My dear readers, I don’t know if you’re on as little sleep as I am, but let me walk you through this slowly to make sure we’re all on the same page with this casting news (THR, who broke the story, apparently wasn’t, since they originally had a picture of the wrong actor … now corrected). Doctor Strange has cast Benedict Wong (The Martian) as Wong, the character. Doctor Strange, of course, stars Benedict Cumberbatch. Two Wongs, two Benedicts. Sit with it, let it all come together clearly.
Ready? Wong (the character, and according to Wikipedia — I admittedly have no knowledge of him) is a Marvel mainstay, and functions as Doctor Strange’s “sidekick and manservant.” Wong comes from a family of monks, and is a master martial artist, has great knowledge of the dark arts, though he has no magical powers of his own. He also is tasked with looking after Strange’s body when he is, you know, astral projecting into other dimensions. As you do.
If you recognize Wong — the actor — it’s likely from The Martian (his scenes were few, yet he stole each and every one as the harried Jet Propulsion Lab Director), or possibly from Netflix’s Marco Polo as Kublai Khan (it was an ambitious series, but also a bit of a mess), or even Prometheus (ditto).
A few months ago, Marvel confirmed that the movie’s cast is as follows: “Rachel McAdams plays ‘a fellow surgeon that has history with Strange,’ Mads Mikkelsen plays an evil sorcerer who breaks off into his own sect,’ Tilda Swinton plays Strange’s mystical shepherd The Ancient One, and Chiwetel Ejiofor plays fellow sorcerer and future rival Baron Mordo.” You can check out a few of the film’s first images here.
Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson and focusing on the story of renowned neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) discovering the mystic arts and alternate dimensions after a near fatal car accident, is slated to debut November 4th.