The latest "Doctor Strange" trailer has dropped just in time for "Civil War's" theatrical release and it's been generating a lot of hype. No small part of this can be attributed to the multiple comparisons fans are making with Christopher Nolan's psychological heist thriller "Inception". With both films apparently including sequences of buildings falling on into each other this is no surprise. But what if the real inspiration for Marvel's magical instalment might actually be from one of Nolan's other infamous successes? What's more, what if the inspiration "Doctor Strange" is actually drawing from is Nolan's first superhero adaptation: 2005's "Batman Begins"?
"I'm Ba-...Doctor Strange!"
A wealthy westerner goes through a tragic experience that makes him dissatisfied with his empty, consumerist lifestyle. As such he begins a pilgrimage to the Far Eastern region of the world in search for solutions to his woes. There he meets a mysterious stranger up in the mountains who teaches him how to discover his inner power. As such the newly enlightened westerner decides to become a superhero so he can use his new found power to help people by fighting bad guys. He returns to the West to join a band of superheroes and fight said bad guys. Sound familiar to you? Swap hallucinogenics with bonified magic, an aggravated youth with a, well aggravated surgeon, and you've basically got yourself the same story. I mean they even have the same haircut and beard!
Does This Mean It's Bad?
Well, no. I think this could actually be quite interesting. The key difference between the two movies appears to be the presence of magic. The fact that even in the comic books Batman's mentor, Ra's Al Ghul, used magic, shows just how perfect this type of storyline is for introducing a superhero with magical powers. In fact, now that I think of it, Ra's Al Ghul even kind of looks like Doctor Strange, check it out in the pictures below to see if you agree. Anyway, this will be Marvel's first ever superhero with magical powers, rather than powers deciphered through advancements in science and technology, or whatever Thor is, I don't know. Therefore they better get it right and this might be the best way of ensuring they do.
Having magic present in the Nolan movies would have been counter-productive due to the realistic tone he was trying to take with them. However, this did mean that a gap was left in this type of story-arch. A gap that looks to have been excellently filled with "Doctor Strange". In fact this makes me more excited for Marvel's November instalment.
Maybe I watched too many Kung Fu movies growing up, but I'm a sucker for any story that revolves around a man climbing up a mountain to find himself. If this one has magic in it as well, then I'm even more sold!