'Doctor Strange's Supernatural Journeys May Look Like 'Cosmos'

Doctor Strange is one of the next big movies on Marvel's slate, and we're starting to get a good picture of what the film will offer. Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil) is directing and Jon Spaihts is writing the latest script draft. While Joaquin Phoenix has reportedly been in talks for the lead role, Marvel has yet to confirm the deal.

At the Marvel Studios comic con panel this evening, there was no news on Doctor Strange. But I took part in a small roundtable interview with Kevin Feige today which covered a range of topics regarding Marvel's movies. We'll have a full transcript soon, but I want to highlight one specific point.

I asked Feige what Doctor Strange will bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He enthusiastically described the notion of moving through dimensions, but in a way that is based on or at least inspired by real science. And Feige name-checks the revival of Cosmos when talking about the magic of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Here's Feige on Strange:

Doctor Strange is a classic Marvel origin story, because he's got one of the best origins ever. And it is our opportunity to take a left turn into the supernatural.

Now, what is the definition of "supernatural"? It varies. We like the idea of playing with alternate dimensions. [Doctor] Strange, in a very [Steve] Ditko, crazy astro-trip way, traveling through dimensions and traveling through other realms is something we think is very cool. And playing with perceptions of reality.

I just watched the Neil deGrasse Tyson Cosmos series, which is amazing, and which may as well be an acid trip. It may as well be Doc Strange! It is a mind-bending [series], all based in physics and based in quantum mechanics, and we're going to play a lot with the notion of that as an explanation for how the sorcerers do what they do.

First thing. Note that Feige said "sorcerers." There are a number of other magic-using characters who could play into the story, and since this is explicitly stated as an origin story, that means we'll almost certainly see the Ancient One, aka the guy from whom Strange learns his stuff, and Baron Mordo, who is Strange's frequent adversary. And hopefully we'll see an encounter with Dormammu, a being from another dimension who has also been one of the Big Bads troubling our sorcerer.

Steve Ditko is, of course, the artist who helped launch the original wave of Marvel Comics, and the man who co-created Strange with Stan Lee in 1963, for the book Strange Tales.

If you've never read some of the old Doc Strange books, here are a few images that show off the inter-dimensional visions of the comics. Then imagine these visions filtered through some of the journeying segments in Cosmos.

There's no release date for Doctor Strange, but we're guessing it will take the July 8, 2016 spot on Marvel's list of announced dates.