Doctor Strange introduced a number of new elements and concepts to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it also continued a story thread that has been ongoing since Phase 1 of the MCU : The Infinity Stones. While Doctor Strange marked the debut of the Time Stone, director Scott Derrickson tells Comicbook.com that the decision to include the gem in the film stemmed not from Marvel Studios’ master plan, but instead it developed naturally as the film’s central theme became evident.
Derrickson explained that the scene where the Time Stone is first referred to by name had been added after principal photography was complete.
“The last scene with Wong was shot after principal photography, when we decided to put that on as kind of the final scene. It was only then that we were looking for a way to tie it into the MCU.”
Derrickson explains how the decision to include the time stone came about.
“Well, that was definitely something that emerged throughout the creative process all the way through production and even more into editorial. We didn’t start out with the idea of time or even the time stone and move forward. It just continued to present itself as an important thematic notion.”
Derrickson elaborated on the story elements that helped clarify the film’s theme of time.
“I knew from the first draft that Kaecilius’s desire to not die, to live essentially forever, was paramount to the story, but that was to me more of a religious notion than the physics of time itself. As we got more into the multiverse, multiple dimensions and all of that, the idea of time being a separate dimension itself, and Dormammu existing beyond time just sort of filtered it’s way into Strange’s story.”
Derrickson mentioned a specific line that emphasized the central theme of the film.
“You get the watch and Christine saying, ‘Time will tell how much I love you,’ and the simple idea that if you’re going to be so bold as to create a character who’s confronting the question what is the meaning of my life, who am I in this vast multiverse … He is confronting that question as a creature of time.’
Derrickson shared his own take on the concept of time.
“Our universe is only, what I believe, about 16 billion years old, which is a very finite number and that time is a very finite concept. Time itself is, by definition, not infinite. It begins and ends as do our lives.”
Derrickson explained how the theme helped shape the final act of the film. Comicbook.com writes:
“Time became the obvious icing on the cake of the whole movie.” The ability to rewind time and “the idea of beating Dormammu by introducing time into a timeless dimension” also happened to allow Derrickson and his team to not end the movie with “masses amounts of destruction” like most Marvel films.
It is interesting to hear how, in spite of the allegations that Marvel Studios’ forces story elements on the directors of individual MCU films in order to tie them into the overall arc, the latest Infinity Stone was introduced organically as the Doctor Strange continued to be crafted in post-production.
Doctor Strange will be available on Digital HD on February 14, 2017 and will be released on Blu-Ray & DVD on February 28, 2018.