As with many of Marvel’s shared universe films, 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was full of references to other characters in the MCU. Nick Fury uses a tranquilizer developed by Bruce Banner to slow his vital signs, Tony Stark and his company are referred to on a number of occasions and in one easy-to-miss line, S.H.I.E.L.D. turncoat Jasper Sitwell mentioned Stephen Strange — a.k.a Doctor Strange — by name. While going through a list of Hydra’s targets, Sitwell quickly rattles off to Captain America “you, a TV anchor in Cairo, the other Secretary of Defense, a high school valedictorian in Iowa City, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, anyone who’s a threat to Hydra!”
This was, at the time, the first mention of Marvel’s master of the mystic arts anywhere in their sprawling cinematic universe. This made fans curious: had Stephen Strange already taken on the mantle of the Sorcerer Supreme prior to the events of “Winter Soldier”? Or could Hydra predict his ultimate destiny? Kevin Feige has a simpler explanation.
“He is very well-known as a surgeon,” Feige told ComicBook.com during a visit to “Doctor Strange’s” set. “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.”
In the comics, Doctor Strange is a world-renowned surgeon before an accident cripples his hands. As with other early Marvel characters, Strange needed to overcome a great hubris before he can be a hero. Judging by the trailers and Feige’s words, it would seem that the movie will follow this aspect of the comics closely.
Directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and more, “Doctor Strange” opens on November 4th.
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