Benedict Cumberbatch: 'Doctor Strange Brings New Element to Marvel Universe'

Ben Skipper
·Contributor

Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken for the first time about what to expect from ‘Doctor Strange’, and its place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, he revealed that the film and his character will introduce a ‘huge new element’ to the Marvel universe.

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Asked whether he thought taking the role would be a risk, the ‘Sherlock’ star said: “I don’t think it’s a risk because of Marvel. Marvel is a stable of bringing out ordinary comic characters and turning them into screen-like gods.

"It’s very different, it’s an Astral Plane. There’s a huge new element to this Marvel universe that’s going to be employed in building this story and this character."

He is referencing the mystical, otherworldly aspect of the famed character, which will add another facet to the MCU on top its relatively grounded Earth-bound and more fantastical space-faring antics. 

Of course then Cumberbatch’s attention turned to his excitement about joining the Marvel world and working with his future director. “I’m really excited about it, about working with Scott [Derrickson] whose imagination is endless, and all the boys and girls at Marvel who know what they’re doing.”

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He was also asked whether he would practise the mystic arts himself. “I meditate a lot,” he said. “That’s a huge tool in trying to calm myself, get away from the crazy circus of it all, have a focused mind as well as be a kinder, considerate person in the world.

"I took a lot of stuff away from my experience in Darjeeling, West Bengal, right at the Nepali border. It was Tibetan Buddhist monks in a converted Nepali house in India, with a view of Bhutan. It was a profoundly formative experience at a very young age. It’s something I’ve tried to keep in my life."

He also revealed what work he has scheduled before work on ‘Doctor Strange’ begins, including production of the ‘Sherlock’ Christmas special, which begins in a matter of days.

"I’ve got a few things to get under my belt first. I’ve got to do that little stage production of ‘Hamlet’ in the summer and the Christmas special of ‘Sherlock,’ which we start shooting in about three days’ time – whoops! Yeah, that’s there."

The British star’s casting was announced after a laborious casting process at Marvel, most of which was spent trying to work out a deal with Joaquin Phoenix, who eventually turned down Marvel’s advances.

As a second choice however Cumberbatch is a big coup. A no-less capable actor who also brings with him an enormous fan-base, not that Marvel needs many more fans at the moment.

'Doctor Strange' will be released on 28 October, 2016.

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Picture credits: Twitter / WENN / Marvel.