As “Doctor Strange” preps production in London, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has given Birth.Movies.Death. a few answers about what audiences can expect when the Sorcerer Supreme makes his big screen debut.
Longtime Strange fans will be happy to know that the character’s iconic home, the Sanctum Sanctorum, will still be located in Greenwich Village. “The Sanctum is on Bleeker Street, the modern day Bleeker Street,” Feige told BMD. “He will be the strangest thing walking out onto that street.”
Feige also indirectly addressed accusations of whitewashing that emerged when it was revealed that Tilda Swinton was in talks to play the Ancient One — a character normally depicted as a Tibetan man.
“As we were developing this film we looked at The Ancient One as a mantle more than a specific person,” said Feige. “The sorcerers have been around for millennia, protecting us from things we didn’t know about until this story. There have been multiple [Ancient Ones], even if this one has been around for five hundred years, there were others. This is a mantle, and therefore felt we had leeway to cast in interesting ways.” Marvel has yet to officially announce Swinton as the Ancient One.
And while Feige promises that the upcoming film will still feature the “phony mysticism” that has been integral to Doctor Strange since his debut over fifty years ago, the film won’t have specific ties to Tibet.
“Not Tibet. Strange leaves New York in search of something and heads east,” Feige confirmed.
The interview also dives into spoiler territory for “Ant-Man,” with Feige teasing that a development in that film’s third act paves the way for “Strange’s” weirdness.
“We send Ant-Man on a very weird, mind-bending journey at the end of Ant-Man,” explained Feige. “It was something we hadn’t seen in a shrinking movie before, but it also represents the tip of the mind-bending weirdness we’re going to do in Strange, which I think will surprise people.”
Directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, “Doctor Strange” opens on November 4, 2016.