open before your eyes that he can step through and go to other places around the world. And frankly, even in this film, we’ll only touch upon what a lot of his powers are."
That sounds a lot like the Stephen Strange fans know and love. In addition to being a powerful magician who draws his powers from various mystical entities, Strange counts on assistance from artifacts like his Cloak of Levitation – which, as explained by Feige, gives him the ability to levitate and fly – the Orb of Agamotto (which is primarily used as a crystal ball), the Book of the Vishanti, and the Eye of Agamotto.
Sharp eyed fans previously noticed an object that looks a lot like the Eye of Agamotto in a behind-the-scenes picture shared by Marvel Studios' co-president Louis D'Esposito. It turns out that wasn't just wishful thinking, as Kevin Feige also confirms that the Eye of Agamotto will appear in Doctor Strange:
"The Cloak of Levitation [and] the Eye of Agamotto are his two signature pieces. In this film, the Eye is a very important relic that can be quite dangerous if used in the wrong hands, because it has the ability to do any number of things, the most dangerous of which is, it can sort of manipulate probabilities. Which is also another way of saying, ‘screw around with time’ — which is part of our story."
The Eye is also used by Strange to find and show the truth, dispelling disguises and illusions. With Strange's abilities to travel through different dimensions, open portals, and manipulate time and probabilities, it's going to be quite interesting to see how all this will affect the rest of the MCU and how they will link to upcoming major films - The Avengers: Infinity War most notable among them.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 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.