This October we're preparing to have our minds blown in the form of a very different kind of superhero, as played by Sherlock superstar Benedict Cumberbatch.
Filled with magic, sorcery and alternate planes of reality, Doctor Strange is set to be a very different kind of Marvel movie – and director Scott Derrickson has been filling us in as to why...
1. It's a proper head trip
Much as you love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, have you ever felt they've played it a bit... safe in terms of their storylines? Enter the Doctor to shake things up.
"It’s pretty psychedelic," Derrickson tells Los Angeles Daily News. "If your love for the early Stan Lee-Steve Ditko comics was that visual, psychedelic ambition, I think you’ll be pretty satisfied. The primary resource for the visual design of the whole movie came from those comics."
2. The movie sticks true to the comics
"I told them it should take a bold left turn, like the '60s comics," explains Derrickson. "And I think they liked how I gravitate toward real actors, talented actors who are grounded in performances that are real, while dealing with the supernatural. That’s why I’ve had great actors in genre films, which they usually don’t do. And that was certainly the case with Doctor Strange."
3. Cumberbatch puts the star-power in Strange
Few British actors have enjoyed such a meteoric rise to fame in the last few years. From his brainiac breakout on the BBC's hit Sherlock, where he made the perfect match for the crime-fighting supersleuth, to his wrenching performance as Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing in awards-nominated The Imitation Game, Cumberbatch is officially a hot Hollywood property. And Derrickson wanted nobody else for his movie, even to the extent of delaying production so the actor could finish playing Hamlet on the stage.
"He is perfect casting," Derrickson says. "Myself and Kevin Feige and the other producers involved came to a consensus very quickly that Benedict was the right guy for the role. There’s just an overlap between his work and the comics that you can see and feel. You feel that he can play the intelligence, the arrogance, the unlikeability and yet intrigue of Stephen Strange, and that the massive arc that the character goes through in those early comics is something that he would be able to portray."
4. The diversity issue is turned inside-out
The movie has been embroiled in controversy over actor Tilda Swinton playing mystical Asian being The Ancient One. Whilst it's another example of the film's formidable A-list arsenal, one that promises to lend more gravitas than previous Marvel movies, it's angered fans of the comics – but Derrickson says Swinton's casting will assuage the critics.
"Diversity in movies is absolutely the responsibility of producers and directors," he says. "In this movie, we have about as diverse a cast as I think you can get, and that was a very conscious decision. Tilda was a way of adding diversity in terms of not just an ethereal, enigmatic, otherworldly actress playing an ethereal, enigmatic, otherworldly character, but we’re bringing a middle-aged woman who’s not 28 years old in leather pants into the Marvel Universe in a major role."