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Doctor Strange (2016) Poster

Trivia

The mid-credits scene with Strange and Thor is from Thor: Ragnarok, but it is shown with cuts from the original.
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Jump to: Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (23)
Benedict Cumberbatch was the first choice and was offered the lead role of Stephen Strange, but he initially had to decline due to his theater commitments playing Shakespeare's Hamlet, which clashed with the film's proposed shooting date. When the release date was pushed back from July 2016 to November 2016, he was able to commit to shooting. Joaquin Phoenix was the studio's second choice for the lead role but, after a few months of deliberation, eventually turned down the offer due to his reluctance to do a multi-picture deal that was required by the studio if he signed on.
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Director Scott Derrickson is a big fan of Doctor Strange, and spent his own money on a concept video he pitched to Marvel so that he could get the job of directing the film.
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While filming, Benedict Cumberbatch walked into a comic book store, in full costume, and bought an actual Doctor Strange comic.
The scene where the Cloak of Levitation wipes away Strange's tears was improvised on set. It was a suggestion Benedict Cumberbatch made to the crew, who liked it enough to create it.
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Mads Mikkelsen admitted that with all the computer-generated imagery he got a bit lost on how to film his scenes, especially during the Mirror Dimension scenes.
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Although this is Doctor Strange's first outing in an MCU solo movie, the character has been teased in earlier movies. In Thor (2011); the Orb of Agamotto can be seen among the treasures in Odin's treasure chamber. In Thor: The Dark World (2013), the Crossroads is among the various phrases written on Selvig's chalkboard; the Crossroads is an other-dimensional reality that has a prominent role in the "Doctor Strange" comics. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Jasper Sitwell mentions Stephen Strange as one of the high-risk targets that HYDRA keeps under surveillance.
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In designing the Eye of Agamotto, creator of Dr. Strange Steve Ditko drew inspiration from the real world charm The All Seeing Eye of the Buddha, known among the Buddhists as The Amulet of Snail Martyrs, a Nepali symbol meant to protect its wearer from evil.
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Benedict Cumberbatch received help with finger-tutting movements from dancer Jayfunk, to make the spell-casting gestures look fluid and agile.
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Doctor Strange's creators, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, based his appearance on Hollywood actor Vincent Price. The character even bears the middle name of Vincent.
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Near the start of the movie when there is a wide shot of the Manhattan skyline, Tony Stark's Avengers building can be seen.
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Chiwetel Ejiofor is a 5th Degree Black Belt in karate, so his movements are second nature in fighting.
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Benedict Cumberbatch states that the spiritualism of Doctor Strange is what appeals to him the most about the role. "I'm very excited about that spiritual dimension. It's something that's been a huge part of my life. I meditate a lot, 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," said Cumberbatch.
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Due to the popularity of the Marvel films, Rachel McAdams had a change of stance and became interested in appearing in any of the MCU films. Unknowingly, she was the first choice for the role of Christine. McAdams was also previously approached by Jon Favreau as the first choice to play Pepper Potts in Iron Man (2008) but she declined.
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Tilda Swinton's children were crew members on the film. Her daughter worked in the costume department and her son in the art department designing planets.
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Astrophysicist Adam Frank served as a science consultant on the film, to advise on how to portray changes in the human experience of space and time. Frank also helped Marvel conceive their ideas for the multiverse, as well as suggest dialogue and belief stances for the characters.
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In the comics, Stephen Strange had a younger sister named Donna, who died when he was young, and motivated him into becoming a doctor. Lulu Wilson was cast as Donna in the film and shot some scenes, but they were cut out for running time purposes.
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Kaecilius was named after the word "caecilian," a rare snake-like amphibian.
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The filmmakers defined the use of magic as dimensional travelling and shifting. "We didn't want magic to simply be people throwing and blocking bolts of lightning; this is the ability to tap into different dimensions and pull aspects of those dimensions into our realm."
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When Dr Strange begins to experiment with the Eye of Agamotto and the Time Spells in the Book of Cagliostro, the focus of his practice is an apple, symbolically the representation of Forbidden Knowledge.
