10 Things You Never Knew About Marvel’s Doctor Strange

From Marvel Studios comes Doctor Strange, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident renders his hands useless. When traditional medicine fails him, he travels to the remote Kamar-Taj in search of a cure, but instead discovers the mystical arts and becomes a powerful sorcerer battling dark forces bent on destroying our reality.

The mystifying, mind-bending movie will be out on Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray from Wednesday. To celebrate the in-home release, here are 10 facts from the making of Marvel’s most magical blockbuster to date …

STRANGE SECRET #1…

DIRECTOR SCOTT DERRICKSON IS EXCITED FOR FANS TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE INTRICATELY-DESIGNED SETS OF DOCTOR STRANGE

The Blu-ray and digital release of Doctor Strange is packaged with behind-the-scenes featurettes, hilarious outtakes, an audio commentary and an exclusive look at the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When quizzed about what excites the director the most about the in-home release, Scott Derrickson reveals: “I’m excited for fans to be able to experience a closer, more in-depth look at the attention to detail on the sets. If you look closely at the detail of the sets in Kamar-Taj, you’ll see that our production designer – Charlie Wood – is in a league of his own. We shot the sanctuary and the courtyard of Kamar-Taj in London. The detail of the woodwork, the detail of the brickwork, the detail of any part of any set is so pristine and realistic. Charlie will tell you that the only place in the world you can get detail of that level is in London, because it’s a tradition of molding that goes back a century. This trade has been passed down over the generations and it only exists in London. You cannot get that kind of fine work anywhere else. All the mandalas and all the intricate detailing are fantastic. I urge fans to pay attention to the production design in the movie because it is so pristine.”

STRANGE SECRET #2…

THE ACTORS WERE TAUGHT TO CAST MAGICAL SPELLS WITH THEIR HANDS BY A PROFESSIONAL DANCER

Audiences across the globe have marveled at the use of intricate ‘finger tutting’ for the magical spell-casting in Doctor Strange. “We learned how to ‘tut’ from JayFunk, who is a professional dancer and choreographer,” explains actress Tilda Swinton, who plays the Ancient One. “Everyone should go on YouTube and look for JayFunk, because he is amazing. He has magical fingers! They are real, non-CGI fingers; not like our fingers. JayFunk taught us a series of extraordinary movements, which had to be super-precise because the lines of the magic had to be added by CGI afterwards. It looks fantastic in the finished film.”

STRANGE SECRET #3…

THE EPIC HONG KONG SCENES AT THE END OF THE MOVIE WERE THE MOST COMPLICATED TO SHOOT

There are tons of time-bending visual effect scenes in the movie, which are explored in depth within five behind-the-scenes featurettes that accompany the in-home release – but director Scott Derrickson vividly remembers the most challenging sequence to shoot. Technically, the reversal of the Hong Kong destruction was the most difficult scene of my career,” the director admits. “It was the most difficult scene by a mile, because what we had to do was unprecedented. Nobody has ever shot a scene like that before. Every single shot had to be specifically designed and we had to do multiple passes. We basically had to shoot every shot four or five times using motion control, which is time-consuming and expensive because you’ve got to shoot things and then you’ve got to play them in reverse. You’ve got to synch the actors to the reverse version, but then move it forward. It was an incredibly complicated thing to pull off and it took weeks – but it was worth it because we created something audiences have never seen before.”

STRANGE SECRET #4…

THE MARVEL MOVIE SHOOT WAS DELAYED DUE TO THE SHAKESPEAREAN COMMITMENTS OF BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

When Benedict Cumberbatch signed on to play the role of Doctor Strange, he was already booked to play Hamlet on the stage in London’s West End – and the Shakespearean play clashed with the time period set aside for the Marvel film shoot. Instead of casting a different actor, the filmmakers pushed back the shooting schedule to accommodate Cumberbatch’s work commitments. “It was incredibly flattering,” reveals the actor. “I’m very glad they did that. The role of Doctor Strange involves a weight of responsibility, but it’s a great motivator to try and do a good job and fulfill the promise they’ve given to you. It’s a very good place to start from.”

STRANGE SECRET #5…

THOR: RAGNAROK DIRECTOR TAIKA WAITITI SHOT THE MOVIE’S TAG SCENE BETWEEN THOR AND DOCTOR STRANGE

Scott Derrickson didn’t shoot every scene in Doctor Strange. “The two things I didn’t shoot were Stan Lee’s cameo and Strange’s scene with Thor at the end of the movie,” explains the director. “Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi shot the tag scene. Before we struck the set of that beautiful sanctum window, which was built in London, Taika went in there and worked with Chris Hemsworth and Benedict. We ended up using it as a tag at the end of the movie.”

