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~Matt Key

If you’re curious as to what my reaction to the new EW.com Doctor Strange pics was, it was something along the lines of ….

OHMYGODICANTBELIEVEMYEYESITSGLORIOUS ADHDHVEWFLSDFOS EOEICEUEHFALDLOEIELFLCOEIRELSLGOEKSAFPIECLEAIAREUAN!

But, reactions do not an article write. So, on a more professional note, this morning EW.com released their First Look issue which features our very first look at Benedict Cumberbatch in full glorious costume as Marvel’s very own Sorcerer SupremeDoctor Strange.

There you can see him wearing the Cloak of Levitation, the Eye of Agamotto and other seemingly mystical artifacts. In fact, as the article mentions, this photoshoot was back in November when production had barely begun and “was one of the very first times the British actor tried on the costume.” Cumberbatch ended up using “the shoot as something of a research-and-development session for the gesticulations which are part of his character’s spell-casting.”

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In Cumberbatch’s own words, “I’m still in the infancy of learning all that. It was like, okay, I’ve got to keep throwing these poses, these spells, these rune-casting things, everything he does physically. I’m thinking, there’s going to be a huge amount of speculation and intrigue over the positioning of that finger as opposed to it being there, or there. And I’m still working on that. We haven’t played any of those scenes yet. I felt really self-conscious. But, then, by the end, it was great. It’s like anything, you just have to experiment.”

It’s good to see Cumberbatch taking the gestures and movements of Doctor Strange seriously, recognizing that it’s in getting these things right that allows his character to cast his spells. “These gestures are ways of creating the magic. It’s a beautiful thing, it’s balletic, it’s very dynamic,” says Benedict Cumberbatch. “And once the boys in the backroom get to work on it, there’s going to be crazy s–t going on.”

If you know the character, what he can do, where he can go, the realities that he can manipulate with the right words and gestures — Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, Flames of the Faltine, Winds of Watoomb — then yes — crazy
s—t indeed.

(how am I doing, am I keeping myself together, am I doing this in a professional manner?)

So let’s take a closer look at the pictures.

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HOLY——fu————sh————AMAZING!

Sorry, lost myself a bit. But, can you blame me, he’s actually wearing the mother-flipping Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto! Ten-year old me never thought he’d see Iron Man or Captain America on the big screen, let alone Doctor Strange, and with THIS costume!

What makes this costume work is that it looks ancient and looks to be made of more traditionally Tibetan fabrics. In other words, it looks real, like what a sorcerer from the Himalayan part of the world would wear. Not only that, they kept the high collar that the Cloak of Levitation has always had, but they took out the Nosferatu-like elements and made it more regal looking — something that would make sense for this character.

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Then there’s his Eye of Agamotto hanging around his neck. In the comics, this has traditionally been what clasped his Cloak together, but here it is simply an amulet hung around his neck, which makes total sense in my opinion. This is a mystical artifact, a sigil of protection and great power endowed with the full power and presence of the Vishanti, you would want to be able to grab this and wield it at a moment’s notice without having to grapple it off your cloak.

Beyond this, we also see some mystical elements on his belt but cannot make out what exactly they are — but we can’t wait to see them in the film.

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As for the rest of the artwork, this picture is what the EW article refers to as “The Chamber of Relics.” There are two distinct possibilities for it — Sanctum Sanctorum or Ancient One’s Temple — or somehow both. If we had to guess, it appears to be upstairs of someplace and has a somewhat domestic look to it — chic, but domestic, so it’s likely that this is all in the Sanctum Sanctorum, which is Doctor Strange’s mystical abode.

Apart from what appears to be his Cloak on the left side of the picture, it’s difficult to make out what any of these relics actually are.

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This picture was imply titled “A Stunning Mystery” and we’re not sure what exactly it is that we’re seeing other than this is Doctor Strange upside down and in some strange dimension. Is this the Dark Dimension? Is this Doctor Strange in his astral form? All we know is that director Scott Derrickson told EW, “I’m perpetually awestruck that I’m getting to make this movie. I keep waiting for the knock on the door when somebody says, ‘This movie’s too weird, we can’t make this.'”

Along with this, Marvel’s very own Kevin Feige said, “When this comic appeared in the early ’60s, it really informed, in a way that is pretty amazing, a lot of the psychedelic ’60s as we know it. I don’t know that they were doing anything weird in the bullpen in Marvel, but certainly the stuff they were doing inspired all those people who were doing mind-expansion experiments at the time. So, that’s inherent to the property. And that’s our mission statement for the visual effects on this movie.”

Their mission statement is to be psychedelic. And weird and out there. But, then Cumberbatch also says, “There’s all sorts of craziness [in Doctor Strange]. Falling, flying, jumping, fighting, punching, getting punched. It’s really rough and tumble.”

So, sure, it’ll be out there and spacey, but it’s still grounded enough that people are getting punched — as they fly and cast spells.

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