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Scott Derrickson admitted that the MCU films dedicate little time to developing antagonists, so he just hoped to show Kaecilius's point of view, describing the character as a "villain of ideas with watertight logic," like John Doe from Se7en (1995).
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Mordo repeatedly states that "the bill comes due." This comes from the 2016 Doctor Strange comics, where Dr Strange received constant warnings of "the bill coming due" for wielding magic; in consequence, he attracted the attention of the anti-magic scientists the Empirikul, who severely depowered the magicians of Earth.
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According to James Gunn, Stan Lee's cameo in the film is one of four Lee cameos that were filmed in one day. Gunn said that he filmed three, being this film, Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 and another title that he did not reveal. Several one-liners with Lee were filmed and considered, but the one in the film was chosen by Scott Derrickson himself.
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Cinematographer Ben Davis cites the Disney experimental film Fantasia (1940) as a visual influence on the film: "It has a very psychedelic grounding, and most of the work is about other dimensions."
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Originally, the film was to feature a prologue set in CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, aka the European Organization for Nuclear Research) and would feature a discussion on parallel dimensions. The filmmakers felt this was too scientific for a magic-based story, and removed it.
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The building number seen in the portal to New York City was 177A Bleecker Street, the location of the Sanctum Sanctorum. This is NOT a reference to Sherlock Holmes' (whom Benedict Cumberbatch also portrays) traditional residence, 221B Baker street. It is actually the address of a townhouse apartment shared by Marvel comic book writers Gary Friedrich and Roy Thomas in the 60s, the latter of whom wrote several Doctor Strange stories, though NOT the 1963 issue of Strange Tales that revealed the address as 177A Bleecker.
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Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy were considered for the role of The Ancient One.
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Scott Derrickson wanted to feature the dream demon Nightmare and his world the Dream Dimension, but decided to save him for a sequel.
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In the comics, the Ancient One is an old man; in this film, the Ancient One is played by a woman. This was a deliberate decision as Scott Derrickson felt the Ancient One was a title rather than a person. Additionally this was also intended to avoid the risk of portraying any negative racial stereotypes, as the appearance of the Ancient One in the comics is based on Tibetan monks.
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In a fight, Master Mordo has a relic that he calls the Staff Of The Living Tribunal. In the comics The Living Tribunal is an incredibly powerful cosmic entity.
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According to Kevin Feige, the concept of magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is inspired by The Matrix (1999) and the fantasy works of Stanley Kubrick and Hayao Miyazaki. "Have you watched the Cosmos (1980) series? That's magic, the quantum physics. If somebody knew how to tap into that stuff, what's the difference between that and magic? You don't get into it in Harry Potter, but if a scientist went to Hogwarts, he'd find out how some of that stuff is happening! We're not going to spend a lot of time on it, but there will be some of that, particularly for a character like Doctor Strange, who goes from a man of science to a man of faith and who traverses both worlds. And sometimes there won't be an answer! Sometimes he'll want an answer--'How is this happening?'--and nothing," said Feige.
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At one point, Doctor Strange considers using an axe as a weapon. This is an homage to the 2016 "Doctor Strange" comics, where he was severely depowered and took to wielding an axe, called Angarrumus.
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Scott Derrickson wanted The Ancient One to be an Asian woman, but felt that it would be perceived as exploiting Asian fetish and "a fanboy's dream girl." He decided to cast a non-Asian actor in the role, but to still take the opportunity to cast "an amazing actress in a male role." He thus wrote the role of The Ancient One especially for Tilda Swinton, feeling that she was the obvious choice for such a mystical and mysterious role.
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The Mirror Dimension was influenced by the works of mathematical painter M.C. Escher and the fractal concept.
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Scott Derrickson describes this film as enabling a Marvel Comics multiverse to exist: "What we've wanted from the beginning was to bring in these other dimensions and realities, which is something Dr Strange can do. Much like how the early Doctor Strange comics broke open the Marvel comic book universe into the Marvel multiverse, this film serves the same function. In the comics it ended up being decades of new stories and I think this movie will do the same thing."
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One of the mages at Kamar-Taj is Tina Minoru (Linda Louise Duan). Tina is the mother of Nico Minoru, a member of the Runaway group of heroes, which is expected to be adapted into a TV series, Runaways (2017). Tina wields a staff in the film; this is the Staff of One, a powerful magical weapon that Nico eventually wields.
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One of the relics in the New York Sanctum is a white mask with an ankh next to it. This is a reference to the Moon Knight, a superhero who was empowered (and sometimes possessed) by the Egyptian moon god Khonshu and wielded a stick shaped like an ankh.
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On multiple occasions, Doctor Strange corrects people who call him Mister. Had the character been English the opposite would in fact be true. Surgeons in the UK go by Mister instead of Doctor. This tradition dates back many years, and after becoming a qualified surgeon an individual will go from Doctor to Mister/Miss/Missus but with the letters FRCS after their name. Many surgeons take offense at being called doctor. This is actually true of all Consultants, not just surgeons, Consultant being a senior and more qualified physician with a speciality.
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Doctor Strange (2016) marks the fourteenth film to be released by Marvel Studios for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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The scene where Stephen trains his broken hands by writing his name over and over comes from J. Michael Straczynski's "Dr Strange" comic.
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Christine Palmer is one of a trio of women known as the Night Nurse in the Marvel Comics Universe, making cameos in various comic books. Another night nurse is Claire Temple from the Netflix Marvel TV series. (Daredevil (2015), Jessica Jones (2015),Luke Cage (2016) and Iron Fist (2017))
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Chapter Two of Phase Three in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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First Marvel Studios movie to feature the new Marvel Studios logo/fanfare composed by Michael Giacchino at the start of the film. Michael Giacchino also scored the film. Previous Marvel Studios films featured the original logo that can also be seen in other Marvel movies such as the X-Men series. This logo was sometimes accompanied by the fanfare composed by Brian Tyler, which was first heard in Thor: The Dark World (2013).
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In 1992, Wes Craven was set to direct. Later in 2001, David S. Goyer was going to write and direct. In 2008, Guillermo del Toro was brought on as director. In 2014, Mark Andrews, Jonathan Levine, Nikolaj Arcel, Scott Derrickson and Dean Israelite were on the shortlist to direct. In the end, Derrickson was officially announced to helm the film.
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The film contains references to the Doctor Strange comic "The Oath." Nicodemus West and Christine Palmer make an appearance. Dr Strange engages in a spirit fight. The Cloak of Levitation displays sentience.
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Mads Mikkelsen's brother Lars Mikkelsen was the voice of Doctor Strange in the Danish dub of Doctor Strange (2007). Lars had also played an antagonist in Benedict Cumberbatch's show Sherlock (2010).
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Strange's predecessor as the master of the New York Sanctum Sanctorum is named Daniel Drumm (Mark Anthony Brighton). Daniel is the brother (and later spirit assistant) of Jericho Drumm, known as the voodoo priest Brother Voodoo.
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Stephen Strange pops up the collar on the Cloak of Levitation before going to stop the destruction of the Hong Kong center. This pays homage to Benedict Cumberbatch's role in Sherlock (2010) as Sherlock always pops his collar before investigating a case.
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The first building-bending battle between Kaecilius and The Ancient One was filmed on the road Great Scotland Yard in Central London. Opposite the end of the street (but not visible during the scene) is the Sherlock Holmes pub on Northumberland Avenue.
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This is the fourth film in which Rachel McAdams' plays a love interest to a man who can travel through (or otherwise manipulate) time; the others were The Time Traveler's Wife (2009), Midnight in Paris (2011), and About Time (2013). In none of these four movies does McAdams' character herself get to participate in these time travels or manipulations.
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The design of Dark Dimension is based on the works of Steve Ditko for Dr. Strange comics in the 60s. Ditko was co-creator of Dr. Strange together with Stan Lee in 1963.
