Doctor Strange is a 2016 American superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It’s the 14th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Take a look below for 30 more strange and interesting facts about Doctor Strange.
1. The movie was directed by Scott Derrickson, who wrote it with Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, along with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.
2. The movie grossed over $677 million worldwide, and was met with positive reviews from critics.
3. Doctor Strange received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.
4. Rachel McAdams’ startled reaction in the broom closet was genuine, since the mop handle fell completely by accident, and scared McAdams. Scott Derrickson decided to keep the reaction in the movie, since she never broke character.
5. While filming, Benedict Cumberbatch walked into a comic book store, in full costume, and bought an actual Doctor Strange comic.
6. Director Scott Derrickson is a big fan of Doctor Strange, and spent his own money on a concept video he pitched to Marvel so that he could get the job directing the movie.
7. Doctor Strange’s creators, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, based his appearance on Hollywood actor Vincent Price. The character even has Vincent as his middle name.
8. Mads Mikkelsen admitted that with all the computer generated imagery, he got a bit lost on how to film his scenes, especially during the Mirror Dimension scenes.
9. Benedict Cumberbatch received help with finger-tutting movements from dancer Jayfunk, to make the spell casting gestures look fluid and agile.
10. In designing the Eye of Agamotto, Steve Ditko drew inspiration from the real world charm The All Seeing Eye of the Buddha, known among the Buddhists as The Amulet of Snail Martyrs, a Nepali symbol meant to protect its wearer from evil.
11. Tilda Swinton’s children were crew members on the movie. Her daughter worked in the costume department and her son in the art department designing planets.
12. The filmmakers defined the use of magic as dimensional travelling and shifting. They said, “We didn’t want magic to simply be people throwing and blocking bolts of lightning; this is the ability to tap into different dimensions and pull aspects of those dimensions into our realm.”
13. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a 5th Degree Black Belt in karate, so his movements are second nature in fighting.
14. Astrophysicist Adam Frank served as a science consultant on the movie, to advise on how to portray changes in the human experience of space and time. Frank also helped Marvel conceive their ideas for the multiverse, as well as suggest dialogue and belief stances for the characters.
15. In the comics, Stephen Strange had a younger sister named Donna, who died when he was young, and motivated him into becoming a doctor. Lulu Wilson was cast as Donna in the movie and shot some scenes, but they were cut out for running time purposes.
16. Near the start of the movie, when there is a wide shot of the Manhattan skyline, Tony Stark‘s Avengers building can be seen.
17. The scene where the Cloak of Levitation wipes away Doctor Strange’s tear was improvised on set. It was a suggestion Benedict Cumberbatch made to the crew, who liked it enough to create it.
18. Cinematographer Ben Davis cites the Disney experimental movie Fantasia as a visual influence on Doctor Strange: “It has a very psychedelic grounding, and most of the work is about other dimensions.”
19. Originally, the movie was to feature a prologue set in CERN and would feature a discussion on parallel dimensions. However, the filmmakers felt that this was too scientific for a magic based story and removed it.
20. When Doctor Strange begins to experiment with the Eye of Agamotto and the Time Spells in the Book of Cagliostro, the focus of his practice is an apple, symbolically the representation of Forbidden Knowledge.
21. In the comics, the Ancient One is an old man; in the movie, the Ancient One is played by a woman. This was a deliberate decision as Scott Derrickson felt that the Ancient One was a title rather than a person. Additionally, this was also intended to avoid the risk of portraying any negative racial stereotypes, as the appearance of the Ancient One in the comics is based around the Tibetan Monks.
22. Kaecilius was named after the word “caecilian,” a rare snake-like amphibian.
23. In a fight, Master Mordo has a relic that he calls the Staff Of The Living Tribunal. In the comics, The Living Tribunal is an incredibly powerful cosmic entity.
24. Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy were all considered for the role of The Ancient One.
25. The Mirror Dimension was influenced by the works of mathematical painter M.C. Escher and the fractal concept.
26. At one point, Doctor Strange considers using an axe as a weapon. This is a homage to the 2016 Doctor Strange comics, where he was severely depowered and took to wielding an axe called Angarrumus.
27. One of the relics in the New York Sanctum is a white mask with an ankh next to it. This is a reference to the Moon Knight, a superhero who was empowered by the Egyptian moon god Khonshu and wielded a stick shaped like an ankh.
28. The design of the Dark Dimension is based on the works of Steve Ditko for Doctor Strange comics in the 1960s. Ditko
29. Benedict Cumberbatch embarked on a strict training regimen by hitting the gym with the use of a personal trainer to gain muscle for his role. Cumberbatch would drink protein shakes and eat double the amount of calories in preparation.
30. Doctor Strange’s predecessor as the master of the New York Sanctum Sanctorum is named Daniel Drumm. Daniel is the brother, and later spirit assistant, of Jericho Drumm, known as the voodoo priest Brother Voodoo.