Doctor Strange has been a passion project for Kevin Feige for years now. Looking back on it too, it doesn’t seem like he could have planned the film’s release any better. After introducing audiences to the tone and superhero world with Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Feige released more films in Phase 2 that began to challenge the conventional tones and stories that the genre had become known for telling in the past. Each time audiences seemed to embrace the risks that the studio took, and it seems like casual moviegoers might finally be ready for Doctor Strange too.
The film has been packed to the brim with interesting creative talents so far though. Starting with long-time horror director Scott Derrickson at the helm, and stars like Benedict Cumberbatch as Strange, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, and Mads Mikkelsen and Rachel McAdams in unknown roles – Marvel could not have made a better creative team for this film.
A lot about the project has remained secret over the past few months though, but with the film set to begin production in November, it looks like we’re finally going to begin hearing more about the movie’s plot and direction in the coming weeks. While recently speaking with IGN recently too, Kevin Feige revealed new details about the highly-secretive film, beginning with why they chose to tell Stephen Strange’s origin story onscreen:
“For some reason people sometimes talked about how we’re not doing an origin story, we’re bored of origin stories. I think people are bored of origin stories they’ve seen before or origin stories that are overly familiar. Doctor Strange has one of the best, most classic, most unique origin stories of any hero we have, so why wouldn’t we do that? That was sort of always the plan. How you tell that origin, perhaps there are ways to twist it or play with that, but for the most part, it’s a gift when the comics have something with such clarity of story and of character. That doesn’t always happen in the comics, and when it does, you use it.”
Considering some of the incredibly high-concept and zany topics that Strange will be dealing with and playing with in the film (including the Quantum Realm which was just introduced in Ant-Man), when asked which character would help to introduce and guide the audience through some of these story aspects, Feige said, “Strange, for sure.”
However, when asked more about who Rachel McAdams will be playing in the movie, Feige admitted that she is acting as the audience’s eyes as well, “to a certain extent.” He elaborated more with the following:
“She plays a very, very big part in the movie and represents a certain point of view of the worlds that we experience in that movie, but Doctor Strange, without a doubt, is the character we follow through the movie.”
So while we still have no confirmation of who McAdams will be playing in the film (although most guesses seem to be pointing towards Clea, a daughter from the Dark Dimension and is often a love interest of Strange in the comics), it does give us a bit of a clearer picture in how her character will factor into the story. It seems like many of the characters in the film will be dealing with and facing ideas and worlds that they never have before, and should help to get the audience into the film’s story as well, without leaving them behind in the dust.
One of the most interesting casting decisions made for the film though (out of several other interesting choices), was the casting of actress Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, who teaches Stephen Strange in the art of magic and mysticism, and is also a male character in the comics. While not many fans have seem angered about the out-of-the-box casting (Swinton has even played male roles in the past, see Snowpiercer), it has also completely changed what Strange fans had previously been expecting from the movie. As far as Kevin Feige was concerned though, he thought that casting Tilda Swinton was the right move:
“We get an amazing actress to play an amazing character, and do it in a way that’s very unique and doesn’t fall into any outdated stereotypes that sometimes pop up in the comics from years past. It’s funny you ask ‘Will Tilda Swinton be playing a woman?’ and you ask it because she does an amazing job of being sort of ambiguous in terms of gender. I think you’ll see us playing it in ways that she’s played other characters that way. Clearly she’s a woman, but it is very ambiguous in her portrayal.”
Personally, after having seen Swinton do groundbreaking work in the past as well, both as female and male characters onscreen, I have kind of fallen in love with the idea of her as the Ancient One. I think that Marvel is making some smart out-of-the-box moves with this film, and every single casting makes it seem more and more like Doctor Strange has the potential to be one of the most unique and interesting superhero films ever made. If not the most.
Judging by the concept art that was shown at this year’s D23 as well, Strange has the rare advantage of surprise on its side. While nearly every other superhero movie and TV show fits into a specific genre or tone, this is one of the few times where I genuinely don’t think audiences will know what to expect going into the theatre for the first time. That might be why it’s my most anticipated Marvel movie right now.
Doctor Strange is set to hit theatres on November 4th, 2016.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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