We are less than two months away from the release of the fourteenth installment of the enormously successful Marvel Cinematic Universe ("MCU" for short). Doctor Strange will see the MCU dive head first into the mystic arts, when Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) takes on the role of Stephen Strange. The highly anticipated film also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Martian) as Karl Mordo, Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) as Christine Palmer, and Oscar winner Tilda Swinton (Trainwreck) as the Ancient One. Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) will be playing the main antagonist, Kaecilius.
Doctor Strange follows neurosurgeon Stephen Strange, who, after a horrible car accident, loses the proper function of his hands. This leads Strange on a journey that ultimately brings him face to face with the Ancient One and the mystic arts. Trailers and promos have thus far showcased Doctor Strange's incredible visuals, which highlight the MCU's foray into alternate dimensions and different realms. Some have noted that the film's psychedelic look is reminiscent of Christopher Nolan's Inception, with images of bending streets and buildings. Ultimately, Doctor Strange is another remarkable undertaking by Marvel that promises to be one hell of a ride - at least, that's what Cumberbatch tells us to expect.
In a new Doctor Strange featurette, the cast helps us get to know Stephen Strange and what we can expect from Marvel's first live-action theatrical adaptation of the Sorcerer Supreme. Cumberbatch describes Strange as "incredibly arrogant, brilliant, sort of extraordinary," with a strong need to "control fates, to control destiny, and in particular death."
The featurette also gives us some insight into the film's antagonists' motivations. In describing the villains, Marvel boss Kevin Feige says that "these are people that are seduced by what they find on the other side." He adds, "They are interested in spilling the barriers between these dimensions which would annihilate our entire universe." This is not the first time that a Marvel film will feature that possible destruction of our world (see: well, most of them), but that doesn't make it any less exciting.
Between insane visuals, a great ensemble cast, and the new mystic territory and alternate dimensions being explored, Doctor Strange promises to be yet another successful installment of the MCU. Further, introducing a character like Stephen Strange opens up a wealth of opportunity for the future of the MCU, whose slate of films past the next two Avengers installments is, so far, shrouded in mystery.
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.