Even from the very beginning — when director Jon Favreau put his reputation on the line to get Robert Downey, Jr. in the original Iron Man movie — the Marvel Cinematic Universe has earned its reputation for finding just the right actors in just the right roles. Sometimes, like in the case of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the casting is painfully obvious; sometimes it catches you a little by surprise. Who would have known ten years ago that Chris Evans would become the perfect embodiment of Captain America?
Last month, after a handful of set photos from Thor: Ragnarok made their way onto social media, fans stumbled across a possible little easter egg for the new movie. Thor was seen holding a business card with the street address for Doctor Strange, suggesting that somewhere along the way, Thor would be in need of a magical consultation. This seemed to suggest that Benedict Cumberbatch would make a guest appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, offering perhaps his first real exposure to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has made steadily smaller connection with the Marvel films, from sending in helicarriers to quick Sokovia meetings, and Doctor Strange will continue the trend. S.H.I.E.L.D. producers explain that while Coulson’s team won’t be palling around the Sanctum Sanctorum anytime soon, Season 4 will explore “some of those same ideas” as the magical Doctor Strange.
Like the most recent featurette before it, the latest sneak peek at Doctor Strange includes a little bit of new footage alongside interviews with the cast and Marvel’s Kevin Feige. This time around, the focus is squarely on the hero of the story, Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and his journey from brilliant neurosurgeon to Sorcerer Supreme — with a little help from bald Tilda Swinton, of course.
Given the comics’ history, Doctor Strange was going to be a difficult adaptation in 2016 no matter what. People are more culturally aware than ever, and turning a comic whose overall vibe from the days of its conception was pretty racist into a movie everyone could love was going to be tricky. Listen, this is Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s perception of Asian-ness: the 1960s weren’t exactly, as they say, “woke.”
Doctor Strange is set to hit U.S. theaters in November as Marvel’s last blockbuster superhero outing for 2016. Today, Marvel has released a new photo of the magic man in his Sanctum Sanctorum, as well as the full run time for the movie and a new, sooner release date (which will only be exciting if you’re in the U.K.).
You don’t have to wait for Captain America: Civil War to hit Blu-ray in order to enjoy the special features, like this sneak peek at Doctor Strange. The featurette, which includes new footage and concept art, takes a closer look at Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo (Karl Mordo, actually) and the crew of baddies led by Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius — who looks a little less severe here than the version we’ve seen in the trailers.
Nobody knows exactly what Dan Harmon’s role in writing some additional last-minute scenes for Doctor Strange is exactly, and he hasn’t revealed anything aside from the fact that he will be on the writing team. But some Marvel fans have a lot of time on their hands, and CinemaBlend reports that a Reddit thread might hold the key to Doctor Strange’s mysteries.
Y’know those back to school ads for Staples? The ones that repurpose the Christmas standard “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” to celebrate children going back class? I always hated those ads as a kid. Going back to school was not a time to celebrate. It was a time for grief and mourning.
Doctor Strange is set to hit theaters in a couple of months, but it looks like there’s still a little work left to do on Marvel’s latest superhero outing. The studio is reportedly receiving some assistance from a (pleasantly) surprising source, as Community creator Dan Harmon has been hired to help write some last-minute scenes for the upcoming film.