Monday, December 7, 2015

Doctor Strange, Concept Art and Rumor Analysis.

New footage dropped today for Marvel's "Doctor Strange" movie which is due out November 2016. Additionally, the above image is concept art that was released today. I'm so excited about this film and it all started with curiosity. When Marvel announced they were going to be making a movie about the Sorcerer Supreme I was curious. I knew nothing about the good doctor and because of that I knew of no reason why a movie about this character was so important. So I did what any curious person would do, I started researching.

Doctor Strange has become a personal favorite after all the research I've done. His stories, his villains, the worlds and realms he travels through, his abilities, his intellect, this character is complex. I recently picked up "Marvel Masterworks Doctor Strange Vol 1" and in the introduction Dean Mullaney captures the value of this character perfectly...

"Unlike the essentialist protagonist who has power placed upon him by an external source (Peter Parker bitten by a radioactive spider, Ben Grimm bombarded with cosmic rays), Stephen Strange makes a direct and deliberate choice to be a hero. While he has tools such as his enchanted amulet and can use magic spells with the best of them, they don't explain what he can do or define who he is. He becomes a hero by proving himself worthy."

Poignant and accurate to what makes this character so enjoyable. He's a man who has to prove himself worthy and in so doing becomes the most powerful sorcerer in the universe. I'd say that's quite the accomplishment.

There's rumors circulating about the villains in this film. We know that Baron Mordo will be part of this film as Chiwetel Ejiofor is the actor chosen to portray this arch nemesis. But what about the other potential baddie that is rumored to be showing up? Who is Mads Mikkelsen playing? Let's look at the most popular guess on the internet right now, the Dread Dormammu.

When I first heard this I didn't like it only because Doctor Strange is becoming Sorcerer Supreme in this film. He's brand new to being a sorcerer so what sense does it make for him to go up against one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel universe? I know that he battles him in the animated movie but I didn't like that because it lessens the potential threat of a villain when he would be bested by a new sorcerer so quickly. How tough are you if a noob defeats you day 1 on the job? 

There is a story that occurs early in the original Doctor Strange mythos where Strange and Dormammu are battling and Clea releases the Mindless Ones from their imprisonment. Since Dormammu is weakened from fighting Strange he can't restrain the Mindless Ones on his own and Strange offers his powers to boost Dormammu's in order to trap the Mindless Ones before they destroy everything. Dormammu releases Strange and agrees to his conditions for assisting him in trapping the Mindless Ones. If they go this route for the movie I'd be on board for Dormammu. Strange can't defeat him but helping him provides him victory and now we have a story that makes sense. 

However, let's take a look now at who I'd prefer and then who might make more sense cinematically. 

Nightmare and Mephisto. Here's two villains who could work incredibly well on the big screen. Let's start with my preferred choice, Nightmare.

Ruler of the Nightmare realm we find a villain so terrifying that Doctor Strange has to cast a spell of protection over himself before he sleeps. Once he forgot and Nightmare wasted no time in capturing the good doctor and creating quite the entertaining story. A story with this villain could work well because it introduces us to the bizarre realms that Doctor Strange travels to. Plus, the idea of being trapped in a nightmare forever sounds terrifying. Long before Freddy was killing people in their sleep there was Nightmare. Plus it would allow us to see a more physical side of Doctor Strange in combat as his magic powers aren't so useful in the nightmare realm. I enjoy this villain and if I see a comic that he's on the cover of I'll pick it up. 

Now, Mephisto. Granted, we had one villain already in the MCU that had a red face but let's be serious for a second and acknowledge that the ruler of Hell would be an incredible addition to this universe. Also, for canon sake it makes sense. During the Infinity Gauntlet we see that Mephisto is working with Thanos and being as manipulative as he always is. Additionally, we have Thor Ragnarok coming up and we have been told that the Valkerie will be part of that film. So why not add the Prince of Lies and ruler of Hell to the universe? It makes sense from a canon point of view from what we know about the cinematic universe so far. 

I'll be fine with either of these characters and Mads is a phenomenal actor who will bring depth and life to any of the rumored possibilities. 

What do you think? Share your thoughts below and invite a friend into the conversation who would add perspective to this lengthy analysis regarding the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange and his foes. 

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