At Fan Expo Canada on Thursday night, Stan Lee told the crowd that he had already enjoyed Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange film, which will hit theaters in November. Lee said, “Derrickson got Doctor Strange right,” implying that the MCU’s next film sticks to the original comics he oversaw in the 1960s. So, if this upcoming Doctor Strange is the version Lee prefers, we can assume a few things about him. First of all: he’s a jerk.
On the Captain America: Civil War Blu-ray and Digital HD release, a special feature showcasing Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme describes Stephen Strange as both talented and arrogant. That arrogance is important, because Strange’s car accident, which occurs early in the film, leaves him damaged and destitute. By the time he meets The Ancient One (played in the upcoming film by Tilda Swinton), Strange has been utterly destroyed, and asks her to help rebuild, in mind and body. In that way, the cinematic Strange will likely start off similarly to Thor, who began his first film as a drunken frat-boy caricature, and learned heroism over time.
While Lee didn’t invent Doctor Strange, he did work closely with Steve Ditko, the comic book hero’s actual creator, in 1963. In a letter to Jerry Bails, who made comics a serious academic field, Lee wrote: “[W]e have a new character in the works for Strange Tales (just a five-page filler named Dr. Strange). Steve Ditko is gonna draw him. It has sort of a black magic theme. The first story is nothing great, but perhaps we can make something of him.”
Ever since Strange’s conception in the 1960s, the character has been associated with what Lee once called “black magic,” though everything Marvel has released from the film suggests that “magic” is actually just trippy, cerebral dimensional science.
In any case, if Stan Lee’s happy, that means Strange will be both mystical and a bit of a douchebag, which will make for an interesting MCU film.
Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, will be released on November 4.