Doctor Strange is out in theaters! I repeat. Doctor Strange – the latest installment from the Marvel Universe – is in theaters now! I was invited to see an early screening of the film and was absolutely blown away. Although we received free admission to the screening, no other compensation has been received. All thoughts are my own. Photos and movie stills are courtesy of Marvel Studios.
What can I say about Doctor Strange? I was not familiar with the Doctor Strange back story before seeing the movie, so I didn’t go into the movie with any expectations (other than the expectation to enjoy Benedict Cumberbatch). I’ve really enjoyed all of the Marvel movies that have come out in the past few years, so for that reason alone I was excited to see it.
I went in to the movie theater not knowing much. I left the theater thinking that Doctor Strange was my favorite Marvel movie of all time.
Here’s a little background about Doctor Strange:
About Doctor Strange
From Marvel Studios comes “Doctor Strange,” the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place—a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange—armed with newly acquired magical powers—is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
This is the scene that changed the movie for me. It had been good up til this point, but I loved how this encounter began to change Doctor Strange – how began to view the world differently from this moment on and how he also saw himself differently.
Wondering if you should head to the theater to see Doctor Strange? The answer is a firm YES. Go. Don’t hesitate. Just go see it. And if I may suggest….see it in IMAX 3D. I am usually not one to recommend 3D, let alone IMAX (hello, movies cost an arm and a leg as it is!) but Doctor Strange is a movie that should not only be experienced in the theater, it really should be experienced in IMAX 3D to get the full effect.
Like you would expect with superhero movies, Doctor Strange does have its share of violence/fighting along with a dark antagonist, so I would recommend parents viewing it first before taking kids (the movie is rated PG-13, so parental screening is usually recommended).
One of my favorite things about Doctor Strange was all of the fantastic, thought-provoking quotes. The Ancient One left me with many things to consider, and I could see this movie many deep discussions on the symbolism and parallels.
Who’s Who in Doctor Strange
DOCTOR STEPHEN STRANGE (Benedict Cumberbatch)
Doctor Stephen Strange was once a celebrated but arrogant surgeon, until a tragic accident cost him his medical skills and career. Searching for a way to restore his talents, he traveled the world until he finally encountered The Ancient One, the enigmatic teacher who offered to teach him the ways of the Mystic Arts.
MORDO (Chiwetel Ejiofor)
Like Doctor Strange, Karl Mordo was an apprentice of The Ancient One who learned the Mystic Arts and the paths of alternative dimensions. Complex and intense, he could well turn out to be a friend, a rival, or a bitter enemy to the Ancient One’s latest pupil.
DOCTOR CHRISTINE PALMER (Rachel McAdams)
Dr. Christine Palmer is a highly skilled trauma surgeon, who is not only Dr. Strange’s colleague but a friend as well. When the devastating accident that crippled Strange’s hands takes a toll on their relationship, Dr. Palmer comes to realize that Strange needs to rediscover his worth on his own. But she never dreamed of the unlikely path that he would one day walk—or how it would come crashing back into her own life.
WONG (Benedict Wong)
The keeper of Kamar-Taj’s vast library of mystical tomes, the no-nonsense Wong is tasked with not only deciding who is worthy of studying from The Ancient One’s private collection but also protecting the sacred incantations from falling into the wrong hands. While quiet and
unassuming, make no mistake—if someone were to try to steal from Wong’s library, they’d have to get through him first.
JONATHAN PANGBORN (Benjamin Bratt)
Strange seeks out Jonathan Pangborn, believing he might hold an important piece of information in his journey towards healing his hands.
KAECILIUS (Mads Mikkelsen)
Like many students at Kamar-Taj, Kaecilius arrived at the mystical compound seeking the secrets of The Multiverse. He turned his back on The Ancient One and her teachings when he believed certain knowledge was being kept from him. It’s within these forbidden powers Kaecilius sees the answer to all mankind’s suffering—the ability to alleviate the pains of the human condition. Kaecilius, joined by his Zealot followers, will use every malevolent tool at his disposal to see our reality melded with shadowy powers of this other dimension even if it leads to the destruction of existence as we know it.
THE ANCIENT ONE (Tilda Swinton)
The wise and enigmatic figure known only as The Ancient One has safeguarded the secrets of the Mystic Arts for a very long time indeed. When she encountered Stephen Strange, the centuries-old sage saw potential in the bedraggled ex-surgeon and agreed to show him a new side to reality: the mystical way of magic!
Cool Facts About Doctor Strange
- Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” was shot in London, New York, Kathmandu (Nepal) and Hong Kong.
- The Art Department was very important to helping realize the look of the film. At full capacity, it harbored 49 people working in drawing, sculpting, model making by hand, 3D printing and more. Approximately 800 drawings, 3000 concept drawings and 40 set models were created over the course of the film.
- Steve Ditko’s comic book art influenced the environments that were created for the film.
- When you watch the movie, you will notice that geometric patterns are present within the majority of sets.
- 21 sets were built for the shoot. There were many impressive, practical sets, including the largest set, The Kamar-Taj courtyard and street, which measured 160 ft. by 80 ft.
- Up to 100 people worked in the costume department across prep and shoot.
- The silhouette of the Cloak of Levitation is very important in the Marvel comic book world and the creation of the cloak was the biggest undertaking for Alexandra Byrne’s costume department, utilizing the skills of 20 people to do the task. Because of the
different uses during filming, 18 cloaks had to be made.
- Doctor Strange’s car in the film is a Lamborghini, which he drives when he is a surgeon. Six Lamborghinis were required for filming.
- One of the camera lenses used on the film had a cinematic history of its own, having been used on “Lawrence of Arabia.”
- To research his character, Dr. Stephen Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch spent time with neurosurgeons, and the director, DP and production designer all visited New York City operating rooms and emergency rooms to guide them towards the lighting and textures
they would need to create a realistic hospital environment onscreen.
- Filming in Nepal was difficult to keep under wraps because as it turns out many Nepalese are Benedict Cumberbatch fans from “Sherlock,” the BBC TV show he stars in. In Patan Durbar Square there was a crowd of hundreds chanting his name, so Cumberbatch went to an upstairs window overlooking the square to wave to the crowd, which went wild for him.
- Some interior scenes were shot at historic Exeter College, part of the University of Oxford. J.R.R. Tolkien, among other notables, was an undergraduate at Exeter.
- In the movie, the Sanctum Sanctorum’s address, 177A Bleecker Street, is a fictitious address and a nod to the comic books. It took roughly 10 months to finalize the design and details of the Sanctum Sanctorum foyer, utilizing the skills of five artists.
- While filming in New York City, Benedict Cumberbatch, in full costume, went for an afternoon cup of tea between setups with his wife and some friends in a cafe in Greenwich Village. Even the usually nonplussed New Yorkers were surprised to have a Super Hero in their midst.
- On a New York City street, just before production wrapped on the last scene of the film, Cumberbatch entered a comic book shop to say hello and quickly the moment was captured with selfies that went viral around the world.
- The Hong Kong Street set was built outside on a service road at Longcross Studios in London and was 570 feet long. It was patterned after reference images the Art Department had gathered in Hong Kong. The set featured 35 shops, including restaurants, food stalls, dry cleaning, car mechanics, watch shop, butcher, herbal medicine, general stores, paper and printing.
- The Hong Kong street scenes, one of the most challenging action sequences ever undertaken by Marvel Studios, were shot in several stages of destruction, commencing with clean and gradually becoming destroyed. This is the opposite of how it will be shown on screen, as it goes from destroyed to clean. This meant everything had to be aged down, from shop signs to vehicles. To help create the destruction, 350 tons of real rubble was used.
Connect with Doctor Strange
Like DOCTOR STRANGE on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DoctorStrangeMovie
Follow DOCTOR STRANGE on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrStrange
Follow Marvel on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marvel/
Visit the official DOCTOR STRANGE website here: https://marvel.com/doctorstrange
DOCTOR STRANGE is now playing in theatres everywhere! Go see it!
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