By the rock-hard nipples of the Vishanti! That Doctor Strange trailer from earlier on was just what we needed: Short and to the point. It’s the next big film for Marvel, as they swap space, Stark technology and super soldier serums for some good ol’ magic. Naturally, there’s a certain prestige to this trailer, with various details hidden in the background. And by the eye of Agamotto, I plan to peel back the veil and see for myself just what is lurking beyond the five sense of a normal human.
There’s been talk lately of Marvel wanting to do away with origin stories, or streamline the setup considerably. Thing is, I think the origin of Doctor Strange is an important one, and crucial to developing his character. After all, he started out as a massively gifted neurosurgeon with the hands of god when it came to delicate surgery…
And completely buggered them up.
Makes you feel bad for the guy, right? Here’s the rub: Stephen Strange is an absolutely massive dick. Arrogant, haughty and selfish, Stephen Strange is a surgeon motivated only by greed and success.
And that’s why his origin is important. With his dexterity ruined, Strange wanders the globe looking for any means possible to heal his shaky hands.
Seriously, would you want a guy with hands shakier than the Los Angeles fault-line operating on your brain?
Exhausting all of his wealth and eventually coming across a place that has the potential to not only heal his hands, but his soul as well.
The kickass beard stays of course.
Enter the Ancient One. An immortal guardian of our reality, master of the mystic arts and the mentor that Strange needs. In the comics, the Ancient One is a wisely old Asian chap, who has been safeguarding humanity for many years. In the upcoming film, it’s Tilda Swinton who will instead guide Strange on his new journey, one hell of an inspired casting choice that I can’t wait to see more of.
The Ancient One is also apparently able to harness Brock Lesnar levels of magic, by literally punching the soul out of you.
Jokes aside, this is actually a key moment here. There’s been chatter regarding just how Marvel is going to translate the groovy ideas of magic into their cinematic universe. Quantum science to the extreme? After all, even Thor describes the technology of his Asgardian realm as magic to us mere mortals. But in this brief trailer, we actually get to see Stephen Strange inadvertantly trigger one of his signature powers: Astral projection.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, taking in the sights and sounds. In the comics, he is one of the greatest threats to the planet, a sorcerer turned rogue who serves the dread lord Dormammu. And while he isn’t the primary antagonist in Doctor Strange, there is a certain feeling of darkness around his character. Other than that, his movie look is a faithful and updated adaptation of his comic book appearances.
But I’m hoping to see more of Strange and Mordo sharing the screen. They weren’t always enemies, as the two apprentices were allies for a brief while. Before Strange rocked up, stole the thunder from Mordo and relegated the former star pupil to mere second place and kicking off a heated rivalry.
Here’s our first good look at Mads Mikkelsen as the big bad of Doctor Strange. I’d bet easy money that Dormammu is somehow involved, but other than that his presence is being kept a big secret. But again, I’m pretty certain that ol’ Madsy worships the dread lord and happens to be a secret disciple of his who is working to breach the dimensional gates that would allow his master access to our dimension. Or Tuesday in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Also worth noting: That magic looks like a bad trip so far. Maaaaaaaaan.
MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! Seriously, has the Ancient One invoked the incantations of Inception for this shot? Marvel has been promising some “mind-bending” magic for Doctor Strange, and it doesn’ sound like they’ll be holding back.
Dodgy American accent aside, I like this scene. “Teach me,” Strange begs. Has he been humbled at long last, or is this his ambition at work again? And that’s what makes him so interesting to me. Unlike other characters who were essentially born heroes, Strange learnt the hard way about self-sacrifice and standing up for those who can’t. Sort of like a magical version of Tony Stark then. Plus, they’re both facial hair bros for life.
And this is where the trailer ends, as we get a sneak peek at the Sanctum Sanctorum of Doctor Strange. It’s his base, his headquarters and a bastion against all the supernatural nastiness that seems to target New York City. That, and Cumbermatch is just rocking his cloak of levitation. Doctor Strange is out on November 4.