When Benedict Cumberbatch finally dons the iconic cloak and goatee of surgeon-turned-sorcerer Stephen Strange for November's Doctor Strange, he will transport the Marvel Cinematic Universe into an entirely new realm altogether. No longer bound by things like science and logic, the Marvel movies will dive headfirst into Stephen Strange's comfort zone: magic and mysticism. According to the film's director, Scott Derrickson, the upcoming movie will address the concept of magic in a very specific way. He said:
I'm very proud of the fact that in this movie, magic is magic. You know? We're not trying to explain it away, and give it scientific understandability. It's magic, and that's what good magic does. It blows your mind because you can't fully understand it.
Scott Derrickson spoke with Cinema Blend's own Sean O'Connell at San Diego Comic-Con and laid out how Doctor Strange will treat its more fantastical ideas. Rather than painstakingly explaining how magic could possibly exist within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film will apparently just sort of present audiences with magic upfront, and expect them to deal with it. No long exposition and no thorough explanation.
Based on the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this actually seems like the better course of action. The first time Marvel tried to broach fantastical concepts came when the first Thor hit theaters in 2010, and many Marvel purists did not appreciate that particular film's approach to the otherworldly. Rather than allowing Thor's powers to have magical connotations, the MCU somewhat reined him in and explained that his abilities come from highly advanced Asgardian science. Come on, Marvel; the guy has a hammer that can only be lifted if the person attempting to lift it is "worthy."
Now that major comic book concepts have become far more accepted by the mainstream movie going audience, it looks like Doctor Strange can simply use the "because magic" argument and let that be the end of it. There's no need to explain the underlying physics of a magic spell, and that only adds to its mystique. By keeping magic firmly rooted in the fantasy genre and not endeavoring to justify it with practical and provable ideas it gives them complete creative freedom over what Stephen Strange, The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and all the rest can actually do.
Check out the clip below to see more of our interview with Scott Derrickson and his take on the magic of Doctor Strange:
Cinema Blend will bring you any and all relevant details related to the upcoming release of Doctor Strange as more information becomes available to us. The Sorcerer Supreme's solo movie will hit theaters later this year on November 4. Stay tuned for more details!