Cloaks In Doctor Strange Are Sentient Artifiacts

One of the defining characteristics of Doctor Strange, arguably more so than most other characters adapted to film from Marvel Comics to date, is his look and costume.

Aside from Captain America, who is largely defined by his spangled suit, and Iron Man who is literally made up entirely of his weaponized armor, most other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe could switch up their costumes (or wear civilian clothes) and not lose all that much of their allure or abilities. Doctor Strange, on the other hand, will be supplemented and iconized by his look when his origin story is told on the big screen this fall.

Alexandra Byrne, costume designer for Doctor Strange, says that designing Strange's costume and specifically his cape was a big challenge.

"It's amazing in the comic book and obviously we have practical limitations," Byrne says. "The collar in the comic book is enormous and if you had something that big you'd never see your actors face."

"It's about getting the spirit and for want of another world, the magic," Byrne goes on. "To be entranced by the cloak and the cloak is sentient, it's its own character, so you have to have something that feels like it has an amazing sense of history and antiquity and is a relic in itself. "

"It's a mixture of drawing and building on the body because you can draw a lot but ultimately it is the drape of a fabric that is going to dictate how the cloak works. We tend to attack it on two fronts and then really the feel I wanted was that you learnt more about the cloak the more you saw it."

The cloak we see in Doctor Strange is far from the first design. Hesitant to call the original concepts' home a graveyard, Byrne says they have a rail of prototypes which went unused, but also taught the team a lot about Strange's look.

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Doctor Strange hits theaters November 4, 2016.

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