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Benedict Cumberbatch embarked on a strict training regimen by hitting the gym with the use of a personal trainer to beef up for the role. Cumberbatch would drink protein shakes and eat double the amount of calories.
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Between 1986 and 2005, five attempts were made at a Doctor Strange film by Bob Gale, Alex Cox, Wes Craven, David S. Goyer, and Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro's version would have been co-written by Neil Gaiman.
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Screenwriter C. Robert Cargill said that the dialogue in an early scene between Doctor Strange and The Ancient One was inspired by debates on religion between himself and a former roommate.
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The Zealots' makeup took between two to three hours to apply.
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One of the mages at Kamar-Taj is Hamir (Topo Wresniwiro). In the Marvel Comics, Hamir was Hamir the Hermit, Wong's father.
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Gary Oldman and Mads Mikkelsen were considered for the role of Baron Mordo.
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The Cloak Of Levitation is shown standing on its own in the corner of the operating room, to Christine Palmer's disbelief. Before germ theory and surgical hygiene were fully understood, the experience and seniority of a surgeon was often judged by how soiled and bloody their operating gown was, to the point where the most successful surgeons had gowns that stood up independently.
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Prior to his car crash Dr. Strange is receiving information about potential surgery candidates. One that Dr. Strange declines is a "35 year old Air Force Colonel; crushed his lower spine in some kind of experimental armor". This is likely Colonel James Rhodes in his War Machine armor who was accidentally brought down by Vision as he was aiming for the Falcon during the Captain America: Civil War movie. Just another example of how Marvel universe movies connect with one another.
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When Dr. Stephen Strange decides which watch to wear, the song "Interstellar Overdrive" by Pink Floyd is playing. On 28 September 2016, shortly before the release of this film, Benedict Cumberbatch joined Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on stage at a Royal Albert Hall concert and sang co-lead vocals of their classic hit "Comfortably Numb". Furthermore, Pink Floyd's sophomore album "A Saucerful of Secrets" (1968) features superimposed images of Doctor Strange himself, from Strange Tales #158.
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One of the Zealots is named Lucian, who is dressed in black. He is based on Blackwulf, a Marvel character who dressed in black and possessed super strength.
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Though uncredited, Dan Harmon was a consultant and revised the screenplay during post-production and reshoots.
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Doctor Strange is repeatedly addressed as "Mister" by other characters. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko originally considered naming the character "Mr. Strange", but decided it sounded too similar to "Mr. Fantastic" of the Fantastic Four.
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This is the second live action adaptation of Marvel Comics' Dr Strange. The first was Dr. Strange (1978).
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Kaecilius wields the Daggers of Daveroth. In the comics, this was a spell used by Shialmar the Shadowqueen, a powerful sorceress who lost her soul.
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Property master Barry Gibbs had crafted a model of the Ebony Blade (a relic wielded by the Marvel hero the Black Knight) to feature in the New York Sanctum, but it was removed from the film.
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Stan Lee (cameo) is reading The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley. Huxley writes about taking drugs to gain insights into extraordinary states of mind but instead experiences a great change in his perception of the external world.
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In a fight, Wong wields the Wand of Watoomb, a magical artifact from the "Doctor Strange" comics.
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Mads Mikkelsen is the third Hannibal Lecter actor to appear in a Marvel film, after Brian Cox (William Stryker in X2: X-Men United (2003)) and Anthony Hopkins (Odin in the Thor films).
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Famous voice actor James Arnold Taylor dubbed over some of Cumberbatch's grunts.
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When Dr. Strange is choosing his watch prior to his car accident he chooses a Jaeger. In Iron Man 2 right before Tony Stark goes "self destructive" at his birthday party he selects a Jaeger watch from his collection.
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The film's cast includes one Oscar winner, Tilda Swinton, and three Oscar nominees, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams.
