So far in the PR push for “Doctor Strange,” we’ve seen very little of the superhero’s partner Wong. As Strange’s manservant-turned-sidekick in the comics, Wong’s played a major part in the source material since the character’s debut in 1963. But as we’ve previously learned, Wong won’t play the role of Stephen Strange’s mystical valet in the feature film. Instead, he’ll have a new role that inverts the power dynamic traditionally seen in the comics.
“Wong’s involved in the training of young disciples,” says actor Benedict Wong in a new featurette for the film. The clip focuses on “Doctor Strange’s” cast, and also gives us a glimpse at how Wong and Strange will interact.
— Doctor Strange (@DrStrange) October 13, 2016
Earlier this month, Benedict Wong spoke more about his character and how he’s been updated to better reflect the times.
“Things like ‘manservant’ and ‘sidekick,’ we’re just gonna leave back in the past now,” said Benedict Wong. “I’m very much into looking forward into our modern take…let’s turn a whole new page.” Instead, Wong is “a master at Kamar-Taj training the fellow disciples and sorcerers,” as well as a “protector of the Sanctum relics and these ancient ritual books.”
Director Scott Derrickson has also spoken about how the film adapts Wong, saying that the decision to have Tilda Swinton play the role of the Ancient One actually led to the changes made to Wong.
“I was very happy with that [Swinton’s casting], but I was also very conscious that in doing that I was erasing a significant potential Asian role,” said Derrickson in September. “I was going to leave Wong out of the movie at first; he was an Asian sidekick manservant, what was I supposed to do with that? But once the decision was made to cast Tilda, we brought Wong back because, unlike the Ancient One, he could be completely subverted as a character and reworked into something that didn’t fall into any of the stereotypes of the comics.”
Directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong and more, “Doctor Strange” arrives in theaters on November 4.
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