Marvel Studios' next film (in what is shaping up to be a very long list of films) is Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) and releasing this fall. The film is Marvel's 14th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will introduce a new element to the shared universe - magic.
Well, strictly speaking magic hasn't been entirely absent from the MCU, but what's new is Doctor Strange's unique brand of mysticism and the ways in which the film promises to explore it. For one, star Benedict Cumberbatch - who, it was revealed, was the only actor Marvel ever "seriously considered" for the role of Dr. Stephen Strange - has said that "magic is magic in this movie," which comes as a stark contrast to the "advanced science" explanation previously given for Thor, Loki, Asgard and all its clearly magical qualities.
That magic and mysticism play a huge role in Doctor Strange should come as no surprise to anyone following along with the film's promotional campaign, full of trailers, promos, and posters, all of which ask us to 'Question Reality'. That theme continues with these latest television spots, which you can watch above and below.
The marketing message of Doctor Strange is clear: you've never seen anything like this before. It echoes an obvious theme of the film, one in where Stephen has his eyes opened to new possibilities and other realities, but it's also true of the MCU (and through our watching of these films, ourselves). No Marvel movie has ever looked anything like the footage we see from Doctor Strange, teasing that Marvel hasn't run out ideas just yet.
Then again, there are easily made comparisons to films like Inception, so not until Doctor Strange actually releases can we be certain of its originality. Though, even if the warping and bending of imagery took a page or two from Inception, and added it to it, then just how clever or inventive the film is with similar tricks might be enough.
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 War – 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.