“Stephan Strange, mind if I offer you some advice? Forget everything that you think you know.”
This line which we heard in the teaser trailer of Doctor Strange seems to be not just for Strange but for all of us as Marvel released Doctor Strange’s trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. And boy-oh-boy did it make us marvel and left us pondering on what the movie would be all about.
So far we have seen mutants, metahumans, tech savvy superheroes, gods and alien attacks taking place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, with Doctor Strange coming into the picture, it’s set to bring in elements and powers which the audiences may have never imagined of: a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse.
The multiverse concept is something that DC fans will be able to relate with The Flash wherein he could be seen travelling between one Earth to another with the help of his speed, gaining him access to the multiple realities / universes (can be witnessed on The Flash season 2). “Flash of Two Worlds!” was a landmark comic book story that was published in The Flash #123 (September 1961). A concept which would be relatively new for the Marvel movie / TV series fans. Inspired by storytellings of black magic and Chandu the Magician, Doctor Strange first appeared in Strange Tales #110 (cover-dated July 1963).
With the idea of multiverse coming into the picture and as observed from the trailer, a city’s (mostly New York) multiverses can be seen folding into one another, probably indicating destruction. This would open many possibilities in the Marvel Cinematic Universe especially in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movie that’s set to release post Doctor Strange release.
As far as the villain is considered, Mads Mikkelsen can be seen portraying the role of Kaecilius, a disciple of Baron Mordo. In the comicverse, Baron Mordo has been a fierce rival of Doctor Strange as the Ancient One chose Strange over Mordo (trailer paints a different picture). In the trailer released at SDCC, we can hear Kaecilius saying, “I’m death and pain. You will die protecting this world.”
Describing the character, Feige said, “(He) believes that the Ancient One is just protecting her own power base and that the world may be better off if we were to allow some of these other things through.” Mikkelsen added, “He’s not a villain in that way – he’s a man who believes in something else than the hero. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to make the planet look wonderful or he wants to save the world as well, but he has a different way of doing it. He is the antagonist, of course, but he’s not necessarily wrong.”
Coming back to Baron Mordo, Chiwetel Ejiofor plays the role of Karl Mordo (original name Baron Karl Amadeus Mordo) and can be unexpectedly seen in a positive light who becomes Strange’s mentor. Ejiofor noted this, saying, Mordo is “very ambiguous” and “a very complex character that, really, I don’t think can be nailed down either way.” Mordo also seems to have a certain liking towards Strange and believes there’s a certain quality in him as he says, “There’s a strength to him.” Will we ever get to see the villainous Mordo as observed in the comic books? Director Scott Derrickson stated the “antagonism between Mordo and Strange” is in place to explore in the future.
As far as the Ancient One played by Tina Swinton is considered, she’s the one who seems to be looking for him as in the end of the trailer she says, “I’ve spent so many years, hearing through time, looking for you.” As opposed to the comic book universe wherein the Ancient One is depicted by a Tibetan man with a long beard, over here a female can be seen portraying the role. Swinton stated that the character’s gender is “all in the eye of the beholder”. Producer Kevin Feige said, “we use the terms ‘her’ and ‘she’ in the film but, other than that, it’s very androgynous.”
As for Benedict Cumberbatch who plays the protagonist Stephen Strange is considered, so far he has managed to captivate us with his stellar acting skills. From the teaser trailer and the SDCC trailer, there’s an imminent shift in his persona; from an arrogant neurosurgeon who never believed in energies, the power of belief or chakras, can be seen desperately wanting to learn the mystic arts; however at the same time, he’s sceptical about his own powers as he says, “I can’t do this” to which Mordo states, “There is no other way.”
The psychedelic trailer right from its beginning with its kaleidoscopic visuals managed to grip its viewers, wanting to watch it again and again, trying to comprehend the strangeness looming in the clip. All the answers to our questions will be answered on 4 November, 2016.