On Saturday at the D23 Expo, Marvel Studios revealed the latest updates on Doctor Strange. A concept art sizzle reel made available exclusively to the D23 crowd showed stills depicting the origin story of Strange, a top-notch neurosurgeon whose hands get mangled in a car accident. His worldwide search for a cure leads him to The Ancient One, who teaches him the mystic arts. One sequence shows hundreds of cars being levitated into the air. Strange is shown transforming, falling into an alternate dimension, and gaining the ability to shoot yellow power out of his hands. The reel ends with the only moving footage of Strange moving his hands to create the yellow power in his hands. Director Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil, The Day The Earth Stood Still) narrated the reel, and confirmed that the origins of Strange would be the backbone of the story.
In a pre-recorded video message at D23, star Benedict Cumberbatch, who gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC TV series Sherlock and who was nominated for an Academy Award last year for The Imitation Game, says the Marvel movie will be about “girls, cars, explosions, and astral projections into multiple universes…the usual fare.” Cumberbatch, who is currently playing Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre in London, described undertaking the role as an awesome challenge.
The artwork depicts Strange wearing a flowing red cloak. The character of villain Baron Mordo (to be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave) is shown robed with a large sash across his chest. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed the casting of the main roles, including Cumberbatch, Ejiofor, and Tilda Swinton (Trainwreck, The Grand Budapest Hotel) in the role of The Ancient One. Although Swinton had reportedly been deciding on whether to play the role as a man or a woman, the concept art showed at D23 seemed to show Swinton as a woman near the end of the reel.
The film is in pre-production now and is scheduled to begin filming in November 2015. Doctor Strange hits theaters in November 4, 2016.