While Marvel has a reputation for valuing continuity on both sides of the camera, it’s easy to forget that the first two phases of Marvel movies were essentially put together by hired guns. The early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were populated by directors like Alan Taylor, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston, and Shane Black, one-and-done filmmakers who were either not invited or not inclined to go a second round with the studio.
Doctor Strange is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature the kind of mind-bending magic absent from most other films in the Avengers series. The Thor movies tend to demur and call their magic science, but Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, and as such has powers so great they allow him to bend time and space. The bad news is his enemies can do the same, not to mention summon demons from other dimensions that require blood sacrifices.
Because Doctor Strange is in the MCU, and because the good Doctor himself will be showing up during the Infinity War two-parter, and because we need to get all those Infinity Stones out in the open before the movie hits or it’ll just be a mess of confusion right out the gate, Doctor Strange needed to introduce the Time Stone. But apparently, according to director Scott Derrickson, the Time Stone didn’t actually figure into the plot of the movie at all until very late in the drafting process.
Sometimes humor doesn’t come from jokes, but perspective. And when you’re making one superhero movie after another in the same cinematic universe, it can be helpful to get an outsider’s two cents. That’s what Marvel did when they brought on Community creator Dan Harmon to help with some last-minute script work on Doctor Strange. Now the film’s director Scott Derrickson has revealed what exactly Harmon’s contributions were.
By now, you know (and have probably seen) Doctor Strange, the 14th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But did you know that attempts to make a movie about Doctor Strange date back decades before Iron Man? In 1978, they even made a Doctor Strange TV movie, in an attempt to recreate the successful formula behind the popular Incredible Hulk TV show. That’s just one of the “strange” facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
Marvel movie scripts go through a ton of editing and plot reworking before they’re finally handed over to their directors, and Doctor Strange was no different. It’s a more ambitious film from its predecessors in many ways, not the least of which is introducing audiences to a new superhero and an entirely new way of thinking about the Marvel multiverse. Unsurprisingly, the writers went through a few villain ideas before it landed on the one Marvel president Kevin Feige felt would be most appropriate for the movie, but apparently we were very close to getting a completely different big bad. (Warning — SPOILERS ahead for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet, so proceed with caution.)
Reptilian thespian Benedict Cumberbatch scored a true box-office smash this past weekend as the headliner of Doctor Strange, a long-time-coming solo film for one of Marvel Comics’ most outré heroes. In addition to the distinction of being the first performer in the history of cinema to successfully pull off a cape-and-goatee combo, Cumberbatch proved his bona fides as an honest-to-god movie star with this pivotal role. But a new piece from IGN today reveals that in addition to the Sorcerer Supreme, Cumberbatch also played a second, uncredited role in the Doctor Strange production. (Here be SPOILERS. Continue at your own risk.)
After 30 years of trying to bring the mystical surgeon Stephen Strange from the page to the screen, Doctor Strange is finally making his movie debut.
How many interviews does it take to land a gig directing a Marvel movie?
It seems like whenever a new blockbuster comes out, it’s on the cutting edge of movie technology. Just this month we had the premiere of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, filmed on 120-frames-per-second cameras, advertised as Ang Lee’s most realistic-looking movie yet. Doctor Strange is also attempting to get into the innovation game, with an IMAX 3D version of the film that, according to the stars, makes it feel like you’re actually there watching skyscrapers kaleidoscoping around you.