The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is killing it right now. From the successful launch of the Iron Man franchise in 2008, it has launched brilliant superhero films that dominate the box office. In the past two years, it started to branch out from classic superhero tales a la The Avengers (2012) and into more niche films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man. Doctor Strange is another step in that direction.
Dr. Stephen Strange is even less like a classic hero. From the comics, he emerges as an unethical doctor who discovers the supernatural in a quasi-Buddhist sense. He becomes more sorcerer than doctor, and the trailer, released Tuesday, has the feel of Inception (2010), maybe The Matrix (2001), or even The Prestige (2006).
Much of Doctor Strange is unexplored territory in terms of the film universe, so it will be interesting to see how Marvel approaches it. The trailer revealed little of the movie’s plot, but since it doesn’t come out until November 4, the franchise has a good amount of time to release another trailer or two.
Here are PJ Media’s five crazy shots from the trailer, with the trailer itself on the last page.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch…with a beard?!
Marvel made an excellent choice casting Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Imitation Game, 2014) as Dr. Strange. Cumberbatch brings presence and mystery to each of his roles, and will strike the perfect balance as the enigmatic Strange. Here, we see him seemingly in exile, with a long beard and unkempt hair, traveling the streets of what may be an unfamiliar city.
Next Page: Is This Inception?
2. Is This Inception?
In Doctor Strange, Marvel might be taking its own shot at a remake of Inception (2010). This image of three worlds colliding is both epic and very confusing. To Marvel fans and Inception fans, however, it may be just as intriguing.
Next Page: Or Is It The Matrix?
3. How About Some Matrix Action?
I’m not really sure where to begin on this one. Here, we see the mysteriously named Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), knocking Strange literally out of his skin. A fascinating and supernatural image, but one that makes no sense — until the film explains it. This reminds me of The Matrix (2001), where men and women are awakened from their computer-generated lives in the 1990s to witness the shocking world as it turned out over one hundred years later.
Next Page: World-Bending Sorcery
4. World-bending Sorcery
This is really cool, if a bit terrifying. With cinematic grace, a magician twists the very fabric of existence. This puts Harry Potter in the minor leagues, to say the least.
Next Page: The awesome villain, and the trailer!
5. The Awesome Villain
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave, 2014) plays Baron Mordo, Strange’s nemesis. Ejiofor does not usually play villains, with the exception of Serenity (2005), where he portrays a cold, calculated assassin. Even in that role, he had great presence, and even a surprising amount of wit.
Here’s the trailer: