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Monday, September 26, 2016

The Biggest Questions About Doctor Strange

Some time ago we posted the trailer for Marvel’s Doctor Strange, and it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most sensational trailers of the year. Filled with mysterious dialogue and mind-bending visuals, it presents the picture of a highly ambitious film that, even for a superhero project, is breaking new ground with the scope of its imagination. Doctor Strange will be unlike any other Marvel film to date, and could wind up being one of the most thrilling films of 2016. But here are some of the biggest questions we still have about the character and the film ahead of its November release.

Will Strange Meet Other Marvel Heroes?

As of now this looks like a standalone project, and perhaps one of the more independent ones we’ve seen in superhero cinema. That is to say, this appears to be a side saga devoted entirely to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his rise to power. But let’s not put it past Marvel to sneak in a few little links to the greater Cinematic Universe, given that this is what they do best! Rumor has it that Robert Downey Jr. may have filmed a cameo for the project, in which case we’ll be seeing either Tony Stark or Iron Man (or both), at least briefly. There’s no telling if this will prove to be accurate, but it seems likely that at some point, either during the film or in a post-credits sequence, we’ll be seeing another Marvel hero.

Will This Film Resemble Christopher Nolan’s Work?

There are no direct ties between Doctor Strange and the films of Christopher Nolan, but it’s almost impossible to watch the trailer and not see shades of Nolan’s influence. The plot looks as though it’s borrowed heavily from Batman Begins, at least insofar as Stephen Strange visits a remote corner of the world and hikes to a mountain sanctuary to learn mysterious arts. And the visuals are strikingly similar to those in Inception, particularly when it comes to the manipulation of structures and warping of entire cityscapes. While the Marvel films are beloved, there’s an argument to be made that no one has done superhero cinema better than Nolan, so it’ll be fascinating to see just how much Doctor Strange borrows from the acclaimed filmmaker.

Will There Be Video Games?

Doctor Strange has actually already appeared in a handful of Marvel video games that incorporate big collections of characters. But could this film lead to Strange appearing in his own games? This wouldn’t ordinarily be a question, but given Marvel’s plan to put more effort into console gaming starting in 2017, it seems fair to ask. A simpler and likelier place to start may be casino gaming. Marvel is responsible for several of the most popular movie slot games online, of which there are plenty. The studio routinely licenses its characters to arcade slot developers as a way to market those characters to online gaming audiences, and Strange could easily start there. But a console game in the near future would also be a nice sign of this film’s expected success.

Will This Be A One-Off?

This may be the biggest and most important question about Doctor Strange. Will it be a one-off solo film before Strange joins forces with the Avengers, or will it spark a new series similar to what we’ve seen with Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America? Right now, a Doctor Strange sequel is not explicitly scheduled in Marvel’s film release calendar, but that doesn’t mean much. The rumors are already out there that Marvel is planning a sequel based on positive test screenings, so it stands to reason that if this film is a success, there will probably be a follow-up. On the other hand, we’re getting pretty deep into the MCU, and there could almost be too much going on for the studio to devote much attention to a new series.

No matter what the answers to these questions turn out to be, Doctor Strange is looking like one of the most exciting films yet to come out in 2016. It should be a wild ride, and if it goes well that ride could go on a while.

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  1. I'm a big comic book fan, what I don't understand is why Marvel picked "Doctor Strange" as their next superhero movie, when there's a lot of bigger comic book characters in the Marvel collection?