Throughout the year, whenever anybody asked me what superhero movie I was most excited for I always answered with Doctor Strange. For many, this seemed like an oddball choice. What about Batman V Superman or Civil War? Sure, I was excited for those, but nowhere near as excited as I am for Doctor Strange. Now, people are finally getting on the hypetrain, and if you haven't gotten your ticket yet, I'm sure this latest trailer is sure to get the fire started.
The trailer is only a brief minute long, yet it offers so much new footage and magical moments that we haven't yet been exposed to. Today, I'll be walking you step-by-step through the trailer and breaking down all of the most important moments. Let's get started!
From Not So Humble Beginnings
The trailer opens with awesome narration by the talented Tilda Swinton (controversially playing the Ancient One in this movie). Like the other Sherlock in the MCU, Dr. Stephen Strange starts his story in a pretty comfortable place. He's an extraordinarily talented surgeon and it's afforded him a cushy life. He has about a dozen nice watches to choose from, he lives in a beautiful suite in Manhattan, he has a piano, an expensive car, everything seems to be going great. Yet, that is probably the good doctor's greatest downfall. He's extremely materialistic and egotistical as the Ancient One points out.
Reality Isn't Always What It Seems
In this latest trailer, the Ancient One gets to show off her powers quite often. Clearly, she has what it takes to train Strange in the ways of the mystic arts. We also get a taste at the way in which the movie will be approaching alternate realities. It's exciting that we will be introduced to the idea of more than one reality at the same time Strange is. There's some really cool imagery in the trailer that is reminiscent of Christopher Nolan's Inception, however, unlike that movie, these changes are anything but a dream.
Magic And Mysticism, Not Superpowers
Doctor Strange is set to break ground in more ways than one. At this point in the MCU, all of our heroes have gotten their powers through science. Tony built his suits, Cap got injected with a super serum, Bruce Banner was hit with gamma rays, Scarlet Witch was experimented on, Hawkeye is really good with a bow, you get the picture. Even Thor and Loki, to this point the most magical characters of the MCU, have had many of the concepts of the world of Asgard, such as the Rainbow Bridge, explained through physics.
Yet, Doctor Strange is completely different. Despite being a man of science, he has to be willing to open his mind to the possibility of magic. Magic hasn't really been introduced or mentioned at all in the MCU (aside from, again, Asgard), so Doctor Strange is a huge gamble — but we all know how gambles tend to turn out for Marvel (*cough* Guardians of the Galaxy *cough* Ant-Man *cough*).
Traveling Through Portals
Although not hugely important, the fact that Strange and the Ancient One can travel through portals is pretty cool. It also means that once Strange joins the Avengers in Infinity War he'll be a very, very useful ally. The ability to transport people from one place to another will certainly come in handy. Plus, this ability to travel between dimensions ties the Earth-bound side of the MCU to the cosmic side together in a way that no other character currently in the MCU can do - even Loki has to rely on the Bifrost for his jaunts to Earth.
Otherwise, how could Doctor Strange do this?
I kid, I kid. But still, for the unfamiliar, it's not a stretch to say that Doctor Strange has godlike powers on a level that no one else in the MCU currently has. Or, at least, not that they've been able to show so far.
Strange Is Not Alone In His Studies
Who are these people? I'm not quite sure, but my best guess would be they are not super powerful magic wielders. I imagine this is Strange trying to cope with his injury before meeting the Ancient One. It would make the most sense if Strange travels to another country seeking alternative medicines, finds out about a group of people practicing martial arts and decides it might help him. It would be at this point that the Ancient One notes the immense potential in him and recruits the Doctor to her side. This is all speculation, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if it played out like that.
The Avengers Can't Protect Everybody
Namedropping the Avengers like nobody's business. Benedict Wong's character Wong offers Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange some important wisdom. The Avengers were established to protect the world from aliens, other super humans, crazy Sokovians with a tragic backstory, each other, but Doctor Strange and his fellow mystics are tasked with protecting the universe from a different sort of threat altogether. As Wong says, while the Avengers protect Earth from physical threats, Strange and his comrades protect the world from mystical ones — though what that exactly means for our hero is still unclear.
It's also interesting to note this is the first time there's been any reference to the rest of the MCU in any of the Doctor Strange promotional material.
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Friendly Banter Among Enemies
So far, all of the promotional material for the movie has taken itself pretty seriously. Benedict Cumberbatch gives his trademarke glare in every image, the trailers all have a serious tone and are full of stunning imagery. Yet, for just a brief moment we get a glimpse of humor in the trailer and it comes from the unlikeliest of places. Mads Mikkelsen's villain Kaecilius and Strange exchange the following amusing "Who's On First?" sort of banter before a big fight.
Kaecilius: "You'll die protecting this world, Mister--"Stephen Strange: "Doctor."Kaecilius: "Mister Doctor?"Stephen Strange: "It's 'Strange.'"Kaecilius: "Maybe. Who am I to judge?"
Just this brief moment was enough to make me laugh. And despite watching the trailer fourteen times, this exchange always gets me so I hope it's still as fresh when we see how it fits in with the rest of the movie.
New York Is In Trouble (Again)
Aren't there other cities in the world? Have the Avengers not defended New York City enough? How will Spider-Man have any villains left to face? What is it about this city that makes every villain plot their evil plans there? Although the magicians are clearly fighting in an alternate reality, I think we've seen enough of New York. That being said, I am extremely excited to see this fight sequence, it's sure to be a visual treat!
Are you ready to board the hypetrain? This movie looks absolutely phenomenal! Cumberbatch was born for this role, Mads Mikkelsen is sure to deliver a killer performance, and whatever your feelings about the Tilda Swinton casting, she's still an Oscar-winning actress and it looks like she's bringing that to this movie. With its visual beauty and the introduction of magic into the MCU, Doctor Strange is set to make the world a whole lot, well, stranger.