"The crazy 'acid trip' way of traveling through dimensions and traveling through realms, is something that we think is very, very cool..." said Marvel's Kevin Feige, about the studio's big screen "Doctor Strange" feature, with a production start date now set, targeting a July 8, 2016 release:
The new film will be directed by Scott Derrickson from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, with Joaquin Phoenix in final talks for the lead role. Pre-production is now starting @ the UK's Pinewood-Shepperton with principal photography scheduled for May 2015.
"(Strange) is a classic Marvel origin story, because he’s got one of the best origins ever, and it’s our opportunity to take that left turn into the supernatural.
"Now what is the definition of ‘supernatural’? It varies...based in physics and based in quantum mechanics...an explanation of how sorcerers do what they do..."
Director Derrickson is no stranger to the 'occult', having previously directed "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and "Sinister".
"I wanted it really bad," said Derrickson. "More than any other project that I've gone after, I felt compelled to do everything in my power to get on that project. Genuinely felt like I was the right guy to do it."
"I think people who know the comic world and the Marvel universe, they all feel the same way I do...the outpouring of excitement that people have shown is the thing I've been most pleasantly surprised."
Following their Marvel Comics' success with "The Amazing Spider-Man", writer Stan Lee and co-writer/illustrator Steve Ditko debuted 'Doctor Strange' in Marvel Comics' "Strange Tales" #110 (July 1963), fashioning the physical look of the character after creator Lee Falk's popular, 1930's comic strip character "Mandrake The Magician".
'Dr. Stephen Strange' was an arrogant, womanizing world-renowned neurosurgeon...
...until a Chappaquiddick-like car accident damaged the nerves in his hands, preventing him from ever conducting surgery again.
In desperation, Strange searched for a legendary Tibetan hermit living in a 'Lost Horizon' of the Himalayas who could have a cure for his debilitating condition, finally finding 'The Ancient One', possessed of the knowledge of sorcerous spells, incantations, invoking names, aspects of extra-dimensional objects and beings of power.
Some of these phenomena include the 'Flames of the Faltine', the 'Shades of the Seraphim' and the 'Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth'.
When Strange selflessly thwarts the evil ambitions of the Ancient One's disciple 'Baron Mordo', the 500-year old wizard tutors Strange in the 'mystic arts', teaching him how to use magical artifacts to augment his power, including the 'Cloak of Levitation', the all-seeing 'Eye of Agamotto' and the 'Book of the Vishanti'.
Strange uses his magic to achieve a number of effects, including energy projection, teleportation, telepathy and astral projection.
Strange was also schooled in the use of addictive and corruptive 'dark magic' by one-time foe 'Kaluu', using it to destroy the entity known as 'Shuma-Gorath'.