Doctor Strange Director Says Benedict Cumberbatch Taps Into “Intelligence, Arrogance, And Intrigue” Of Title Role

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When news broke that Benedict Cumberbatch had landed the title role of Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme in November’s Doctor Strange movie, few were surprised. Up until now, Cumberbatch has spent years chewing the scenery in The Imitation Game, blockbusters in the vein of Star Trek Into Darkness and the BBC’s beloved Sherlock series with a range of varied, but no less intense performances.

This decorated résumé, according to Scott Derrickson, ensured Cumberbatch was the perfect candidate to don the cape as Doctor Strange, who lauded praise on his lead star during a recent chat with Los Angeles Daily News (via CBM).

As one of the most complex characters lining the Marvel archives, it’s no secret that Cumberbatch faces a tall order ahead of the film’s November release, but Derrickson believes the British thesp has what it takes to tap into the “intelligence, the arrogance, the unlikeability and yet intrigue of Stephen Strange.”

“You feel that he can play the intelligence, the arrogance, the unlikeability and yet intrigue of Stephen Strange and that the massive arc that the character goes through in those early comics is something that he would be able to portray.”

Unless you’ve yet to lay eyes on any Doctor Strange footage – be it via trailers or clips or mind-bending posters – you will have no doubt gleaned the sense of style that Derrickson is driving for with the upcoming standalone pic, which will seemingly please those fans of old-school Marvel comics.

“If your love for the early Stan Lee-Steve Ditko comics was that visual, psychedelic ambition, I think you’ll be pretty satisfied. The primary resource for the visual design of the whole movie came from those comics,” said Derrickson.

Addressing the thorny topic that spawned from those whitewashing allegations levelled against Doctor Strange, the director then spoke about the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One and what it took to rework the character of Wong.

“Tilda was a way of adding diversity in terms of not just an ethereal, enigmatic, otherworldly actress playing an ethereal, enigmatic, otherworldly character, but we’re bringing a middle-aged woman who’s not 28 years old in leather pants into the Marvel Universe in a major role.

“I was going to leave Wong out of the movie at first; he was an Asian sidekick manservant, what was I supposed to do with that? Unlike the Ancient One, he could be completely subverted as a character and reworked into something that didn’t fall into any of the stereotypes of the comics.”

Also starring Spotlight‘s Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amy Landecker, Scott Adkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikklesen, Marvel will conjure Doctor Strange into theaters in time for November 4.