With a name like ‘Doctor Strange’, one has to expect something completely fresh and unusual and it certainly sounds like that’s what movie goers will be getting. The original comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko were created during the trippy psychedelic 60s and that heavily influenced the comics and apparently also the film. Just days ago, we got our first look at star Benedict Cumberbatch decked out in full regalia and it was interesting to note that while the suit retains a real-world feel and fits in with the established heroes of the cinematic universe, it also remained faithful to classic comic renderings, with Strange’s billowy tunic and high-collared, bright red Cloak of Levitation.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who is also an executive producer on ‘Doctor Strange’, stressed that Cumberbatch’s live action take on the character will remain quite faithful to the comics. Expect the character to remain accurate in terms of his other powers as well, as Feige states:
“He does cast spells, which in the comics have very sort of tongue-twisty fun names. We don’t want to shy away from that, because that’s what makes Doctor Strange Doctor Strange… He can create these mandalas of light that he can use as shields and he can use as sort of weapons. He can create portals that will open before your eyes that he can step through and go to other places around the world. And frankly, even in this film, we’ll only touch upon what a lot of his powers are.”
As for the Cloak, Feige promises that it will bring something new to the realm of superhero movies… even though it does present us with yet another such hero with a red cape:
“He has a Cloak of Levitation that allows him to fly, but he doesn’t fly like Superman or like Thor. It’s almost got a consciousness of its own, this cloak, which, again, gives us a superhero with a red cape — which we’ve seen a few times — but allows us to do it in a wholly unique and wholly original way.”
While all of Doctor Strange’s powers and artifacts are mighty, it’s the Eye of Agamotto that may connect this movie to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s ability to “screw with time” hints that this relic may in fact house one of the elusive Infinity Stones (Gems in the comics), specifically the Time Stone.
Feige discussed the mystical amulet, saying:
“In this film, the Eye is a very important relic that can be quite dangerous if used in the wrong hands, because it has the ability to do any number of things, the most dangerous of which is, it can sort of manipulate probabilities. Which is also another way of saying, ‘screw around with time’ — which is part of our story.”
Big Bad Thanos, who has been teased through several films, is seeking the Stones to complete the Infinity Gauntlet, which will give him ultimate power. So far, we’ve seen:
- Blue Space Stone also known as the Tesseract, wielded by the Red Skull in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’, currently under the care of Heimdal.
- Yellow Mind Stone, currently embedded in The Vision’s head, this was the power source of Loki’s scepter in the first ‘Avengers’.
- Red Reality Stone, also known as the Aether used by Malekith in ‘Thor: The Dark World’ but delivered to The Collector by Volstag and Sif.
- Purple Power Stone, which is housed in The Orb from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and is currently in the possession of the Nova Corps.
That leave two unaccounted for; the Soul and Time Stones. With as powerful an artifact as the Eye of Agamotto, it’s almost a given that it will tie into this larger story arc.
What do you think so far? Is a far out ‘Doctor Strange’ just what the doctor ordered? Are there any elements from the comics you would like to see on the big screen?
‘Doctor Strange’ directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Mads Mikkelsen opens in theaters on November 4, 2016.