Doctor Strange is one of Marvel's most anticipated Phase 3 films: with a stellar cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, and Tilda Swinton, this movie is already looking like one of the best and most unusual superhero films to be released in the last decade. With rumours buzzing about what we can expect, there's a lot of misinformation out there, but Kevin Feige recently locked some details down. So what can we expect from the mystical movie?
Yes, It's An Origin Story
A few months ago, an offhand comment by one of the producers lead many fans to believe that Marvel are done with origin stories. With several new characters being introduced in solo films, that rumour was somewhat hard to believe, and has now been debunked by MCU bossman Kevin Feige himself.
"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."
This makes a lot of sense. After all, we can only see so many call-to-greatness stories before we get sick of the whole idea. But Doctor Strange's origin stands out from the crowd for Feige, which is why he feels the need to do the Sorcerer Supreme justice.
Feige elaborated, revealing his personal reasons for wanting an origin story film for Strange.
"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."
It's easy to see why Feige wants to give Strange's origin the big screen treatment. Logically it makes a lot of sense - the MCU hasn't really played with the supernatural side of Marvel Comics, opting instead for fantastical science and weird alien tech (even Scarlet Witch's powers are explained by medical experimentation).
But Doctor Strange's powers are rooted firmly in magic. Diving right into Strange's story without exposition would be pretty nonsensical, and by exploring his origins Marvel can introduce the supernatural to the MCU, which will no doubt affect the other movies and TV shows.
Aside from the wider implications of a supernatural story, Strange's origin is awesome for so many more reasons...
A Tale Of Epic Proportions
Kevin Feige is right to be excited by the prospect of a Stephen Strange origin story, as the tale is a step away from the classic hero tales. Concerning humility, goodness, and charity, Strange's origin concentrates on the responsibility of wielding great power. There's also a very poignant aspect to it. Doctor Strange is actually a neurosurgeon when the story begins, but a car accident renders him unable to continue practicing medicine thanks to his uncontrollably trembling hands. Obviously this has a huge affect on the once arrogant man, and Cumberbatch is nothing if not emotive when his characters go through tragic circumstances.
In an attempt to restore his abilities, Strange travels to the Himalayas (why not!) to seek out the Ancient One. Who is played by non other than the excellent and ethereal Tilda Swinton. (Excellent choice. I applaud the casting directors.)
Swinton's role as the Ancient One already has fans buzzing. With her history of playing both male and female roles (and sometimes both in the same movie, in the case of Orlando), it's actually uncertain as to whether the MCU's Ancient One will be a woman or a man.
This is absolutely perfect for an incredibly powerful supernatural being, in my opinion, and I personally hope that the Ancient One's gender remain firmly ambiguous throughout the movie. And that might just happen, if Feige's comments are anything to go by.
"We get an amazing actress to play an amazing character, and do it in a way that's very unique and doesn't fall into any outdated stereotypes that sometimes pop up in the comics from years past. It's funny you ask 'Will Tilda Swinton be playing a woman?' and you ask it because she does an amazing job of being sort of ambiguous in terms of gender. I think you'll see us playing it in ways that she's played other characters that way."
Imagine, if Doctor Strange's origins weren't explored in the movie, we might not get Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One and honestly, who would want that missing from our lives? No-one, that's who.
So all in all, Strange's origin story looks like a break from tradition, with the hero learning to be more humble in order to become a super saviour. And honestly, that sounds pretty good to me!
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