After finding success with films about Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, Marvel Studios has been trying its hand at superheroes who are a little farther outside the mainstream. “Ant-Man” had its skeptics, and while I wondered how well the concept of a man shrinking down to the size of an ant would translate to the big screen, the movie turned out to be hilarious and fun. Although “Guardians of the Galaxy” may have seemed like a tough sell with its walking, talking tree and trigger-happy mutant raccoon, it became a huge hit and is now one of my all-time favorite movies. Now, Marvel is preparing to introduce us to another unconventional hero: the mystical Doctor Strange, who has the power to bend the elements and even reality itself.
Marvel just released the first trailer for the “Doctor Strange” movie, which is coming to theaters in early November. The trailer leaves us with a lot of questions, but I’m not really too worried. By this point, I pretty much just trust Marvel; if they could make “Guardians of the Galaxy” work, they can make anything work. The only Marvel film that really disappointed me was “Age of Ultron,” because I felt it introduced some interesting ideas but didn’t push them far enough. In order for “Doctor Strange” to work, I think Marvel needs to fully embrace the, well, “stranger” aspects of this character and not shy away from the weird or supernatural elements of this story.
Stephen Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is a top neurosurgeon who is injured in devastating car crash that ends his career. While on a desperate quest for healing, he meets a mythical being called the Ancient One, who trains him to use magic. Doctor Strange rises from the ashes of his former life to become a superhero protecting the world from evil forces.
I’m a big fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, and I’m excited to see him take on this role (his American accent did throw me a bit at first, though). 😉 While I love him as the title character in the BBC show “Sherlock,” it’s also nice to see him take on different and potentially challenging roles, like this one. The rest of the cast is good, too: Chiwetel Ejiofor as the maybe good-guy or maybe bad-guy Karl Mordo, another pupil of the Ancient One, and the always intriguing Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One herself.
However, as good as this cast is, what really grabbed my attention in the trailer were the gorgeously weird visuals (and I do mean “weird” as a compliment). It reminded me a little of “Inception,” with the way the magical characters could manipulate landscapes and reality. While I’m hoping it won’t be too much like “Inception” and will find its own voice, I think we’ve only seen a small taste of what will be in the final film, and hopefully it will be genuinely mind-blowing.
I’m also intrigued to see how Marvel handles the use of magic in this film. We’ve seen superhuman powers in Marvel movies before, but according to producers this one is supposed to serve as the official “doorway” to the supernatural side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We could be seeing alternate dimensions and a blend of science and magic. I hope Marvel doesn’t play it too safe here, because I think they could bring us something really exciting and different. I think Marvel is saving the best elements for the film itself.
So, what do you think? Are you feeling excited or skeptical about “Doctor Strange”? What do you hope to see in the film?