After Captain America: Civil War kicked the doors of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3 wide open earlier this year, we're now eagerly looking forward to the next installment in the series — Doctor Strange — which lands in a couple of months, arriving in the US on November 4, 2016.
As with all good superhero movies, there's a ton of information, theories and rumors about Doctor Strange floating around the internet right now. But worry not, that's what we're here for. Below is our complete guide to what you need to know about Doctor Strange.
This article will be updated continually in the lead up to the Doctor Strange release, so make sure you return frequently to catch all the newest news and hot rumors!
Doctor Strange News & Rumors
Updated 10/12/2016: Director Scott Derrickson Spills All Via Reddit
Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson took to Reddit yesterday for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with Marvel fans, and we learned a surprising amount from the questions he answered during the session. From clarification regarding whether or not we'll see horror genre elements in Doctor Strange, to new information about the villains, click on the link below to get the full rundown!
Stan Lee's Cameo Revealed!
Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee's cameos are always something to look forward to in every new Marvel movie, and Doctor Strange will be no exception. In fact, it's hiding a very special Easter Egg. Click away below to find out more, but be warned, spoilers lurk within!
New Footage Reveals Doctor Strange's Character Arc, Dormammu, And More!
A special 15 minute IMAX Doctor Strange preview screened this week, revealing heaps of information about the upcoming movie! Click away at the links below to find out more, but be warned, spoilers lurk within!
- Early Doctor Strange Footage Shows Off Stephen Strange's Character Change
- Dormammu, A Reference To Civil War And More: Here's Everything We Learned From The Doctor Strange IMAX Event
Updated 10/04/16: The Cloak of Levitation Features in New TV Spot
Doctor Strange TV spot No. 9 is here, and it brings with it some adorable new footage featuring Strange's famous Cloak of Levitation — and it's the best look at the mystical item we've seen yet. Check it out below!
Like in the comics, it appears that this little cape has a mind of its own — and it's certainly taken a liking to Strange, as Baron Mordo points out in amusement. We wonder how the Eye of Agamotto feels about him though...
Doctor Strange to Appear in Infinity War
The big news — which comes as no surprise to anyone — is that Doctor Strange has seemingly been officially tapped to appear in the hotly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War. At least, that's according to Benedict Cumberbatch himself.
And that's not all he's been teasing...
Benedict Cumberbatch Hints At The Arrival Of The Illuminati
Speaking to IGN when they visited the set of Doctor Strange, Cumberbatch seemed to suggest that the Illuminati may pop up in a potential Doctor Strange 2. As he told them:
"I’m excited to see where the Illuminati and whatever else might happen, how that works, and where it ends up."
The mention of the Illuminati — the secret superhero group that originally consisted of Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Namor, Professor X and Black Bolt — is intriguing enough by itself. But when you look at it in relation to those Infinity Stone rumors, it becomes even more so, given that the group was once the protector of the Infinity Gems themselves.
Updated 09/28/16: New Doctor Strange trailer arrives!
Marvel just dropped the third Doctor Strange trailer and holy Ancient One does it look awesome! Check it out:
In the new trailer, we get to see even more of the good Doctor's backstory, in addition to some trippy scenes of the Ancient One and the Zealots demonstrating their powers. We also get a look at some of the different time dimensions Doctor Strange operates within, including the portals he travels through.
Doctor Strange Villains Revealed
The four-minute long Doctor Strange featurette included on the Captain America: Civil War home media release revealed the name behind the villains of the piece.
Led by Kaecilius, they're a temple of mystics called the Zealots who broke away from the teachings of the Ancient One as they believed she was keeping knowledge from them in an attempt to solidify her own power base.
Kevin Feige: "We're excited about the villains in this film. We call them the Zealots. These are people who become seduced by what they find on the other side."
Doctor Strange Trailer
There's been two feature length Doctor Strange trailers released for now, the second and most comprehensive of which dropped at the San Diego Comic Con earlier this year. Check it out above, and follow the links below for our first trailer breakdown and to check out the first TV spot.
While the first Doctor Strange trailer focused on the origins of Doctor Stephen Strange, the Comic Con follow up really expanded upon what we'd seen before, and gave us a better look at Baron Mordo, Kaecilius, Wong and Christine Palmer. It also showed us a tentative, unsure Strange — very different from the arrogant neurosurgeon he is when his journey to greatness, and redemption, begins.
- Doctor Strange Trailer Breakdown: Reality Warping And THAT Mystery Villain
- A New Reality: The First Doctor Strange TV Spot Arrives To Bring A Touch Of Magic To The MCU
Doctor Strange Release Date
The Doctor Strange release date is set for November 4, 2016 in the USA. As for the rest of the world it's pot luck, with the movie landing anywhere between October 26, and January 2017! Check out some of the other major release dates below.
