With Captain America: Civil War just weeks away from release, Marvel Studios is poised to have another huge year. That film, the third installment in the Captain America series, is generating huge buzz and lots of early critical acclaim, and it’s likely to become another billion-dollar hit for the studio. The alone would give Marvel a great year, but it’s only the beginning.
In November, the studio will introduce a new character to its movie universe with Doctor Strange. Created by Steve Ditko in 1963, Strange holds a lot of influence over the Marvel Comics world as its “Sorcerer Supreme.” Though he’s never had the profile of Spider-Man or Captain America, he’s been a fan favorite for years because of his ability to take the comic-book universe in weird, often psychedlic directions.
The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role of Dr. Stephen Strange, a gifted but arrogant surgeon who, after a car accident, loses dexterity in his hands and is thus unable to do his job. Desperate to get his scalpel skills back, he travels the world searching for some kind of treatment and encounters the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton in peak Androgynous Mystery Mode), a powerful magician who reveals the arts of sorcery to him. With a newfound passion for magic, and a newfound purpose as someone who can save the world, Strange and fellow sorcerer Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) must face a grave new supernatural threat (Mads Mikkelsen).
The trailer is the most mind-bending thing Marvel’s ever shown us. We get to see Strange leave his body and enter the astral plane. We get to see New York City warped into an Inception-style landscape. Even Cumberbatch’s American accent creates a disorienting vibe. As Mordo says in the opening voiceover: “Forget everything that you think you know.”
Doctor Strange arrives November 4.