Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts is back. What do you know about the Doctor Strange movies?
With Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness in cinemas, the latest in our fascinating Film Facts series takes a look at both the film that started it all and its upcoming sequel, so first up here are 5 Fascinating Film facts about 2016’s Doctor Strange:
- Benedict Cumberbatch was the studios first choice to play the titular role but had to initially turn it down due to his theatre commitments which clashed with the film’s shooting schedule. Only after the release date of the film was pushed back was, he able to accept the role. The studios second choice was Joaquin Phoenix who was considering stepping in but ultimately turned it down as he would not commit to a multi-picture deal which was a requirement of the studio.
- Director Scott Derrickson beat out other hopefuls by coming up with his own unique pitch to Marvel executives: he produced a 12-page scene for the film, illustrating the sequence using his own concept art, storyboards from professional artists and an animatic. He has said that this cost him an “obscene” amount of his own money, but he was such a fan of the character that he wanted to prove to Marvel that he wanted the directing job more than anyone else.
- Rachel McAdams plays Christine Palmer in the film, but things could have played out very differently in the MCU as a whole if she accepted the first role that she was offered which was actually that of Tony Stark’s love interest Pepper Potts! She was approached by Jon Favreau as the first choice to play the character but turned it down leading to Gwyneth Paltrow taking the part instead.
- Benedict Cumberbatch also provided motion capture and the voice of villain Dormammu in the film. Original Candyman actor Tony Todd recorded voice over for Dormammu as an alternative to Cumberbatch, but they ultimately went with Cumberbatch’s voice work which was mixed with that of another actor for the voice you hear in the film.
- The casting of Tilda Swinton to play ‘The Ancient One’ was met with uproar as the character was an Asian male in the comics with some accusing Marvel for changing the race for the film. Producers said that they cast Tilda because they wanted to include more women in the film, and they wanted a big-name actress. Director Scott Derrickson also said that he viewed the role of the Ancient One as a ‘title’ more than a person meaning it could be played by anyone.
Now let’s look at 5 Fascinating Film Facts about the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel:
Sam Raimi took over director duties for the sequel after Scott Derrickson stepped down citing creating differences. Derrickson remains an Executive Producer on the film. Best known for directing the original Tobey Maguire-starring Spiderman film trilogy this is Raimi’s first directed feature film in 9 years since 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful.
Elizabeth Olsen reprises her role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in the film and actually flew to London to start work on the film only two days after she finished filming WandaVision. The film ties into not only Spiderman No Way Home with the events of this film taking place months after that one but it also ties into the Disney+ series WandaVision, Loki and What If?… so, if you aren’t up to date with those get binge watching now!
While most MCU films are released under the genres of ‘Action’, ‘Comedy’, ‘Drama’, ‘Fantasy’ and Sci-Fi’ this is the first film in the MCU to be released under the ‘Horror’ genre. The trailer for the film was the first in the MCU to be rated 15 by the British Board of Film Classification although the film itself is rated 12A.
As of this recording there are reports that the film has been denied a release in Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar due to what is being described as ‘LGBTQ references’ as one of the characters (America Chavez) is a lesbian who makes reference to her “two moms”. Saudi Arabia is asking Disney to make cuts which amount to “barely 12 seconds” to remove the references to comply with their strict classification rules something which Disney have so far refused to do.
The multiverse opens up the possibility of many cameos from other Marvel films with those already confirmed to return including the aforementioned Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Hayley Atwell reprising her role as Peggy Carter and Patrick Stewart, who portrayed Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men film series has confirmed that he also appears in the film in an ‘undisclosed’ role.
Who else will turn up? Other stars have been rumoured, but we won’t spoil anything for you, you’ll just have to watch and see!