Let’s Make Sense Of That Trippy ‘Doctor Strange’ Trailer

Forget everything that you think you know.The first trailer for Marvel’s Doctor Strange premiered on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night, and it’s exactly the “Escher stuff” we were promised.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Dr. Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon who loses the full use of his life-saving hands in a car wreck. There’s definitely an emphasis on his hands:

Cumberbatch speaks in an American accent as Strange, saying, “I don’t believe in fairy tales about chakras or energy or the power of belief.” (Maybe while he picked up that accent, he finally learned how to pronounce penguin.)

But he’s going to change his belief system when The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) straight up smacks him into another astral plane:

That’s a great visual representation of astral projection, or perhaps just a normal day hanging out with Tilda Swinton.

Also present and accounted for is Rachel McAdams, who is almost definitely playing Night Nurse.

We also get some dazzling light and trippy patterns courtesy of Mads Mikkelsen’s mystery villain.

I am loving these visually daring architectural marvels, speaking of which, this also happens.


It’s worth noting there appears to be two people falling between worlds here:

We’re not sure what it means, but Marvel head Kevin Feige did say The Eye of Agamotto would figure into things, allowing them to “manipulate probabilities” and “screw around with time.”

The end of the trailer brings us Strange wearing his red Cloak of Levitation (that’s levitation, Holmes!) and strutting up the steps of his Sanctum Sanctorum, which is an awfully fancy name for a townhouse in Greenwich Village. That big window — as also seen in the new poster — is the Seal of the Vishanti, which protects his home. He’s gonna need it.

Missing from the trailer, as far as we can tell, was Michael Stuhlbarg’s character, Dr. Nicodemus West, who performed the surgery on Stephen Strange’s hands and later became a rival sorcerer. There’s only a brief glimpse of Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, although it seems he’s more of an ally to Strange than the villain (for now).

There were also fewer psychedelic pops of color than I was hoping to see, but they could be holding back on some of the most insane visuals for later trailers. We’ll see just how strange Strange gets this November 4.

(Via Misty Drizzle, Seven Devils, Marvel GIFs, Taxi Nerd, and ABCP)