Of all the superhero movies that came out or are about to come out this year, Marvel’s Doctor Strange is somewhat of a dark horse in the race for comic book film supremacy. While many casual and dedicated movie fans are still caught up with Deadpool’s breaking of the fourth wall, Batman v Superman’s polarizing effects, and DC’s underwhelming Suicide Squad, the upcoming Benedict Cumberbatch-starring picture flies under the radar.
By the looks of Doctor Strange’s first trailer, it seems like Marvel and director Scott Derrickson are laser focused on the task at hand. The whole Marvel Cinematic Universe landscape, in a way, is headed to new dimensions of reality, teetering the lines of quantum theory and metaphysics. Derrickson delves into this in detail by highlighting Strange’s fascination with anywhere from magic and supernatural powers, to alternate dimensions and scientific-defying explanations. In short, the forthcoming movie plays with the different perceptions of reality.
On the surface, Marvel has long been exploring every area or topic known to man. If they’re not bending the laws of realism, the comic book giants are leaving their mark on other popular media ventures. For one, the company has successful video game titles such as The Punisher, Spiderman, and the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes franchise. They even penetrated the online gaming scene with Marvel Roulette, which is being hosted on the Betfair, known traditionally for its table games. The aforementioned company initiated a change from offering table games their player base when they realised the immense popularity the Marvel brand could bring to their online operations, thus incorporating more pop culture referenced games to its roster.
All in all, this mirrors and takes advantage of the world of possibilities for Marvel – more so when it comes to on-screen narratives.
For Doctor Strange, the key is to successfully introduce the audience – casual and diehard comic book fans alike – to a new kind of storytelling, one that involves various branches of science and the supernatural. The likes of Deadpool, Spiderman, as well as the bevy of DC favorites have enjoyed mainstream commercial film success because they’ve been easily recognizable for quite some time now. Many of today’s modern storytellers, film directors, and bigwig producers explore different areas of each character’s psyche to offer a fresh take on these classics. It’s also why, for instance, Netflix’s Daredevil series is better received (critically) than its older film counterpart.
Indeed, it’ll be a tall order for Scott Derrickson to translate Marvel’s box office achievement into a relatively unknown (to many) character like Doctor Strange. However, if Derrickson, along with the upcoming movie’s actors and crew, find an effective way of familiarizing the audience to the character’s metaphysical storyline and features, then the future looks bright for future tie-ups and sequels. Here’s to hoping for Doctor Strange’s success – whether in films, or comic books, or possible video game adaptations.