Doctor Strange Director Explains Why Stephen Strange Drinking Alcohol Was Cut From Film

When a fan on Twitter noticed that Doctor Strange footage used in promotional material but not released part of the final film saw the title character having a drink at a key moment in the story, they (not entirely unreasonably) assumed that the family-friendly Disney asked it to be removed. Sharing this theory on Twitter, though, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson assured the fan that it was a creative choice, and not something that came from management. The scene, which would have taken place shortly before Dr. Stephen Strange's car crash (in which his hands are seriously injured, ending his surgical career and kicking the rest of the story into motion), was altered because Derrickson wanted to make sure that the audience understood that the crash was due to Strange himself, not because of alcohol.

It's an explanation that makes sense: Strange's defining trait throughout the movie is that he believes almost exclusively in himself. It is the result of his undoing and, later, the result of a tragedy's undoing when Strange gets some perspective and figures out how to use the Time Stone to defeat Dormammu.

The idea of Marvel Studios or Disney being reluctant to depict Strange drinking is an easy conclusion to jump to, if only because they resisted incorporating that aspect of Tony Stark's personality from the comics into film. In the source material, his battle with alcoholism represents one of Tony's best-loved and most-rememebred stories. On film, there were very broad allusions to the idea that he had a drinking problem, but it was far from a main story point and it seemed clear that the studio was not interested in depicting a character who had become the face of their brand that way.

Fans have been wondering the status of the Doctor Strange sequel ever since the first movie released in theaters, and now it's finally coming. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige teased that the character would have a sequel once the fallout of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame settled.

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"Sometimes, it's where do those characters pop up?" Marvel executive Kevin Feige said of Doctor Strange in an interview last year. "[Doctor] Strange, you know, whenever we do another Strange [movie], which we will do, it will be a number of years from the first Strange, and yet he's a very big part of Infinity War. So it is just a good problem to have when you have too many beloved characters that people want to see more of, whilst keeping to our core belief that we need to keep exploring nuance and keep doing different types of things."

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres in theaters on May 7, 2021. Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.