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It’s exactly one year until the Marvel Cinematic Universe delves into the world of magic with Doctor Strange, and production has just kicked off. Before filming at Pinewood-Shepperton Studios in the U.K. next month, the movie is stopping by Nepal to shoot a few scenes, and it’s there that we get our first taste of what Benedict Cumberbatch will look like as Dr. Stephen Strange for part of the story.
Here we see a heavily bearded Cumberbatch on set in Nepal, thanks to Twitter user Prayush Khadka snapping a picture while near the set. No doubt this is just the first in a flurry of behind the scenes photos that will follow in the coming months. Judging by Cumberbatch’s disheveled appearance, it looks like this takes place early into his origin story, specifically when he’s looking to cure his mangled hands. In other words, this is before he becomes the magic user we all know and love.
Strange’s journey in the East is reminiscent of when Bruce Wayne was on his journey in Batman Begins, although instead of learning martial arts from a "league of assassins," Strange will learn the mystic arts under the tutelage of the Ancient One. Once he masters sorcery and returns to the United States (or wherever he happens to live in the MCU), then he’ll take on his more distinguished appearance, cloak and all. While set pictures can certainly offer clues about what to expect in the movie, hopefully Marvel will release an official still of Cumberbatch in the full Strange getup in the near future. Sure, there was the D23 concept art that was shown in August, but nothing beats the real deal.
Doctor Strange will follow Strange, a neurosurgeon, as he goes on a "journey of healing" after being caught in a car accident, and this will lead to him becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, defender of Earth against the malevolent mystical forces in the MCU. Marvel Studios has lined up an all-star cast to accompany Benedict Cumberbatch, including Chiwetel Ejiofor as main antagonist Baron Mordo, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One and Rachel McAdams reportedly playing an iteration of Night Nurse. It was also reported on Monday that Boardwalk Empire star Michael Stuhlbarg is in negotiations to join the movie, possibly as Nicodemus West, a "rival scientist to Strange," and Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen has also been added in an undisclosed role.
You can fall under Doctor Strange’s enchantment when the movie hits theaters on November 4, 2016.