We are facing “Doctor Strange” what appears to be the courtyard doctor strange of an ancient shrine, a mixture of a temple in Tibet and a dilapidated palace exotic to Indiana Jones, those who seem to have been in the same place for thousands of years and therefore , keep old truths. Benedict Cumberbatch is in front of us, in the middle of the square, bathed in sweat, despite the slight fresh air circulating inside the stage 4 of the Longcross studies.
Its white and gray clothes, similar to those that would use an apprentice karate, touch the ground for a few seconds while his leg makes a sweep of 360 degrees as part of a complicated routine of martial arts. “Again!” He shouts Chiwetel Ejiofor completely gotten into character, who, dressed in green robes of the legendary Karl Baron Mordo, surrounding while strictly monitors their movements. “How am I supposed that karate will help heal my hands?” Blurts Benedict, irritated and skeptical tone. “Karate?” Replies Ejiofor. “Here we are not ninjas”.
A rumor of giggles runs the group of journalists who witnessed the trial of the scene and did not expect the sudden humorous dialogue in such a spiritual setting. Soon we are informed that we are standing in a part of Kamar-Taj, the complex intended for training of the mystic arts, located in the Himalayas (whose snowy peaks where insurance will rise now see pure green and blue screens). That is, it is the place responsible for teaching Dr. Stephen Strange powers necromancer and interdimensional traveler, who will not only open her horizons this skeptical and arrogant neurosurgeon: will also do the same with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which, so far, he has remained rooted in the logic of the tangible world.
However, just take a quick look at art, costumes, props and production design Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme -exhibido everything to us in a room together to study- annexed to fall into account that this film marvelita jump represents. Ejiofor is right: there are no ninjas or superheroes full of gadgets, or aliens Asgardian technology. For the first time, there is a superhero whose power comes from magic and spiritual connection, whose characteristics intended not only to cool the film superhero picture (as did Guardians of the Galaxy at the time), but also to show and establish the scope of the multiverse of Marvel and its limits. How amazing you can put? “Ant-Man and gave us a taste of that when entering the call subatomic dimension, at the end of his film,” Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios says. “Take that and multiply it by 50. part That’s what you see in Doctor Strange”.
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Doctor Strange first appeared in 1963 as part of the anthology Strange Tales comic. Since then, he has starred in different versions, although they all tell the same story of origin is taken up by the film: Stephen Strange is a successful and somewhat misanthropic neurosurgeon Manhattan, who loses the optimal functionality of your hands after an accident . Desperate, embarks on a spiritual quest to the east that leads him to discover the existence of wizards that protect us from other dimensions, supported by the teachings of the Old, his wise mentor … or mentor, in this case, as it is embodied by Tilda actress Swinton.
Magic, mystical, astral projections, spells, amulets and huge red capes wizard, which become a fundamental part of their world, seem at first too extravagant and fanciful for an MCU in which even the powers of someone like Scarlet witch (who is literally a witch) have been explained on the basis of experiments and scientific airs terms as “cosmic energy”. It would appear, therefore, that there is no place in this universe of Tony Starks rationalists for Doctor Strange, who in the comics usually comes invoke ostentatious spells without much effort, and save the day as quick and simple as saying presto! How fit someone like that in the MCU?
“That limitless power that is in the comics is part of what made it funny when I read boy and so I identified with him,” says director Scott Derrickson, chosen from among several candidates to take this superhero to the big screen. “But when the time comes to make a film, you have to create rules and limitations and root it in reality. I think that vision made me get this job. I worked hard to get it, it was not like I gave it from the beginning (laughs). ” According to Derrickson, it was his desire to anchor the fantastic reality which highlighted what other filmmakers as well as his plan to create experiences in other relatable dimensions. “They are not as open as you see in the comics. We had to decide what were the specific skills of sorcerers, which may or may not do and internal logic had to be communicated to the audience without becoming an orgy of explanations. I think we succeeded. ”
Known for horror films like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Deliver Us from Evil and Sinister, Derrickson seems, at first glance, the wrong person time to think about a director for a blockbuster superhero. However, since we established that in the world of Doctor Strange nothing is what it seems: “If you see your work, all his films have one foot in reality and the other in the supernatural, and that mixture is the one we wanted,” he explains Feige. The presence of Derrickson also draws a parallel with Guardians of the Galaxy, a property of Marvel that hit the big screen hands of another outsider again: James Gunn, who was not the obvious choice, but whose alternative sensitivity, so to speak somehow it resulted in one of the biggest blockbusters of superheroes.