 STRANGE SECRET #6…

DURING THE FILM SHOOT, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH WALKED INTO A COMIC BOOK STORE IN HIS FULL MARVEL COSTUME

Actors are well-known to pull pranks on movie sets, but Benedict Cumberbatch took it to a whole new level when he finished shooting his final scene in New York City. Instead of heading to his trailer to change, the actor decided to surprise fans in a nearby comic book store whilst wearing his full Doctor Strange wardrobe, including the iconic cape. “I went into a comic book store on the last day shooting in New York,” chuckles Cumberbatch. “I didn’t have any money, so I didn’t buy any comics but I offered my services. I said, ‘Look, if the film doesn’t work out, I’ll come and stock the shelves for you!’ I was a magical moment; no pun intended. It was very special, and it was the last shot. I was running away from Mads [Mikkelsen, who plays Kaecilius], and there was the comic book store. It was incredible.”

STRANGE SECRET #7

PARTS OF THE NEPAL SET WERE BUILT IN THE U.K.

The Doctor Strange film shoot started in Nepal, where the filmmakers shot several exterior scenes, but the Himalayan country isn’t the only location where Nepalese shots were filmed; a Kathmandu street was recreated in Europe, along with a Kamar-Taj courtyard. “I did not shoot in Kathmandu, but I did have a scene where I crossed the square going down an alley of the city – and they built it in London.” reveals Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Kaecilius. “They built the street at Longcross Studios, and the attention to detail was incredible. There was a big tree coming out of the ground, and it was a real tree. That is movie magic. Looking down the alley, I anticipated a small monkey jumping out at any second. I remember thinking, ‘What is this? This is amazing.’ The set was stunning.”

STRANGE SECRET #8…

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH HAD A GIDDY “SUPERHERO MOMENT” WHEN HE PUT ON THE COSTUME FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME

When Benedict Cumberbatch stepped into the role of Doctor Strange, he had no idea how much a quick costume change would affect him. “I was giddy when I first put on the cloak with the rest of the garb underneath,” the actor admits. “I was giddy like a child at Halloween! Our brilliant costume designer, Alex Byrne, spotted it. She said, ‘Oh, you’re having a superhero moment, aren’t you?’ I said to her, ‘Yes, I think I am.’ It was a pinch-yourself moment. It really was.”

STRANGE SECRET #9…

THE IN-HOME RELEASE INCLUDES A NUMBER OF NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN DELETED SCENES

The Blu-ray and digital release of Doctor Strange is packed with more than 80 minutes of fascinating, never-before-seen bonus materials including behind-the-scenes featurettes, hilarious outtakes and five deleted scenes. Speaking about the deleted scenes, Scott Derrickson admits: “Often, scenes have to be cut from the movie to improve the timing or the pace of the story. In Doctor Strange, couple of scenes with Kaecilius were cut from the movie during the editing process. One of them was a church scene where Kaecilius kills a priest. I really liked the dialogue in the scene, but the movie was just so much better without it.” Fans can see the deleted scene – titled Kaecilius Searches For Answers – in all its glory with the in-home release of the movie.

STRANGE SECRET #10…

TILDA SWINTON MARVELED AT THE SHOOTING SECRECY IN LONDON

When paparazzi shots of Benedict Cumberbatch filming the movie in Nepal surfaced soon after the film shoot commenced, the filmmakers made extra effort to keep the remainder of the movie under wraps. “We didn’t want the Ancient One’s look to be revealed, but we shot the character’s first scene on the streets of London and we were worried we’d be caught,” explains Tilda Swinton. “Photos of Benedict and Chiwetel [Ejiofor, who plays Baron Mondo] shooting on the streets of Kathmandu leaked within 20 seconds, which was a shame. There were photographs of them all over the internet, so we set ourselves the task that nobody would get to see the Ancient One – but we had to shoot the scene in the center of London. Marvel are really scrupulous and I love the scrupulosity of what I call the ‘invisibility cloaks’ that we all walked around in. Initially, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s not going to work. How on Earth are we going to get through doing this?’ But we did. It was very early on a Sunday morning. We shot the scene in the centre of London and nobody took one photograph.”


Distributor Sony Pictures NZ provided this promotional material.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply