Over the course of thirteen films, Marvel has been gradually training audiences to accept sillier, weirder, and – shall we say – stranger things. We’ve seen gods, aliens, talking trees, and heroes who can alter their size at will, but in November, Marvel is set to take another leap and dive into the world of magic and mysticism in a way that they’ve only ever hinted at beffort now.
We’ve gotten a taste of what that might look like in the trailers that have thus far been released for Doctor Strange, but a lot of that stuff flies by in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fashion. Sure, you can (and probably have) scanned through the trailers frame by frame, but wouldn’t it be easier just to have a still image you could stare at until your heart’s content? Still images, say, like these right here?
I’ve certainly never agreed with the criticism that the Marvel movies are all ‘samey’ – the Thor movies are totally different from the Captain America movies which are totally different from Guardians of the Galaxy – but even so, Doctor Strange looks like a radical departure from anything we’ve seen from Marvel before. Its visuals have been compared to Inception, and when you have cityscapes folded on top of each other, you’re going to be hard pressed to avoid that, but there’s more going on here than just an Inception riff. Aside from the glow-in-the-dark magic patterns, there’s hints of hopping between different versions of reality glimpsed in both the trailers and the kaleidoscopic Manhattan you see here. There’s talk about Doctor Strange introducing the idea of multiverse to multiplexes, and I wonder if this isn’t the way that will be depicted.
Either way, I’m excited to see how all this shakes out. Doctor Strange opens in theaters November 4.