Doctor Strange will open up new doors of magic and mysticism for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and with those changes come new possibilities.
Comicbook.com was one of a handful of outlets to be invited to the Doctor Strange set visit; in addition to seeing how director Scott Derrickson and his team are creating the world of Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme, we also got to ask about some of those new possibilities that Doctor Strange's presence will create for the MCU.
Marvel fans have been speculating about what Doctor Strange's use of multi-dimensional metaphysics could mean for the MCU. The idea that Strange and his cohorts will have access to multiple dimensions parallel to the MCU potentially means that a whole list of Marvel sub-universes is now possible.
Before we all jump into the idea of the "Ultimate" universe getting its own movie franchise, Marvel's Kevin Feige clarified that the places that Doctor Strange will visit are more like alien dimensions than parallel ones.
"We're playing as much of the notion the multiverse as alien dimensions, for lack of a better term, than parallel realities," said Feige, "Where there's a [Doctor] Strange that wears Iron Man on them? We're not there yet."
Of course, not all new dimensions will be nice places to visit; as Marvel Comics fan know (and have seen), Doctor Strange visits places that sometimes look like an acid trip nightmare - places where reality and logic as we know it don't exist, and some pretty freaky creatures reside:
"When comic book fans hear parallel dimensions or multiple dimensions, they think of Earth 616 and Earth 617 or Earth 618," Feige said. "That's all possible but what we're playing with in this world is that there are dimensions. That the other dimensions are not just parallel realities. Although some of them are but they a dark dimension, where Dormammu inhabits. There are dimensions that are so mind-bending that you can't barely perceive them. There are dimensions that ... That's where a lot of the Ditko images come from. They're dimensions that are just mind trips, that the human mind can barely fathom, which is why it's hard to turn them into something to show an audience in November."
Dormammu is a classic archvillain of Doctor Strange. He's the ruler of a "Dark Dimension," which is to say that he's the type of nightmare entity that exists in one of those nightmare dimensions that someone like Doctor Strange or other mystics may stumble across. Dormammu usually influences events in our reality through agents (like corrupt mystics), and his favorite scheme involves finding ways to break dimensional barriers down and conquer our reality.
Hearing Feige name-drop Dormammu just adds more fuel to the long-standing rumor that the evil entity could be the true 'big-bad' that's influencing Mads Mikkelsen's character. At Comic-Con 2016, director Scott Derickson told Coming Soon that Mikkelsen's character Kaecilius functions "to allow us to introduce the idea of certain individuals who live in other dimensions, and we've done that."
For Marvel comics fans, that's a pretty clear roadmap to Dormammu, and Comicbook.com's own Lucas Siegel was on set to witness the symbol of Dormammu drawn into one of the magical books on the set - as well as a mysterious burning eye in a piece of concept art, which all points to the villain being the real big bad boss pulling the strings.
Doctor Strange opens 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; and Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019