In less than three months, Marvel Studios will be unleashing their newest superhero on the world in the form of Doctor Strange. Even though he is not the most well known character, even to many die hard comic book readers, the fact that the studio was able to court Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch will certainly help to get more people on board. In a recent interview, Cumberbatch discussed his new superhero role a bit, revealing that he doesn't' think it is the character's powers that make him a superhero.
The actor recently talked with Entertainment Weekly about the Scott Derrickson directed Doctor Strange. He talked about the fact that Stephen Strange goes through an awful lot in order to eventually become the Sorcerer Supreme, and though he does have magic powers, that is not what makes him a superhero. It is the fact that he is able to persist through all of the bad that befalls him, and that he manages to keep going in spite of it all. Here is what he had to say about it.
"This man reaches the very bottom and then more. You think, How much more can this guy take? He's broken, he gets up again, he's broken - and that's really what makes him a superhero. A lot of people have asked me, 'What makes him a superhero?' That's really the answer I should have given. It's not the Cloak of Levitation. It's not the Eye of Agamotto. It's about his staying power. It's a marathon and not a sprint. The guy endures so much."
As Cumberbatch mentions, not only does Doctor Strange have a very good grip on the mystic arts, but he has very powerful aids in the form of the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto (which many are speculating is in fact one of the Infinity Gems). However, much in the way that Captain America is such a quality hero because he is true to the convictions he held prior to gaining his powers, Cumberbatch suggests that Stephen Strange makes for a good hero because of the struggles he had to endure. As cool as it is going to be to see Doctor Strange using his magic powers on screen, it is encouraging to hear that the character will have some depth.
Benedict Cumberbatch isn't the only one playing a very powerful practitioner of the mystic arts in Doctor Strange. His co-star Tilda Swinton is playing the role of The Ancient One in the movie, who teaches Stephen Strange the ways of magic. However, as has been heavily publicized, Marvel caught a lot of flack for the casting choice, as The Ancient One is classically portrayed as an Asian man in the comics. Also speaking with EW, Swinton has once again defended her character, and feels that the movie will be very diverse.
"Anybody calling for more accurate representation of the diverse world we live in has got me standing right beside them. I think when people see this film, they're going to see that it comes from a very diverse place, in all sorts of ways. Maybe this misunderstanding around this film has been an opportunity for that voice to be heard, and I'm not against that at all. But I do think that when people see the film, they'll see that it's not necessarily a target for that voice."
Swinton may very well have a point. For one, the cast does feature a lot of diversity in major roles. Chiwetel Ejiofor is playing the role of Baron Mordo, and Benedict Wong is taking on the role of Wong, who will be playing a more updated version of the character. In the comics, Wong is something of a manservant to Stephen Strange, whereas in the movie Doctor Strange, he is playing a master of the mystic arts who will help guide Benedict Cumberbatch's character on his journey. Not only that, but even though Marvel Studios didn't cast an Asian man in the role, they did give a strong character role that normally would have went to a man, to a woman.
Doctor Strange is going to be a very different kind of Marvel Movie and will be introducing straight-up magic, as well as the multiverse, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The story centers around a neurosurgeon named Stephen Strange who gets in a terrible car accident that leaves him with permanent nerve damage, ruining the use of his hands. This leads him on a quest that eventually finds him crossing paths with The Ancient One, where he discovers the ways of sorcery. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams. Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson and hits theaters on November 4.