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Dr. Strange referred to his Physical therapist as "Bachelors degree". Most physical therapists have a DPT (doctorate degree) or MPT (masters degree)
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Mads Mikkelsen had been under consideration for the role of Dr. Stephen Strange back in 2013.
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Patrick Dempsey publicly expressed an interest in playing Stephen Strange.
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Another connection to Pink Floyd: Doctor Strange is mentioned in a Pink Floyd's song titled Cymbaline, off their record More (a soundtrack album to the movie More (1969)). The line in the song: "And Doctor Strange is always changing size".
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Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams are the sixth and seventh, respectively, Sherlock Holmes actors to appear in a Marvel comics based feature: -Sir Christopher Lee played Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991), and was the enemy in Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979). -Jeremy Brett played Holmes in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984) and was in The Incredible Hulk: Of Guilt, Models and Murder (1978). -Robert Downey Jr. played Sherlock Holmes in the Guy Ritchie film series, and appeared as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Quite coincidentally, Rachel McAdams plays Irene Adler, Holmes' love interest and intellectual adversary in the same films: -Sir Ian McKellen played Holmes in Mr. Holmes (2015), and appeared as Erik Lensherr/Magneto in the X-Men film series. Martin Freeman played Dr. John Watson alongside Cumberbatch in Sherlock, and appears in Captain America: Civil War.
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In the comics, the Ruby of Cytorakk was known as the Crymson Gem of Cyttorak and was touched by Cain Marko, which is where the Juggernaut gets his strength and armor. Cain Marko is also the stepbrother of Charles Xavier.
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During Doctor Strange's introduction to the multiverse ("Open your eye") when he first arrives at Kamar-Taj, there's a brief sequence of movement that mirrors the wormhole travel effects in Contact (1997). In that movie, Doctor Arroway sights what she believes is a city on Vega and comments, "They're alive" which is then followed with a warping/stretching effect, then a front view of her which tilts to 45° and follows with a second stretching effect looking down from above her head. Right after The Ancient One asks, "Who are you in this vast multiverse, Mr. Strange?" the same sequence of effects is played.
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Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) is trapped by a relic called the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. In the comics, the Crimson Bands were a spell Dr Strange uses.
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When Dr. Strange is getting ready to attend his speaking engagement at the beginning of the movie, he selects a watch from many he owns. The watch is stored (amongst many) is an automatic watch winding case, which moves the watches so that they remain wound. The power reserve of the watch he selected (a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual) is 38 hours without motion.
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Part of the filming happened in Nepal, Asia.
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Before he gets injured in the crash, Strange is shown driving a Lamborghini Huracan Coupe.
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In Stan Lee's cameo, he is shown reading Aldous Huxley's book The Doors of Perception, originally written in 1954 about Huxley's mescalin drug trip and the psychedelic world he saw (much like what viewers see in this movie). The movie credits acknowledge the 1954 version by Huxley and the 1982 version by his wife Laura Huxley (although Wikipedia does not show a listing for the latter). The book has 3 eyes arranged vertically, with different images in the center circles, perhaps chosen because they are reminders of the 3 Sanctum Sanctorums of New York, London, and Hong Kong.
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Tony Todd was considered for the role of Dormammu.
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Both Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong also starred in Dirty Pretty Things (2002) and The Martian (2015).
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Somewhat mirroring her character of the Ancient One, in Orlando (1992) Tilda Swinton plays the Young nobleman Orlando who is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British history, experiencing a variety of lives and relationships along the way, and even changing sex.
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Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor previously starred together in 12 Years a Slave (2013).
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When Strange first arrives at Kamar-Taj, Mordo gives him a piece of paper that says 'shamballa' on it, stating that it's the Wi-Fi password. 'Shamballa' is a song by Three Dog Night from the 70's, and Strange is an expert on 60's and 70's music. One of the lyrics from the song is "how does your light shine", a reference to Strange's inherent mysticism.
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Rachel McAdams played Irene Adler in Sherlock Holmes (2009). Irene is a love interest to Sherlock, played by Robert Downey Jr., who plays Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this movie, she plays Dr. Christine Palmer, past love interest of Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Holmes in Sherlock (2010).
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As Strange was preparing for his meeting before the crash, his watch reads 5:16. A quote from Galatians 5:16 says "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." which fits with the teachings of the Ancient One.
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Benedict Wong shares the same surname as his character.
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There is a sequence when Benedict Cumberbatch expresses his doubt upon first arriving at Kamar-Taj, and is shown alternate dimensions by the Ancient One ( Tilda Swinton ) where he is seen traveling through a multi-colored wormhole of sorts. This is an obvious visual reference to Dave Bowman's space traveling sequence towards the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
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Based on the scenery as the spirit of Strange speaks to the spirit of the Ancient One in NYC, Strange was on the staff of NYU Langone Medical Center.
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Both Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Stephen Strange) and Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One) have both previously worked with Tom Hiddleston in varying projects. Benedict worked with Tom in the movie War Horse (2011), playing Maj. Jamie Stewart and Capt. Nicholls respectively, while Tilda played his wife in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), playing Eve and Adam respectively. Benedict and Tom would later appear in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), with Benedict reprising his role as Doctor Strange, while Tom appears once more in the MCU as Loki. Benedict and Tom also befriended each other while working on their movie and have been good friends ever since.
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Each "Doctor Strange" feature has starred a Star Trek actor: -Michael Ansara, who was the Klingon Kang in Star Trek (1966), voiced the Ancient One (in an uncredited role) in Dr. Strange (1978). -Jeffrey Combs, who has played various Star Trek roles, was Doctor Strange in Doctor Mordrid (1992) (a version with names changed). -George Takei, who was Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek (1966), was Wong in Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Sins of the Fathers Chapter 1: Doctor Strange (1996). -Paul Nakauchi appeared in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Homecoming (1993) and was Wong in Doctor Strange (2007). -Kevin Michael Richardson, who voiced several aliens in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), was Baron Mordo in Doctor Strange (2007) -Benedict Cumberbatch, who was Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), stars in this film as Dr Strange. -Although not an actor, Michael Giacchino composed the soundtracks for Doctor Strange (2016) and the three Star Trek reboot movies
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The second time that Strange goes into the library to request reading material on astral projection from Wong, he calls Wong "Beyoncé" and finds it hard to believe that Wong had never heard of her. A little later when Strange is opening gateways in the library in order to "borrow" more books, Beyonce's song, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" can clearly be heard coming from Wong's headphones.
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Mads Mikkelsen is the fifth actor to play a villain in both a comic-book film and a James Bond film:

-Sir Christopher Lee was the main villain in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979).

-Louis Jourdan was the main villain in Octopussy (1983) and Swamp Thing (1982).

-Christopher Walken was the main villain in A View to a Kill (1985) and Batman Returns (1992).

-Christoph Waltz was the main villain in Spectre (2015) and The Green Hornet (2011).
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In The Simpson's season 13 commentary for the episode I am Furious Yellow, when asked which hero he hoped would get a movie Stan Lee said, "Doctor Strange."
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Mark Anthony Brighton was cast as Danial Drumm. Who is the twin brother of Jericho Drumm A.K.A Brother Voodoo A.K.A Doctor Voodoo; who is the sorcerer supreme successor of Dr. Stephen Strange.
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Part of the first battle takes place in London, on a road called Great Scotland Yard. This is the same road that Mafalda Hopkirk (Sophie Thompson) can be seen walking down in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) before she is rendered unconscious by Harry, although this scene is shot from the other end of the road.
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Michael Giaccino wrote the music for both this film and the Star Trek movie that featured Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan: Star Trek, Into Darkness (2013). In this movie, the soundtrack music playing just after Strange finds out about his injury, during the montage of his recovery, is similar to the music during the montage in Star Trek where Thomas Harewood's story of his sick daughter is shown, which leads to the introduction of Khan in that movie.
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Savoy Pictures had the film rights to the character but weren't able to get a film off the ground due to bankruptcy. Sony Pictures had picked up the film rights shortly after but never got a film produced, leaving the film rights to revert back to Marvel.
