Marvel Studios announced today that is has begun production on Doctor Strange…just a few weeks after the first set photos from the film landed online. Regardless, the official press release gives us some confirmation of casting as well as a brief logline. Benedict Cumberbatch leads the ensemble as Stephen Strange, and he’s joined by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Stuhlbarg with Mads Mikkelsen (who nearly signed on to play the villain in Thor: The Dark World) and Tilda Swinton. Although not confirmed in the press release, it’s been reported that Ejiofor is playing Baron Mordo, McAdams is Night Nurse Christine Palmer, Stuhlbarg is Nicodemus West, and Swinton is The Ancient One.
Filming for Doctor Strange is taking place in London, New York, Hong Kong, and Kathmandu, Nepal under the direction of Scott Derrickson, the filmmaker behind Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The film’s official logline is as follows:
“Doctor Strange” follows the story of neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions.
“Doctor Strange” is the latest film in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Phase 3’s goal—over the course of four years and nine films—is to introduce audiences to new heroes and continue the adventures of fan favorites.
Kevin Feige is producing, obviously, but Derrickson’s behind-the-scenes team is curious. In keeping with Marvel’s formula, the studio has built up a stable of craftspeople that appear to be working on various films in a rotating manner. Indeed, only one of Derrickson’s behind-the-scenes collaborators hasn’t worked on a Marvel movie before, and that’s co-editor Sabrina Plisco. Serving as director of photography is Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron cinematographer Ben Davis, with Age of Ultron/Guardians alum Charles Wood acting as production designer and, keeping it in the family, Ultron and Guardians costume designer Alexandra Byrne reprises her duties to put together the costumes for Doctor Strange.
On the one hand it makes sense—these people are all well versed in how to make a Marvel movie, so why not bring them back? But on the other hand, I’d be curious to see filmmakers mix it up just a tad with a new cinematographer here or there.
Regardless, Doctor Strange is an important film as it finally brings Marvel into the realm of mysticism for the first time, and I’m curious to see what Derrickson does within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Doctor Strange opens in theaters on November 4, 2016.