There are many movies in the works for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some planned as far out as 2021. Next on the agenda, though, is Doctor Strange. Scheduled to hit theaters this November, it also promises to completely change the course of the MCU and bring it into new territory by introducing elements of magic and laying the groundwork for the "Marvel Cinematic Multiverse."
Much of the success of Marvel's movies depend on their stellar casting, something Marvel head Kevin Feige acknowledged when discussing the decision to cast Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. For Doctor Strange, the decision to cast Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme has the potential to make or break the movie. According to the movie's director, Scott Derrickson, it will be entirely the former.
Speaking to Collider, Derrickson discussed a few of the things that Doctor Strange brings to the table as a movie and as part of the MCU. One of those things is the trippy visuals that have been on display in the movie's trailers, including its recent Comic-Con trailer. According to Derrickson, those visuals will be greatly enhanced for audiences viewing the movie in 3D:
"The 3D in the movie accentuates the trippiness of it all. The Steve Ditko, Stan Lee comics were all about these weird visuals and we really used those as a source for the visuals in the movie. And yet there's a textural quality to all of them, as there was in the way that Ditko designed those early visuals, that in 3D are just going to give you more of a sense of it being more present and more real."
All the cool, trippy 3D visuals in the world wouldn't mean a thing if audiences didn't connect with Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, though. Derrickson has seen reactions at some test screenings, however, and according to him the reaction to Cumberbatch's performance is unanimous:
"We've had a few test screenings and the overwhelming thing I've learned is that people love Benedict Cumberbatch in this movie. They just love him. It's kind of the headline, I guess. They love the visuals, they love the action but more than that, they love Benedict, and he is Doctor Strange. And as big as a scale movie as it is and as weird as the visuals get, it is still a story about one guy. It's about one guy overcoming himself and his own ego and in that sense it is a very specific journey that you're tracking through from beginning to end, watching this one man get past himself. And that's what Benedict does and the audiences love him."
Whether audiences go to see Doctor Strange for the cool visuals or to get their Cumberbatch fix, it does not sound like they will walk away disappointed. If the trailers and test screenings are any indication, they will get plenty of both. Granted, the test screening audiences have been sworn to secrecy and no official reviews have yet been released, but all indications still point to this being another hit for Marvel.
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.