When drones were targeting targets opposed to Hydra in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, fans quickly noticed that one of the names on the list was that of Stephen Strange, the man who would eventually -- but was not yet -- the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe.
Of course, the fact that he wasn't yet the Sorcerer Supreme at the time of the attempted drone strike raised the question of just what was so interesting about a brain surgeon that he would rank alongside Captain America and the Incredible Hulk on a list of potential targets.
That's a question that can only be answered by Marvel studio boss Kevin Feige -- and luckily enough, somebody asked him!
"He is very well-known as a surgeon," Feige said during a recent visit to the set of Doctor Strange. "He has got various awards and plaques you're going to see over there; he attends various galas, might be driving at one point in this movie. He has name recognition and a talent and certain Hydra computers identified him as somebody that could cause trouble for their agendas."
So the answer is, Strange wasn't an immediate threat to Hydra in any meaningful way, but as a brilliant and famous person whose agenda didn't mesh with theirs, he stood a high probability of being a problem for them if they successfully took over government. Think of it like a politician targeting Bruce Springsteen or Ted Nugent because they might use their concerts as a platform to spread a message the politician in question didn't like.
Doctor Strange, which will be in theaters in November, stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Imitation Game), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) and Tilda Swinton (The Grand Budapest Hotel).
The film is directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister) and written by Derrickson, Jon Spaihts (Prometheus), and C. Robert Cargill (Sinister).
Marvel's Doctor Strange is produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth, Stephen Broussard and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.
Doctor Strange arrives November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers 4 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.