Last night, Marvel released its latest superhero film, Doctor Strange. The film follows Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), an arrogant but brilliant surgeon who loses the use of his hands after a car accident. When western medicine runs out of answers, he looks to the East and finds his way to Kamar-Taj where he learns the mystic arts from The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), which he’ll need in order to fend off the Ancient One’s former student Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), who wants to summon the dark entity Dormammu.
Doctor Strange was always going to be a tough adaptation for Marvel, not because of the magic, which they do a good job of explaining, but because of Strange’s heroic arc. Even if you set aside the similarity to Tony Stark’s origin story (and I understand that this is just how things were in the comics; Stark and Strange start from similar places), the more difficult question is how do you make Strange heroic without detracting from all of the other sorcerers and how do you respect the Asian culture you’re drawing from. When Strange was created in the early 1960s, cultural appropriation wasn’t considered as big of a problem. Now it’s a bit trickier (Iron Fist is probably going to run into the same problem), and I understand why this film will spur some controversy.
But I’ve already sounded off on the film in my review, and now we want to hear what you think. Do you think Cumberbatch makes for a good Doctor Strange? Do you like Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo? Has Marvel course corrected their villain problem with Kaecilius or is he more of the same? Did director Scott Derrickson surprise you with his take on the material? While we know we’ll be seeing Strange again in the Avengers movies, what do you want to see in a Doctor Strange sequel if Marvel decides to make one?
Sound off in the comments below, and if you haven’t seen Steve Weintraub’s interviews with Derrickson and the cast, check them out below:
- Benedict Wong on Reinventing His ‘Doctor Strange’ Character
- Scott Derrickson on What He Had to Do to Direct ‘Doctor Strange’
- Mads Mikkelsen on ‘Doctor Strange’, ‘Rogue One’ and More ‘Hannibal’
- ‘Doctor Strange’ Star Benedict Cumberbatch on Making His Hero More Vulnerable
- Kevin Feige on ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, Spider-Man’s Future, 2019 & 2020 MCU Movies, and ‘Doctor Strange’