Doctor Strange Ancient One

Marvel just released its first trailer for Doctor Strange, and once again the world has been reminded just how laughable it was for Steven Spielberg to say superhero movies are primed to go “the way of the Western.”

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange and Tilda Swinton look ready to launch yet another franchise in what will be a welcome change of pace for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Doctor Strange NYC

The narration to the trailer gives fans a good glimpse of what they can expect from director Scott Derrickson’s take on The Sorcerer Supreme.

Ancient One: You’re a man looking at the world through a keyhole. You’ve spent your life trying to widen it. Your work saved the lives of thousands. What if I told you that reality is one of many?

Strange: I don’t believe in fairytales about chakras or energy or the power of belief.

Ancient One: You wonder what I see in your future? Possibility. … There are other ways to save lives … so much you don’t know.

Strange (after being introduced to the spirit world): Teach me.

Nothing can make this blogger — a man of faith, a lucid dreamer, and a fan of meditation — happier than to see Marvel Studios utilize a hero who travels to different dimensions, the spirit world, etc.

Doctor Strange

At the start of the trailer an unknown person (Perhaps Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo?) says: “Stephen Strange, might I offer you some advice? Forget everything that you think you know.”

If that is the message at the heart of Doctor Strange, and it is coupled with Inception-like special effects, then Marvel Studios will have one heck of a movie in theaters on Nov. 4, 2016.

Marvel’s creative well is much deeper than the average moviegoer realizes, and the successful introduction of Steve Ditko’s character to a wide audience will help ensure that it is tapped for many years to come.

What are your thoughts on the new Doctor Strange trailer? Let me know in the comments section below.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

13 comments

    1. I’d have to agree. Whatever I’ve seen Cumberbatch in just makes him look like Alan Rickman-lite (like “Into Darkness”). Not really a bad thing, but not something to get me excited, either. He looks very promising in the trailer, though.

    2. He also added an update.

      “Those hopes are dashed. My elation did not last long. The roaches are everywhere, and have spat on everything. So the Ancient One is gender-ambiguous now? […] We Marvelites are sick and tired of your political correctness turning our fun entertainment and escapism into yet one more dreary yet braindead lecture to hector us.”

      It’s really hard to argue with him. I empathize with the guy. In regards to Ancient One, I disagree with the casting — and have no problem calling Marvel out on it — but I will still give it a shot because I think Swinson will turn out a solid performance.

  1. Looks very good. I’m curious how Darkforce/Zero Matter will factor into the plot. I also had to laugh when they showed the Ancient One. I couldn’t shake the feeling some producer was saying, “Okay, Tilda’s not Asian, but we compromised and made her bald.”

    1. I debated whether or not I should reference my earlier blog post on the casting of Tilda Swinson, but ultimately decided against it. If she weren’t such a capable actor, then I would be more annoyed. Even though I disagree with the casting, I’m not going to knock her for taking on the role. Maybe she’ll nail it.

      I do find it rather sad that Marvel seems to go out of its way to annoy actual fans of Doctor Strange. Why can’t they just respect the source material? If Ancient One is an Asian dude, then cast an Asian dude. This isn’t rocket science.

  2. It does look very inviting. I love the concept of alternate realities that can be reached through mere mediation…my dreams bring me closer to that world more and more these days as my aging continues…I always feel somewhat “stiff” in those dreams, hard to move about, and prone to sleeping even in the dream, but there is also this great motivation to stay awake and drive myself to complete whatever routine I’m going for in the dream. I’m in a school, a park, a leisure center, a town I’ve never been to, but know my way around, it’s second nature to me now.

    Couldn’t help but notice Cumberbatch alternates a bit between an american and english accent.

    1. “Couldn’t help but notice Cumberbatch alternates a bit between an american and english accent.”

      Haha. I’ll cut him a little slack on that one. It was fun to hear him with an American accent.

  3. This is just more proof that Spielberg was dead wrong in that quote. Marvel has again and again dissolved the notion that there is even such a thing as the superhero genre. A lesson that companies like Sony can’t seem to grasp, WB seems to have forgotten, and Fox is just now learning. You can’t just take the storyboards from the original Spider-Man, add a heaping helping of dark and gritty from the Dark Knight, plug in your characters, and just watch the money flow in anymore. Marvel continues to put out well received movies because they know it isn’t all about the formula. Every character requires a different approach: Antman was a comedic heist, Captain America was a serious action/political thriller, Guardians was a light-hearted space opera, and so on. This looks like it will be a mind-bending science fiction/ fantasy mashup a la Matrix or Inception, which a) fits the character, and b) is a fresh concept for a superhero themed film. It will be successful because it’s the right story to tell, not because it fills a checklist of buzzwords that movie producers require of a superhero movie: More CGI, cooler powers, stronger villains, more sex/violence, etc.

    I’m no fan of Cumberbatch’s politics, but I’ll still see this movie, because I can tell after one trailer that it will be good.

    1. “Every character requires a different approach: Antman was a comedic heist, Captain America was a serious action/political thriller, Guardians was a light-hearted space opera, and so on. This looks like it will be a mind-bending science fiction/ fantasy mashup a la Matrix or Inception, which a) fits the character, and b) is a fresh concept for a superhero themed film. It will be successful because it’s the right story to tell, not because it fills a checklist of buzzwords that movie producers require of a superhero movie: More CGI, cooler powers, stronger villains, more sex/violence, etc.”

      Well said. One of the reasons why the Spielberg’s comment irritates me so much is that he apparently has a very limited idea of what actually constitutes a superhero movie. It’s bothersome that someone with so much clout in Hollywood — even someone as successful as Spielberg — can’t seem to think outside the box when it comes to the superhero genre.

    2. “He is an old man, remember. What’s fresh and cutting-edge in the 1970s is now trapped in old glasses in 2016.”

      That’s a good way of putting it. Darn those old glasses! 🙂

  4. Don’t know a whole lot about Dr. Strange. I’m not a big fantasy person and was pretty “meh” to the idea of this film, but the trailer has peeked my interest. I’d rather get to some of the other stuff (like “Ant-Man” and “Guardians” 2, a revival of the canceled “Runaways” movie, etc.), but I’m inclined to give this a try.

    I’m a little confused why this seems to be an origin story movie (something Marvel had claimed that they were quitting doing), although I don’t mind them that much. I also hope they clarify if this’s pre or post-“Winter Solider” (since HYDRA was gunning for Strange in that movie) and clearly explain if movie Strange is a real wizard or just using magic-like science a la the “Thor” movies.

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