Things are definitely trending up for Marvel's Doctor Strange. The earliest screenings have now taken place and critics are diggin' it, especially the trippy visuals and Benedict Cumberbatch's performance. Analyst projections are somewhere between $50-$70M for its opening weekend, which would put it around where Ant-Man opened last year. So the future looks bright for Marvel's most powerful sorcerer, and we're now getting an idea of where he'll appear next.
Speaking at a press event for the film, Marvel's Kevin Feige revealed Strange has a part to play in Avengers: Infinity War. That's been the rumor for a while now and it isn't at all surprising, but it's nice to have Feige put his stamp of approval on it. If, like I and many suspect, that Strange's Eye of Agamotto is indeed one of the Infinity Gems he'll have more reason to get involved in the fight with Thanos.
Meanwhile, Feige was asked if Strange and the secret group known as the Illuminati would be set up in 'Infinity War'. Some have tried to spin Feige's answer as a definitive "yes", but it's more nuanced than that. Here's what he said...
"What's fun about the Illuminati is seeing certain characters interact with certain other characters. I don't know about that particular storyline, but some of those characters we'll be seeing together onscreen in the next Avengers."
So who are the Illuminati? They are a cabal of some of Marvel's most powerful heroes banded together to influence major events. Sort of like the Illuminati conspiracy theorists think run our world now. The group's initial members included Strange, Namor, Reed Richards, Black Bolt of the Inhumans, Professor Charles Xavier, and Iron Man. Since Marvel doesn't have the rights to all of these characters, if the group were to be formed it could include others who joined later on, such as Black Panther and Hank Pym. The Illuminati always worked in secret, and their decisions often led to divisivness within the group. At one point, Iron Man convinces Strange to mind wipe Captain America. And the team was responsible for rocketing Hulk into space, leading to the "Planet Hulk" and "World War Hulk" storylines.
But Feige said nothing about the team forming at all in the MCU. In fact, he kind of speaks against it, but says we may some of the team's members interacting. Well, we already have that, and obviously we'll see more of it in coming movies. So he really didn't say much at all, did he?
Finally, Marvel has released new clips from Doctor Strange, which opens on November 4th. Rather than getting punched into the astral plane like before, this time Strange is being shot down by medical colleague and apparent former flame Christine Palmer, played by Rachel McAdams. It's a fun scene, just don't expect her to become Night Nurse any time soon. If ever. Another finds a novice Strange battling
Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) in his Sanctum Santorum, and the amount of magical powers they throw around is impressive. The fights look like they are going to be off the damn wall. [via CBM]