If there’s a single consistent criticism of the MCU it’s that all of their core movies move along in predictable ways. While movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man largely eschew the conventions of the series, the main movies of the Avengers saga, including the Avengers movies themselves, all kind of operate on familiarity. From tone to narrative beats, as great as the movies are, they unfold in similar ways. What Marvel needs, then, is something that breaks the mold. Something that shows a different side of their universe. Something like Doctor Strange.
The trailer for the next major release for Marvel Studios, following this summer’s Captain America: Civil War, hit the internet yesterday in a big, big way. Doctor Strange is the studio’s first dip into the magic side of their comic book franchises, and any worry you might’ve had that this would be a reticent wading into these waters proved completely unfounded. Marvel doesn’t seem to be dipping in their toes and testing the waters. No, they’re doing a goddamn cannonball straight into the deep end.
Doctor Strange follows the adventures of Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) whose successful career as a brilliant surgeon comes to a tragic end following an accident that causes him to lose mobility in his hands. Despondent, the doctor attempts suicide only to be introduced to a world that’s far more vast and strange than he ever could’ve imagined. The doctor becomes a practitioner of the mystical arts, allowing him insight into unseen dimensions and the ability to see right into the heart of reality’s true nature.
In comic book form, Doctor Strange is known to be one of the trippier and bizarre titles in the Marvel pantheon. From all appearances, they’ve held nothing back from the adaptation. While the trailer is little more than an extended teaser, with nothing much of the overall plot revealed, we do get trippy glimpses of the world of the MCU as seen by the good Doctor.
From the Inception-esque bending of reality, to a bald Tilda Swinton punching the spirit right out of Stephen Strange, Doctor Strange looks to be the perfect ingredient to add richness to this already established universe. It might be just what the doctor ordered for the entire franchise to keep from getting too stale, making it the perfect evolution of Marvel’s already brilliant long term game plan.
Doctor Strange hits theaters this November.