There have been some conflicting reports in the last year about how Marvel feels about making origin stories moving forward. From all indications, Marvel is done with telling origin stories - they've been quite emphatic, for example, about the fact they are not going to rehash the Uncle Ben story in the upcoming Spider-Man, and last year's Guardians of the Galaxy, despite having a cast of characters no one knew, did away with a backstory for any character aside from a flashback for Peter Quill.
But in an interview with IGN prior to Tuesday's [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) press event, Marvel President Kevin Feige cleared up the confusion and said they're not quite done with origin stories, not yet:
For some reason, people sometimes talked about how we're not doing an origin story, we're bored of origin stories. I think people are bored of origin stories they've seen before or origin stories that are overly familiar. Doctor Strange has one of the best, most classic, most unique origin stories of any hero we have, so why wouldn't we do that? That was sort of always the plan. How you tell that origin, perhaps there are ways to twist it or play with that, but for the most part, it's a gift when the comics have something with such clarity of story and of character. That doesn't always happen in the comics, and when it does, you use it.
For those unfamiliar, Doctor Stephen Strange was once a brilliantly gifted neurosurgeon - but he was also arrogant, selfish, and concerned only with his own fame and wealth. But when a car accident shatters the bones and damages the nerves in his hands, he sets out to find a cure, traveling all over the world in search of someone that can restore him. He blows all his wealth on the search, and becomes destitute, forced to perform back alley procedures to scrape by.
Eventually, he meets the Ancient One, who, at first, refuses to help Strange because he's still motivated by selfish self-interest. But when he learns of a plot by Baron Mordo to kill the wise man, he has a change of heart and humbles himself in order to help The Ancient One. Thus is he trained in the mystic arts.
From a storytelling perspective, it's a great story. As Feige said, it has clarity. If you strip away the cosmic entities and mysticism, it is, at its heart, a simple redemption story. And there may not be another actor out there right now who does the arrogant-to-self-aware character arc better than Benedict Cumberbatch - just look at Sherlock.
Would you appreciate seeing Doctor Strange's origin story in his first movie?
Doctor Strange is in theaters on November 4, 2016.