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Four actors in this film have been nominated for Oscars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams and Tilda Swinton, with Tilda Swinton winning for Michael Clayton (2007).
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Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams play love interests in this film. In Sherlock Holmes (2009) Rachel McAdams portrayed Holmes' love interest Irene Adler. On Sherlock (2010) Cumberbatch portrayed Sherlock Holmes.
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Benedict Cumberbatch is the second actor to play Sherlock Holmes and appear in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, the first being Robert Downey Jr.. In this film, Cumberbatch plays a doctor. Holmes himself was modeled after a real doctor, Joseph Bell.
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Benedict Cumberbatch is now the second Sherlock Holmes player to appear in a Marvel film. In this film, he plays a doctor. Fittingly, Holmes was also modeled after a real doctor, Joseph Bell. Bell has been played by Brian Cox, who was both the first actor to play Hannibal Lecter, and the first Lecter to appear in a Marvel film (X-Men 2). Mads Mikkelsen is the first Lecter player.
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This is the second MCU to be released in theaters in November since Thor: The Dark World (2013).
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Benedict Wong has worked with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Cumberbatch in previous films. All three are in "Dr. Strange". Wong and Ejiofor worked together in "The Martian" in 2015, and Cumberbatch and Ejiofor in "12 Years A Slave" in 2013.
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Cameo 

Stan Lee: man on the bus reading "The Doors Of Perception" by Aldous Huxley. The book is a recounting of Huxley's experience taking psychedelic drugs, with particular mention of their use in perceiving art. Dr Strange comics have long been associated with psychedelic drugs because of their use of surreal images to portray magical dimensions and beings. Marvel has always insisted that drugs played no part in the creation of Dr Strange, which may be why Lee is laughing at the book.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The Eye of Agamoto is the Time Stone, one of the Infinity Stones. Chronologically it is the fifth Infinity Stone to appear, after the Space Stone (the Tesseract from Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)), the Reality Stone (the Aether from Thor: The Dark World (2013)), the Power Stone (the Orb from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)) and the Mind Stone (Loki's scepter/Vision's power source from The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)).
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During the mid-credits scene, when Doctor Strange is talking to Thor, he can be seen wearing yellow gloves as an homage to his comic book costume, where he had to wear them to protect his hands.
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Benedict Cumberbatch recommended that he play Dormammu during production, and Scott Derrickson liked the idea of Cumberbatch playing hero and villain: "That role was an ultra-inflated version of Strange, an ego run amok.There's something interesting about this confrontation of this tiny guy with the power of time and this monstrous conqueror. I couldn't think of anybody better to interact with Benedict than he, himself."
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There is a disclaimer at the end of the closing credits warning viewers about the dangers of distracted driving. This is a reference to Strange's catastrophic car accident (which was caused by him looking at an electronic device while driving), but (as entertainment writer Bill Bradley pointed out in a piece for the Huffington Post) it is also a continuation of the joke that repeats several times throughout the movie about essential warnings appearing after (not before) instructions.
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When Kaecilius and his zealots are dragged to the Dark Dimension at the film's climax they are transformed. Their new form is dark and mottled, with light bursting from where their eyes once were, making them resemble the Mindless Ones, the creatures that populate Dormammu's Dark Dimension in the original comics.
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Just before he crashes, Dr. Strange is told about a "22 year-old woman with schizophrenia with an electronic implant in her brain struck by lightning." This is a reference to the superhero Madalyn Joyce, also known as Miss America who, in the comics received superpowers when an experimental electrical device her uncle was testing was struck by lightning. In the comics Miss America is now the identity of another superhero called America Chavez, who inherits the original America's powers.
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The mid-credits scene with Thor was directed by Taika Waititi, the director of Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
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Mads Mikkelsen described Kaecilius as an anti-hero from another dimension who is a villain in this dimension: "He believes that the Ancient One is just protecting her own power base and that the world may be better off if we were to allow some of these other things through. He's a man who believes in something else than the hero. He is the antagonist, of course, but he's not necessarily wrong. He wants to make the planet look wonderful and to save the world, but he has a different way of doing it."