- UK: October 25, 2016
- France, Italy, Poland & Hong Kong: October 26, 2016
- Australia, Germany, Singapore & Thailand: October 27, 2016
- Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania & Sweden: October 28, 2016
- Philippines: November 2, 2016
- Argentina, Brazil, Czech Republic, Israel & Russia: November 3, 2016
- Canada, India, Norway, Romania, Turkey, USA & South Africa: November 4, 2016
- Japan: January, 27 2017
Doctor Strange Plot
The Doctor Strange plot is set to open up the Marvel Cinematic Universe to magic and dimension-hopping, telling the story of the world's foremost neurosurgeon and his fall from grace. The callous and arrogant Doctor Stephen Strange had it all, a high powered job, fame and money, but fate had other plans for him. When his precious surgeons hands suffer irreparable nerve damage in a car accident, he loses everything he thought he held dear.
Seeking out the legend of the Ancient One — a mystic who is said to be able to cure all illnesses — he discovers a hidden Sanctuary where Masters of the Mystic Arts train apprentices in the ways of the magic. The Ancient One agrees to help him, on the condition that he stays and studies under her at the Sanctuary of Kamar-Taj.
When former Master of the Mystic Arts Kaecilius attempts to dissolve the barriers between realities, Doctor Strange will discover if he truly has what it takes to become the Sorcerer Supreme — Earth's ultimate mystical protector.
Doctor Strange Cast
Doctor Strange will be directed by Scott Derrickson — an interesting choice for a Marvel movie given that Derrickson is best known for his work in the horror genre. Based largely on the work of Doctor Strange creator Steve Ditko, the screenplay was penned by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara, Uncharted) with Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) and C. Robert Cargill (Sinister) co-writing.
If you like the sound of the crew, wait until you get a load of the fantastic Doctor Strange cast.
— Benedict Cumberbatch: Popular British actor and darling of stage and screen, Benedict Cumberbatch made his name playing Sherlock Holmes on the BBC's Sherlock. He portrays the titular character Doctor Stephen Strange.
— Tilda Swinton: The goddess that is Tilda Swinton steps into the shoes of The Ancient One, following up on her previous comic book role as Gabriel in Constantine. Typically portrayed as male in the comics, this will be the first time we see a "gender bent" version of the Ancient One.
— Mads Mikkelsen: Danish actor and Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen will portray the main villain of the piece, Kaecilius. Based on an incredibly minor character from the comics, we can't wait to see how Mikkelsen makes Kaecilius his own.
— Rachel McAdams: Rom-com queen and True Detective star Rachel McAdams portrays Christine Palmer. Based upon the character of the same name from the comics, Christine was one of the three Night Nurses (though not the one Strange had a relationship with).
— Chiwetel Ejiofor: Oscar nominated star of 12 Years A Slave and Triple 9, Chiwetel Ejiofor appears as Baron Karl Mordo — Strange's arch nemesis from the Marvel Comics. But there's a twist to his character this time around, a new take for the MCU (and we'll get to that shortly).
— Benedict Wong: Benedict Wong has the perfect name for this casting, as the Marco Polo star will portray Master of the Mystic Arts Wong — Strange's teacher and sidekick from the comics.
— Michael Stuhlbarg: Boardwalk Empire and A Serious Man star Michael Stuhlbarg is appearing as Nicodemus West, another fellow surgeon of Stephen Strange.
Doctor Strange Characters
Now you've met the cast, here's a little more info on the Doctor Strange characters they'll portray.
— Dr. Stephen Strange: An arrogant surgeon who loses everything after a car accident, he seeks out the Ancient One who sees in him the potential for greatness. He will become the Sorcerer Supreme, the most powerful magic user on Earth, if he can overcome his greatest flaw — his own ego.
— The Ancient One: The Ancient One is the Master of all Masters of the Mystic Arts, training novices at her Sanctuary of Kamar-Taj. Thousands of years old, she's charged with seeking out and guiding potential magic users — all in her search for the successor to her title of Sorcerer Supreme.
— Kaecilius: Formerly a Master of the Mystic Arts at Kamar-Taj alongside the Ancient One, Baron Mordo and Wong, Kaecilius has split from the teachings of the Ancient One to form his own, opposing temple of disciples — the Zealots — in a search to bring back his dead wife and child.
— Christine Palmer: A fellow surgeon of Strange's and possible (or former) love interest, Christine Palmer takes her name from one of the three Night Nurses of the comics. Whether she'll become the MCU's Night Nurse remains to be seen though, as we already have one in the form of the Netflix show's Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson).
