Movies can be very fluid works of art. Even massive-budgeted superhero pictures, which rely on huge set pieces, can change their shape from screenwriting to screening. It's common that whole sequences can be scrapped because they aren't fitting into the finished story as it continues to come together -- and in the MCU, we even have heard of certain scenes being used a post-credit sequences, or even prologues for pending sequels. This might have happened for Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange. During a recent visit to the movie's set, Marvel President Kevin Feige revealed that Derrickson's movie had a different opening, explaining:
There was a prologue in this movie that we're not doing -- and maybe we'll do in Part 2, so I shouldn't mention it -- but it took place in the CERN [Centre in Geneva, Switzerland], and if you think about it, CERN comes up a lot in science fiction stories, because it's so mind-blowing, what's actually being done there. We looked at that a lot, because of the discussions [we were having] about parallel dimensions and multiple dimensions and all of that has gone into building the foundation for our fictional reality within this Strange universe. Then, you go back and look at the comics, and look at the journey that the Ancient One would take Strange on, when he first got to the comics. It's all the same thing. They didn't know about parallel dimensions back then, but they were either making it up, or tapping into other philosophies for it, and now I think it's more relevant, and potentially, theoretically more realistic than ever. Realistic being a relative term here.
I knew nothing about the CERN, but the official site confirms that the scientists studying at this European Organization for Nuclear Research are using complex scientific equipment to analyze how particles interact, thereby explaining the fundamental laws of nature. I can see how, in researching the dimensions that Doctor Strange wants to explore on screen, Marvel might have entertained the notion of opening this movie at CERN. Maybe some of the research being conducted here crossed paths with truths that have been unearthed by The Ancient One and her disciples?
Whatever the scene, it was generic enough that Marvel might save it for Doctor Strange 2, whenever that movies eventually comes out.
I do like how confident Marvel is about moving scenes around in its interlocking MCU like chess pieces on a big board. The CERN scene actually could have been a set up for Thor: Ragnarok, as the Asgardian sequel is expected to tear down the barrier between magic and reality even further than Doctor Strange does. Suffice it to say, 2017 is going to be a very surreal time for the MCU... and that's a good thing.
Doctor Strange opens in theaters on November 4. Are you excited?