Contrary to the sort of slow down the entertainment industry enters into between Christmas and New Year's Eve, Marvel has been flooding the market today with some details on next fall's Doctor Strange. One such detail, almost buried beneath the first look at Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character and confirming Mads Mikkelsen's villainous presence in the film, is the fact that Rachel McAdams' mystery character will be a surgeon herself.
Thanks to the torrent of access that Marvel Studios had granted to Entertainment Weekly, Scott Derrickson's first entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is looking more and more fun, with an experimental twist. But in order to sell the more experimental angle of Stephen Strange's journey from surgeon to sorcerer, the audience will obviously need someone to help anchor down the real life aspect of the film, and that's what McAdams' unnamed character will provide. To put a further button on it, Marvel president Kevin Feige summed up her character with the following description:
[She is] a fellow surgeon that has a history with Strange and is his sort of lynchpin to his old life, once he steps into he role of a sorcerer. She is someone he connects with at the beginning, and reconnects with, and helps anchor his humanity.
While it's not the action adventure debut some may have been hoping for, Rachel McAdams' role in Doctor Strange does sound like it's fully within her wheelhouse. Presumably, McAdams' professional colleague to Cumberbatch's cocky surgeon would serve as an emotional counterbalance to the awesome powers that Stephen Strange will be dealing with the consequences of in his initial outing. In terms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if Doctor Strange is an analogue to Iron Man, then McAdams could be the Pepper Potts in the equation. Of course, seeing as Ant-Man kind of felt like a little bit of an Iron Man retread, those in charge are probably avoiding sharing too many story beats with the already established MCU canon at all costs.
Just who this mystery character could be is the biggest puzzle, outside of Mads Mikkelsen's mysterious villain, that Doctor Strange has to offer. In fact, one could say that McAdams' character is the bigger puzzle, as this character is going to go a long way to defining the character of Doctor Strange himself. It's one thing to know our lead character and the world he lives in, but in order to truly have a three dimensional world of actions and consequences, we need to know how our hero's world reacts to him. Rachel McAdams' character will be vital to seeing just how strange the world of Doctor Strange will get.
Doctor Strange crosses all boundaries and arrives in theaters on November 4, 2016.