Unless you are a Marvel aficionado, chances are that the first time you heard of Doctor Strange was when Benedict Cumberbatch was roped in for the titular role in 2014. As the much-anticipated movie nears release, here is some trivia you should know about it, and about the Sorcerer Supreme himself.
1. Doctor Strange isn’t an alias. Dr Stephen Strange is a successful New York neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands in a freak accident.
Desperate to find a cure, he ends up at Kamar-Taj, the Himalayan stronghold of the Ancient One, a powerful mystic with magical abilities, who takes Strange under his wing and mentors him to become the next Sorcerer Supreme.
2. Wait, but isn’t Tilda Swinton playing the Ancient One?
Yes, and amid much uproar in the fandom. The Ancient One is supposed to be Tibetan. But filmmakers defended the choice by saying that, “The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic.” Well, we’re not complaining!
3. Cumberbatch wasn’t the first choice for the role.
And it almost went to Joaquin Phoenix! Cumberbatch had turned down the offer earlier citing other commitments, but volunteered again, as he found the element of spirituality in the film very appealing.
4. Why not just write “Dr” and save us all the trouble?
The character was originally called Mr Strange, but Stan Lee thought it sounded too similar to Mr Fantastic, one of the Fantastic Four. But then, one of the previous issues already had a minor villain called Dr Strange, and so to avoid confusion, the expansion is used.
5. Doctor Strange was created by Steve Ditko.
Ditko is also the co-creator of Spider-Man, along with Stan Lee.
6. While definitely not an Avenger, Doctor Strange is a member of the Illuminati.
No, not the one Dan Brown made famous! The Illuminati in the Marvel universe is an elite group of superheroes who work behind the scenes and ensure order. Professor Charles Xavier and Tony Stark are also members of this group.
7. Tools of the trade
Doctor Strange’s costume is made up of the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto. These, along with many other artifacts, add to his magical abilities, making him the “mightiest magician in the cosmos”.
8. This isn’t the first time the character was adapted for live-action.
CBS aired a television film Dr. Strange in 1978, starring Peter Hooten as the superhero. However, the series did not take off after that.
9. The villain from the comic books looks like the good guy here!
In the comic books, Baron Mordo, a disciple of the Ancient One gone rogue, is the antagonist. But in the film, Mordo, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, looks like the second-in-command to Tilda Swinton’s character. The antagonist here, is Kaecilius, another rogue disciple from the comic books, played by Mads Mikkelsen (Wow!).
10. Doctor Strange is to the magical as the Avengers are to the physical world.
You’ve probably heard that in the trailer already. Doctor Strange, while inhabiting the same world as the Avengers and the X-Men, deals with alternate realities and threats beyond the physical realm. So be prepared for a lot of trippy visuals (you were reminded of Inception in the trailer, we know) and psychedelic effects (without the investment into, or ingestion of, said trippy stuff, of course).
Know any more “Strange” facts? Let us know!
Title image: screenrant
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