Derrickson could achieve something, especially now that it was announced that Dan Harmon (Comunity) wrote adicionales- scenes, but his goal for now is just to give justice to the world of this tragic hero, whom he sees as a lone bridge between dimensions and who, if that were not enough, has many faces throughout the film. In fact, according to Feige, Strange suffers the largest and most abrupt change ever seen in a Marvel in an origin story. “Even Tony Stark changed much, despite its decision to stop selling weapons when he becomes Iron Man,” says Feige. Therefore, he needed an actor who could move with a firm hand such an extreme arch, only equivalent to something as radical as seeing Dr. House slowly become Buddha. When talking to Feige, we realized that, actually, there was no search or casting, even though the “grapevine” of Internet rumors mentioned from Joaquin Phoenix, even Jake Gyllenhaal as possible suitable for carrying the layer. However, both the producer and the director knew they wanted to Benedict from the start and, after learning that the English actor was also interested, did what Marvel had never done by absolutely anyone: significantly move their production schedule to match Cumberbatch availability.
The actor, nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for his portrayal of Alan Turing in enigma code is used to embody the intelligence itself, through brilliant characters and a bit awkward socially, ranging from Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate, up a modern Sherlock Holmes, the role that launched the massive popularity. However, this is the first time one of his misfit genius decides to leave behind your logic to find his humanity in the seemingly illogical.
Wisdom is a woman
The trial is over and now Benedict practice another scene, in which you can see the main changes that the film will regarding comics: the presentation of a more physical Strange Doctor and gender change the character of the Old, who originally is an old Tibetan. Cumberbatch is training again in the temple courtyard along with other novices. Suddenly, Tilda Swinton comes dressed in long robes and shaved head, looking completely ethereal. Strange separates from the others to talk to him alone. “Mutes your ego and your power will emerge. Your intellect has brought you here but will not take you far, “he says. Someone yells cut. Tilda does a little dance of celebration that brings the laughter of all.
The production received much criticism for the selection of Swinton as the legendary mentor Strange (the famous whitewashing); however, the truth is that struggled enough to give the right profile, since English is The Ancient One, a title that could lead a man or a woman: “We wanted to be faithful to the original material but this represented a challenge because comics, dating from the 60s, presented what was practically a racial stereotype, “Derrickson reveals. “We conclude that in the case of this character, the most effective was to exchange the racial diversity by gender. And it was my idea to go with Tilda, for there is something very momentous in it that captures the otherworldly quality. Besides the idea of having a strong female character in the MCU, it was not exactly the dream of a teenager, was very attractive. ” She joined shortly after Rachel McAdams, as Christine Palmer’s colleague and love interest Dr. Strange; Chiwetel Ejiofor as the aforementioned Karl Baron Mordo (who is usually a doctor nemesis but here seems somewhat ambivalent); and Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Kaecilius, the main villain.
Fidelity to the comics will be mainly in the props (fans can see objects like the eye Agamotto, the amulet Strange), scenarios (highlights the Sanctum Sanctorum, the New York lair doctor), but above all, in the visual, which plasmarán the various dimensions in all its splendor and psychedelia: “Ditko was a visionary. We were designing and then saw the comics and thought, ‘God, we are not being as bold as they’, so we threw the house through the window, “confides the director. Formed by the best conceptual artists in the industry, the production design team not only managed to recreate the streets of Nepal in a study, it was also inspired by artistic movements such as Russian expressionism to create worlds that break with logic.
It seems that Doctor Strange is about to bring the superhero action places unprecedented in the MCU. Maybe we should get down to studying scientific proposals such as string theory, which talks about other dimensions … or maybe it’s time to pay attention to the Old, stop wanting to understand everything and enjoy the sensory explosion of this strange superhero.