Last month, we got our first look at Benedict Cumberbatch on the set of Doctor Strange in Nepal, and fans were disappointed to see a scruffy-looking traveler rather than the dashing rogue that we know and love from the comics.
The Leaked Photos
The general assumption is that we will be seeing some backstory in the upcoming film, which will include a trip to see the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) when Strange was still just a (relatively) ordinary man. Presumably, these shots are of that initial trip (and the start of his journey toward being Sorcerer Supreme) which also means that the clothing here is a very temporary look for Stephen Strange.
New Concept Art
Now, courtesy of a featurette about Doctor Strange and the new, magical, MCU in which he lives, we have seen concept art that reveals Strange will have his swirling red cape from the comics. We just don't know how yet.
Strange stands among swirling, almost galactic colors, with one hand raised and a look of deep concentration on his face. This evidently magical concept scene is perfect for the character, but it's the costume that is truly incredible. Here, Cumberbatch looks exactly like Strange does in the comics; his blue, long sleeved tunic, his little goatee, and that glorious, swirling cape with the ridiculously high neck. In fact, the only thing apparently missing are the yellow gauntlets. Amazing!
Will This Be His Main Costume?
Obviously, this is just concept art at the moment, so it's impossible to say whether this will feature heavily in the film. While fans would love to see such an accurate depiction of a character, these aren't exactly inconspicuous or modern clothes, and the general tendency with live-action adaptations is to tone down the original costumes, even just a little.
On top of this, the amount of time spent in any magical costume will depend on how much of the film is his backstory. If he spends 90% of the film searching, training, realizing Mordo's plans, etc, we may only get a glimpse of him with magical powers toward the end, including a flash of the outfit.
If, however, his backstory is resolved fairly quickly, we could see him in his Sorcerer's costume for quite a chunk of the movie. Perhaps we see it in a kind of magical dream-world when he uses his powers, but not in the "real" world at all. Another option is to see him purposely choose outlandish clothing when he sets up shop as a mystical consultant-type. He may balance his more serious pursuits with some flashier ways to make money, where a loud costume would be appropriate.
Wait And See
With just under a year to go until Doctor Strange hits our screens, there's still plenty of time to speculate on how the finished product will look. We may even get another one or two (or twenty) set photos that reveal more. However they choose to incorporate this concept art into the finished product, I just can't wait to see a caped Cumberbatch, even if it's just for a moment.
'Doctor Strange' is due for release Nov 4th, 2016.