Doctor Strange is a film focused on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, so it's safe to assume that magic will factor into the story even more than it did in Thor. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige says the exploration of magic in Doctor Strange is a kind of deepening of the science as magic viewpoint introduced in Thor.
“There are a couple lines in Thor basically saying science and magic when it gets to a point, what's the difference? I think we're continuing that,” Feige says. Part of that means the mystic teacher called the Ancient One learning to speak on Stephen strange’s terms. “The Ancient One encounters Strange. He's a scientist, he's learned western medicine, he believes very much in that. She starts to use the Eastern lingo in the way she's describing the world to him and he immediately writes it off and he rolls his eyes and he doesn't buy it. Then she starts talking about it in Western terms to try to make him more comfortable. She goes, ‘It's the same. It's the same thing, whether you're looking at an ancient study of acupuncture, pressure points or you're looking at an MRI.’ She's trying to say we're talking about the same things here. If you're not comfortable with the word ‘spells,’ let's use the word ‘program.’ It's all the same thing.”
Feige goes on to say that even the idea of multiple realities has a scientific vocabulary, specifically one relating to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which houses the Large Hadron Collider.
“I'm not a scientist. I just read articles that are interesting and that capture our imagination,” Feige explains. “For a long time, there was a prolog in this movie that we're not doing. Maybe we'll do it in part two so I shouldn't mention it but it took place in CERN. If you think about CERN, it comes up a lot in science fiction stories because it's so mind-blowing, what's actually being done there. We looked at that a lot because of discussions about parallel dimensions and multiple dimensions. All of that has gone into building the foundation for our fictional reality within the Strange universe.
“Then you go back and look at the comics and look at the journey that the Ancient One would take Strange on when he first got through the comics,” Feige continues. “It's all the same thing. They didn't know about parallel dimensions back then but they were either making it up or tapping into other philosophies. Now, I think it's more relevant and potentially, theoretically, more realistic than ever. Realistic being a relative term here.”
From Marvel comes Doctor Strange, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place – a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange – armed with newly acquired magical powers – is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson, from a screenplay he wrote with C. Robert Cargill. Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton.
Doctor Strange opens in theaters in North America on Nov. 4, 2016.