Stuff you need to know about Marvel’s Strangest entry yet
THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW
Marvel has been gently teasing the mightiest magician in the cosmos for a few movies now, and Stephen Vincent Strange MD is now finally set to sprinkle his magic. But with Captain America: Civil War juggling the full Albert Square of storylines and characters, Doctor Strange – directed by Sinister’s Scott Derrickson – is going to be a mostly self-contained origin story. Mostly.
SLEUTH TO SORCERER
Lofty arrogance? Extraordinary intelligence? Weighty foibles? Benedict Cumberbatch sounds like the perfect fit for the silver streaks, with the movie employing a fairly straight bat with the basic story: the world’s greatest neurosurgeon has his marvellous hands mangled, sending him across the planet – and eventually the dimensions – in search of meaning, bridging the science world and the mystic one to become Sorcerer Supreme.
But first Strange has to serve an apprenticeship under the Ancient One, a Himalaya-based Marvel-Yoda looking to pass the cosmic crown on to a worthy younger head before she exits this plain of reality. Marvel’s casting crew has played a blinder, swapping the gender and casting “ambiguous” Tilda Swinton in the part.
The Good Doctor’s won’t be the only bumprint on the Ancient One’s upholstery. But while former student Baron Karl Mordo isn’t entirely enamoured of the new teacher’s pet, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Transylvanian grudge-packer will be following the beat of Strange’s drum… this time around anyway.
Who’s Doctor Strange’s big bad then? Well, “menacing” Mads Mikkelsen is on board as a hush hush character, but let’s not beat about the bush with your Nightmares or Satannishs here. We’ll just say he’s playing Dormammu, the Lord of the Realm of Darkness – a blazing beast from another dimension and Sorcerer Supreme’s number one foe.
CLEA AND PRESENT DANGER
If we’re chalking Mads up as Dormammu, then that would make Rachel McAdams’s similarly top-secret role Clea, Strange’s future paramour from the Dark Dimension and also Dormammu’s niece. We’d bank on Clea ditching the flaming family ties and getting registered to a new surgery by the climax.
A GEM OF A STORY
Of course Doctor Strange is going to tie in with the rest of the MCU, specifically by way of the Infinity Gems or – as they’ve been rebranded – the Infinite Six. The Sorcerer Supreme just happens to have the powerful-if-pernicious Soul Stone swinging around his neck – expect the necklace to get passed on from the Ancient One to Doctor Strange before finding itself powering Thanos’s Infinity War.
WHEN TO EXPECT IT?
Doctor Strange opens on 4 November