When gazing into the diversity of pop culture it may soon become apparent super soldiers emblazed with the American flag and billionaire businessmen adorned in armored suits feature prominently. These iconic characters, both Captain America and Iron Man respectively, were conceived in the minds of creators from comic book publisher Marvel. This worldwide company may have originated in print as it distributed action packed comic strips for fans and today it still aims to honour these roots; although, with a vast budget and an eye for the cinematic.
Owned by The Walt Disney Company, Marvel may have established their ubiquitous name as one synonymous with super powered heroes. Their comic book history has been adapted for the big screen over the years and brought audiences the likes of Wolverine, Thor and even some smaller scale heroes like Ant-Man.
Whether casting beams of energy from their eyes or leaping from the tallest building, over the years Marvel has aimed to have their characters leap from the page. A key element which may have led to the amalgamation of Marvel’s comic book history and Hollywood may have been the creation of Marvel Studios; the studio responsible for bringing audiences the shared universe which is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Marvel Cinematic Universe aims to develop a variety of films which draw from the publisher’s history; audiences may recognise a number of their productions, including titles like the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America. However, this year Marvel aims to introduce a new character to their ever-expanding roster of heroic individuals.
So, prepare to marvel at the mystical as the Marvel Cinematic Universe gears up to introduce magic into their shared universe. Based off a character who made his first appearance in 1963, Doctor Strange debuts on the big screen as the master of mystical arts and filling the titular character’s role is Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock”, “The Imitation Game”). The tale of Doctor Strange is one which closely follows the life of neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange. Suffice to say, a series of events lead Dr. Stephen Strange on a mysterious journey into the mystic.
Soon Doctor Strange learns about the mysterious elements, which may provide the foundation for Marvel’s new sorcerer. As Doctor Strange develops his newly acquired talents he begins to uncover the secrets this new world holds. Mentoring Dr. Stephen Strange is Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton who is known simply as the Ancient One in this film. Together their journey aims to lead them to a range of locations, including reality bending dimensional worlds. These new worlds introduce environments which twist the nature of reality and may present intriguing elements as space and time contorts around the characters.
These elements offer Doctor Strange an allure, which may be rooted in each act of sorcery. With its spell casting and sequences, Marvel aims to produce an experience which stands apart from its previous offerings; from the alternate dimensions to astral projections, Marvel aims to add a range of new tools to its toybox of ideas. As Doctor Strange aims to solidify himself in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the shared worlds its characters inhabit continues to expand.
By having a shared universe Marvel affords itself the opportunity to have its heroes crossover into their other films and meet their characters. With the pervious Captain America film, Civil War, audiences may have noticed a collective of heroes assemble onscreen. With Doctor Strange, the newest addition to the Marvel ensemble. Audiences may see Dr. Stephen Strange appear in the films of his peers’, perhaps alongside the Avengers one day.
How does Marvel aim to expand their universe and introduce new concepts with Doctor Strange?