Saturday, June 11, 2016

Doctor Strange: Most Prominent Magic-Using Superhero

The superhero movie bandwagon just keeps on going this year. Already we’ve gotten a taste of Fox-Marvel’s “Deadpool” in February, Warner-DC’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” in March, and a double-whammy of Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Civil War” and Fox-Marvel’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” in May. 

The next big thing on the silver screen is August’s “Suicide Squad” from Warner-DC for the summer and in November with the release of “Doctor Strange”. It remains to be seen if either will skyrocket to the top of this year’s box office records.

The last marvel film this year, directed by Scott Derrickson and starring new hotness British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, will relate the origin story of Marvel’s most prominent magic-using superhero, as neurosurgeon and man of science.

Here's a little background: Dr. Stephen Strange is injured in an accident and, on a journey to find a way to heal his damaged hands, encounters the mystic sage The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who teaches him magic instead, leading to his eventually becoming the world’s Sorcerer Supreme.

Much like Stephen’s journey to enlightenment, the film’s production had not been smooth and easy. Despite the awe generated by the first teaser trailer released last April, there had been some serious criticism leveled at Marvel Studios for whitewashing, as Swinton’s character of The Ancient One was a Tibetan male in the comics (not casting an Asian was reportedly to avoid troubles with the Chinese who claim Tibet as part of their territory). Swinton herself tells The Hollywood Reporter that her character as she portrays it is not Asian. Producer Kevin Feige has elaborated how the title of Ancient

One is instead more of a mantle that has been passed down for centuries, which would explain why a Caucasian woman would be addressed as such in the film. In preparation for the movie’s release, there is also the expected product licensing to bring out “Doctor Strange” related merchandise worldwide for moviegoers’ consumption. Vandor is already offering beautifully illustrated mugs, tumblers and lunch-boxes portraying a badass bearded Cumberbatch ready to lay a magical smack-down on the dark forces of evil. Even better, the upcoming licensed Lego play set may have unintentionally spoiled details of the movie before both come out, as it depicts the Doc’s magical residence the Sanctum Sanctorum being attacked by a creature that resembles a villain of the comic books that might be familiar to fans, although it may also be a red herring like some Lego Marvel play sets have been before.

Doctor Strange” also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong and Mads Mikkelsen, with a score by Oscar and Grammy-winning composer Michael Giacchino. It air November 4 in North America.