The summer movie season may be winding down, but the studios still have plenty of major tentpoles to release over the last four months of 2016. One of the biggest blockbusters on the docket is Doctor Strange, the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Scott Derrickson, it serves as an origin story for Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who seeks the teachings of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) to become the Sorcerer Supreme after he suffers injuries in an automobile accident.
With just under three months to go until the movie's premiere (as of this writing), Marvel is starting to ramp up the marketing campaign. A new full-length trailer was unveiled during the studio's Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, and the first television spot recently made its way online. Now, just as they are with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Disney is using the high interest in the Rio Olympic games to promote Doctor Strange with a new advertisement, which you can watch above.
This commercial is basically a truncated version of the Comic-Con preview (no new footage is shown), providing viewers with the broad strokes of the narrative. Strange's journey is once again highlighted, as his perception of reality is challenged by the realm of the mystic arts. The spot also provides a look at Mads Mikkelsen's villain Kaecilius, who is teased as a powerful and intimidating threat to the world that Strange and his new allies - including Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) have to stop.
Doctor Strange promises to be one of the most visually stunning works in the MCU to date, with mind-bending set pieces that bear some resemblance to certain scenes from Christopher Nolan's Inception. The film will introduce the concept of magic into the franchise, giving it a fresh element to make it stand out from the earlier movies. As the MCU continues to grow, it's important for each film to bring something new to the table, and Doctor Strange looks like it will accomplish that in spades. It's true that audiences have seen a plethora of origin tales to date, but there are ways to mix things up so the formula doesn't get stale. For instance, last year's Ant-Man borrowed elements from the heist genre to entertaining results. Doctor Strange possesses numerous aspects that make it unique.
The key for Marvel moving forward is to get casual moviegoers hooked prior to November. They've shown time and time again that they can make a hit out of just about anything, so they shouldn't have too many problems selling Doctor Strange to viewers. If future trailers and TV spots continue to showcase the film's epic scale and scope, there will be many interested in seeing it on the biggest screen (and most premium format) possible. Considering the word-of-mouth is there, Doctor Strange will cap off a successful year for the studio.
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 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: Marvel Studios