One thing you have to admit whether you like your protagonists in tights or not, Marvel Studios has played their game to perfection. As their theater-dominating cinematic universe has expanded, they’ve been very careful to mix things up at regular intervals, injecting new characters and new tones even as they lean on their established franchises. In 2016, just as Captain America: Civil War inevitably nets the studio another jillion dollars in May, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is due for a course change in November when Benedict Cumberbatch suits up as Dr. Strange, Marvel’s Master of the Mystical.
In anticipation of Marvel’s Fall release, Entertainment Weekly has released the first official images of Cumberbatch as sorcerer Dr. Stephen Strange. The Oscar nominated actor is backed by Rachel McAdams (whose character has yet to be named … five bucks she’s a love interest, though), Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Baron Mordo, and the great Tilda Swinton as Strange’s mentor, The Ancient One. In a potential tonal shift for the universe, Dr. Strange is being guided by writer C. Robert Cargill and director Scott Derrickson, the team who previously collaborated on 2012’s Sinister. In other words, it would seem that a few scares are on the menu for Dr. Strange.
While details on the movie’s plot are still mum, Strange’s role as a magician is definitely a left turn for a universe currently dominated by science fiction tropes and plot lines. How Cumberbatch’s mystical power set will factor into The Avengers’ high tech happenings is an exciting prospect, assuming Derrickson and Cargill are able to carry it off. Admittedly, up until now, Derrickson’s filmography has been met with tepid reaction from both fans and critics. Let’s hope he can kick up his game for his MCU outing.
All that aside, the costume department on the set of Dr. Strange seems to have the aesthetic nailed:
— Phoenix G. Shanklin (@Da_Nerdette) December 28, 2015
— Dark Bunny Tees (@DarkBunnyTees) December 28, 2015
— Marvel MUU (@MarvelMuu) December 28, 2015
Of course, between now and Dr. Strange’s November 4, 2016 release, we’ll have lots of opportunities to see Cumberbatch on screens both large and small as he tackles roles running the gamut from Thomas Edison to an evil tiger.
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