Captain America: Civil War has made the lion's share of what it will make at the box office, which is currently good enough for the highest grossing film of 2016. So, Marvel Studios is now focusing on their upcoming slate, specifically Doctor Strange, which is due out in November. As the move draws nearer, we are slowly learning more about what we can expect, and we finally got some details about Benedict Wong's character in the movie.
We have known ever since Wong was cast in Doctor Strange that he was, funnily enough, playing the character of Wong. In a recent interview with Den of Geek, Wong finally discussed the character a bit and how it will differ from what comic book fans may be used to from Wong in the source material. Here is what he had to say.
"I'm certainly not going to be the tea-making manservant. We're heading in a different direction. He's more of a drill sergeant. There isn't any martial arts for Wong in Doctor Strange actually, he's more of a drill sergeant to Kamar-Taj. He's one of the masters of sorcery."
The reference he makes to Wong being a "tea-making manservant" is unfortunately, very much what the character was, and to some degree still is, in the Doctor Strange comics. The character is considered to be very much a racial stereotype and quite culturally insensitive. On the flip side of things, Wong is a very important part of the Doctor Strange lore, so it makes sense that they aren't going to axe the character entirely. It looks like Marvel is doing the right thing here and trying to do a modern, less racist version of the character.
Wong's comments also reference Kamar-Taj, which is the Tibetan city where Stephen Strange, who is of course being played by Benedict Cumberbatch, meets The Ancient One. This is the first time the city has been referenced by name since the movie was announced, which points to them staying as faithful as possible to the source material. Wong was also asked about the possibility of more movies for his character in the MCU, and he said "That would be nice! No, we'll start off with the first one." So, Marvel is likely seeing how the response is for Doctor Strange before getting ahead of themselves.
Doctor Strange will tell the story of Stephen Strange, a world-class neurosurgeon who causes irreparable nerve damage to his hands in a car accident, which leads him to seek out ancient cures around the world where he meets The Ancient One and learns the ways of the mystic arts. This will be opening up an entirely new section of the Marvel Universe and Doctor Strange is a character that Marvel is looking to bet big on in the future. Director Scott Derrickson has confirmed that he will be at San Diego Comic Con to make a presentation for the movie, so we will likely learn a lot more next month. Doctor Strange is set for a November 4 release.