— Baron Karl Mordo: Strange's arch-nemesis from the comics, Mordo is getting a bit of a twist here as he's not being presented as an outright antagonist (yet anyway). Mordo is a Master of the Mystic Arts who works alongside the Ancient One, the two are said to have a close friendship, which means his jealously over the introduction of Strange could pull the two apart.
— Wong: Another character who's changed a lot from the comics, Wong is another Master of the Mystic Arts and will be a teacher to Doctor Strange alongside the Ancient One and Baron Mordo. Likely we'll see him returning to Greenwich Village alongside Strange when he relocates to the Sanctum Sanctorum base.
— Nicodemus West: Another fellow colleague, Nicodemus West is the surgeon who failed to save Strange's hands from severe nerve damage following the car accident. In the comics West goes on to study under the Ancient One and later become an antagonist to Strange, but it's not yet known if we'll see that happen in the MCU.
Doctor Strange Sequel
Whilst a Doctor Strange sequel has not yet been officially announced, it's a pretty safe bet that we'll see a Doctor Strange 2 and possibly even a Doctor Strange 3. Marvel tends to lay out its solo properties in trilogies (yes, there's a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the works), so unless Doctor Strange somehow isn't a financial success you can bet they'll be looking to expand the franchise further down the line, especially with such a great cast on board.
There's already been a few Dormammu teases dropped already that suggest we'll see the big bad popping up later down the line to antagonize Doctor Strange, something which should definitely be explored in a sequel. And then of course there's still the matter of Baron Mordo's true allegiances to be uncovered!
Doctor Strange Theories
Given that Doctor Strange will see the character's initial introduction into the MCU there's not a huge amount of theories flying around just yet. But that doesn't mean we don't have any Doctor Strange theories, because welcome to the internet. Here's a quick rundown of some of the popular ones right now.
Kaecilius in the comic books is a very minor character, only appearing as a henchman of Baron Mordo. So could he be working with Mordo in Doctor Strange?
The Captain America: Civil War home media release brought with it an extra-special Doctor Strange featurette, which revealed more than a few things about both Kaecilius, and the existence of Dormammu in the MCU.
- The Doctor Strange Featurette Reveals Dormammu's Role!
- 6 Things We Learned From The Full Doctor Strange Featurette On The Captain America: Civil War DVD & Blu-Ray
One of the most popular theories right now, it's looking increasingly likely that Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto will be revealed to house an Infinity Stone, likely the Time Stone. There's still two stones to be uncovered before Infinity War, after all.
Here's another fun theory to add to the bunch. Since Strange has been referred to in the MCU before, appearing to still be a top surgeon even as late as Civil War, how is he going to train to be the Sorcerer Supreme in just a few months? Enter the Time Stone, which hasn't yet been located in the MCU.
Another theory concerns the possibility that Doctor Strange could be the one to help out Bucky Barnes — a.k.a. the Winter Soldier — with his little HYDRA brainwashing problem.
Finally, we're still waiting on the appearance of a certain Adam Warlock in the MCU, could Doctor Strange replace him in his role for Infinity War?
Doctor Strange Comic Book
Whilst we wait for Doctor Strange to release, why not spend some time catching up with what's going on with him in the comic books right now?
The excellent Doctor Strange Vol. 4 by Jason Aaron and artist Chris Bachalo is currently ongoing and has just finished its first arc, The Last Days of Magic. Without giving too much away, it's an excellent story about how magic works in the Marvel Universe, and a great intro to the character and the mystical world.
There's also an official canon prequel comic to the Doctor Strange movie currently available, called Doctor Strange: Prelude. This series is a nice little introduction to the world we'll be seeing in the upcoming movie, and thus far it's explored the backstory of the Ancient One, Baron Mordo, Wong and even Kaecilius himself in Prelude Infinite: The Zealot.
- Get Doctor Strange: Prelude at Marvel's online comic store here
- Get Doctor Strange Prelude Infinite: The Zealot
Finally, a new series entitled Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme is set to launch next month. Following up in the aftermath of The Last Days of Magic, Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme sees Doctor Strange travelling back through time to team up with famous historical magicians in order to face a new threat. Issue One of the series launches October 26 2016.
Bonus: Check out our rundown of some of the craziest moments from the Doctor Strange comics books via the link below.
Where To Watch Doctor Strange Online
Given that there's typically a gap of around 5 months between a Marvel movie premiering in cinemas and releasing on home media, don't expect to be able to watch Doctor Strange online anytime soon.
At the moment we're estimating a Digital HD, Blu-Ray and DVD release date for Doctor Strange somewhere around April 2016, at which point you'll be able to purchase and watch it online via the following sites:
This article will be updated continually in the lead up to the Doctor Strange release date, so make sure you return frequently to catch all the news!