The origin story of Doctor Strange is indeed an interesting one. First appearing in Strange Tales #110 in 1963, he is an arrogant but highly talented neurosurgeon whose career is halted by a car accident that causes irreparable damage to his hands. Desperate, he scours the Earth for alternative methods of healing, eventually crossing paths with The Ancient One. This being is revealed to be Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, and ultimately becomes mentor to Doctor Strange – who uncovers a plan of betrayal against The Ancient One on the part of another protégé, Baron Mordo.
After proving himself a valuable trainee, and saving The Ancient One, Doctor Strange himself becomes a powerful sorcerer, and works to protect reality from mystical beings from other dimensions, such as Nightmare. He also encounters a warlord from the ‘Dark Dimension,’ named Dormammu, and finds himself assisted by Clea – the niece of Dormammu.
With Tilda Swinton cast as The Ancient One, many fans have drawn comparisons with her casting and performance as Gabriel in 2005’s Constantine. With the character in the comic books being male, many fans have questioned whether this casting indicates a gender switch on the part of Marvel.
“We get an amazing actress to play an amazing character, and we do it in a way that’s very unique and doesn’t fall into any outdated stereotypes that sometimes pop up in comics from years past,” said Feige.
“It’s funny you ask, ‘Will Tilda Swinton be playing a woman?’ and you ask it because she does an amazing job of being sort of ambiguous in terms of gender. I think you’ll see us playing it in ways that she’s played other characters that way. Clearly, she’s a woman, but it is very ambiguous in her portrayal.”
The remaining question surrounds the casting of Rachel McAdams, since it is still unclear who she will be playing.
“She [Rachel McAdams] plays a very, very big part in the movie, and represents a certain point of view of the worlds we experience in that movie, but Doctor Strange, without a doubt, is the character we follow through the movie.”
A fascinating approach would be for Marvel to cast Rachel McAdams as the warlord Dormammu, but with rumours swirling around the possible, imminent involvement of Mads Mikkelsen, it unfortunately seems more likely that McAdams will play Clea – niece of the warlord. With Doctor Strange about to go before the cameras, however, it will all become clear soon enough, ahead of its current release date of November 4th, 2016.