Remember Doctor Strange‘s third act? Yes, of course you do, as it’s become a favorite meme of Marvel fans. The mystical superhero movie bucked the MCU trend by building its climax around the hero outwitting the villain with their mind. In particular, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange used the Time Stone to bargain with Dormammu, the dreaded lord of the Dark Dimension, to surrender and leave Earth alone.
It’s a cool scene, but some folks didn’t like how it kind of made Dormammu, one of the most powerful entities in the whole Marvel universe, look like a bit of an idiot. Did he really give in after just a few minutes of a time loop? One fan finally decided that it was time to find out the answer once and for all by directing the question at director Scott Derrickson and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill on Twitter.
In response to the query which wondered just how long Strange’s time loop lasted for, Cargill chipped in with an intriguing explanation. The scribe confirmed that the time frame was deliberately left vague in order to address it later on (perhaps in Doctor Strange 2? Or maybe even in Avengers: Infinity War?), but he did tease that it definitely was not a mere handful of minutes.
Here’s his reply:
“We left it intentionally vague with room to address it later – but it wasn’t just a few minutes, I’ll tell you that. He was there long enough to gain even more mastery over his powers.”
The most interesting part of his explanation is that Strange apparently gained even “more mastery over his powers” after spending time in the Dark Dimension. The end of the film left exactly how powerful the sorcerer was a bit vague, but it does feel like the character has come along leaps and bounds by the time we catch up with him in Infinity War, at least going by what we’ve seen of him in the trailers.
For instance, his role in Thor: Ragnarok was brief, but Strange seemed much more in command of his abilities during that movie than when we’d seen him a year before. Cumberbatch has also spoken about his hero’s evolution across his MCU appearances so far. To him, Strange has matured as a person as well as in his grasp of the Mystic Arts.
We’ll see just how much Doctor Strange has mastered his powers when he returns in Avengers: Infinity War, arriving in cinemas on April 27th.