'Doctor Strange' spoilers: Benedict Cumberbatch on what makes his character a superhero


In less than three months, Marvel will close out this superhero movie-laden year with what will be a genre-bending film in “Doctor Strange.” And while the studio’s film adaptations have been known to tweak some parts of its comic book source materials, its deviation from origin stories have been rare and minimal. Given that, fans can expect to see almost the same story arc for top neurosurgeon, Dr. Stephen Strange, when Benedict Cumberbatch brings him to life in the live-action film due for release in November.

“This man reaches the very bottom and then more,” the Academy Award nominee exclusively told Entertainment Weekly. “You think, how much more can this guy take? He’s broken, he gets up again, he’s broken and that’s really what makes him a superhero. A lot of people have asked me, ‘What makes him a superhero?’ That’s really the answer I should have given. It’s not the Cloak of Levitation. It’s not the Eye of Agamotto. It’s about his staying power. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. The guy endures so much.”

Used to being on top of the world, Strange’s life comes crashing down on him after he gets heavily injured in a car accident that leaves him with scathed hands. In his relentless effort to find a cure for them, he stumbles upon magic where he learns the variations of reality. What will be interesting to see in the movie is the continued discord between science, which he knows, and supernatural, which he will presumably learn more about. The Comic-Con trailer has already hinted about the character studying sorcery, but Cumberbatch’s comments hint that the journey may not be as smooth as his character expects it to be.

Despite the comics still being the spine of the story, Marvel took some creative liberties with the film. One of which is the very controversial casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. The character was originally described as an old Asian man residing in the Himalayas and as fans pointed out, very different from Swinton. Marvel has already addressed the backlash but it still proves to be a conversation starter for loyalists who are very invested in the movie. Even Mads Mikkelsen’s character, who is tipped to be the main villain at least in the upcoming flick, still remains a mystery.

Given that Marvel’s strength is in their storytelling abilities, the studio was able to bring their lesser known characters to the forefront via interesting narration and uncanny humor. But unlike their other superheroes, the introduction of Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will open a brand-new portal leading to a mine filled with potential storylines waiting to be tapped into. Even with just two trailers, “Doctor Strange” has already differentiated itself from other MCU movies with the incorporation of trippy shots and new concepts.

“Doctor Strange” is scheduled for a theatrical release on Nov. 4.