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Just before having the car accident, Stephen is on the phone discussing potential patients. One patient mentioned is a US air force colonel who was injured testing some experimental armor. Despite the similarities, it is unlikely that this is a reference to the injuries sustained by James "War Machine" Rhodes in Captain America: Civil War (2016) due to the time differences. The director Scott Derrickson has confirmed that "by the time you've gone through his journey and you're into the second half of the movie, it's present day." meaning that the incident mentioned must have taken place at least a year ago. Not to mention that James Rhodes is clearly a lot older than the 35 year old described. Some believe it is more likely that this refers to Justin Hammer's experiment in Iron Man 2 (2010) where Stark shows the videos of his competitor's armor research during the Senate hearing, and in Hammer's version the top half of the armor spins 180 degrees (Hammer states that the pilot survived) and Stephen Strange has a gold plate which reads "2016". Also the car he is driving is a '15/'16 model Lamborghini Huracan.
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In a fight, Doctor Strange frightens and then hits Kaecilius over the head with an object. This object is the Brazier of Bom'Galiath, a relic used for transportation.
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Kaecilius was a minor villain in the comics, only an ally of Baron Mordo. In this film, he is a major villain based on Baron Mordo (nemesis of Dr Strange), Kaluu (a rival of the Ancient One and master of black magic) and the Mindless Ones (minions under the control of Dormammu).
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When Dr. Strange drives and crashes his car the song playing is "Interstellar Overdrive" by Pink Floyd. Dr Strange appears on one of Pink Floyd's album covers, "A Saucerful of Secrets" however this album does not contain the song playing.
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In the movie Kaecilius uses some pages from The Book of Cagliostro to contact Dormammu and extract power from the Dark Dimension. In the original comics The Book of Cagliostro is used by Baron Mordo to travel in time. In real life Cagliostro (1743-1795) was a well-known medicine man and alchemist.
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As Steven Strange was preparing the night of his crash, the watch he placed on his wrist read Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016. February 2 is "Groundhog Day" in the US. In the movie of the same name, Bill Murray's character is trapped in February 2, doomed to live it over and over until he corrects wrongs in his life. Towards the end of the movie, when Dr. Strange is confronting the villain, he traps Dormammu in an endless loop of time until he agrees to his terms.
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In the movie, it is explained that Agamotto, first Sorcerer Supreme, created three seals in order to preserve planet Earth from the Dark Dimension, which are represented by symbols in the skylights of the Sanctum Sanctorums (New York, London and Hong Kong) and in the doors that connect them with the temple of The Ancient One in Nepal. In the original comics, the symbol in the skylight of New York belongs to the Vishanti, union of the three powerful magical entities called Oshtur, Hoggoth and Agamotto.
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Although presented as a WiFi password, the term Shambhala is a true, real world form of Buddhism introduced by Sakyong Mipham in the year 2000 to describe his presentation of the Shambhala teachings originally conceived by Chögyam Trungpa as secular practices for achieving enlightened society, in concert with the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
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Scott Derrickson describes Dr Strange as defined by loneliness and trauma: "He's a character who had gone through so much trauma and was placed into a position between our world and other worlds-other dimensions, literally. That's a lonely position. Strange transforms through suffering. He goes through this gauntlet of trauma and suffering, going all the way back to his childhood in the comics. But then he appropriates that suffering in a certain way that limits him. And then he goes through the loss of everything in a really painful, unbearable way. And eventually finds self-transcendence in something mystical."
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In the movie chapter Mystic Arts, just past the 30 minutes mark, when Dr. Strange is having his first lesson from The Ancient one, she creates a geometric pattern out of light energy, in the real world this is very similar to spiritual geometric patterns called a Yantra. Yantra (Sanskrit) is a mystical diagram, mainly from the Tantric traditions of the Indian religions. ... Specific yantras are traditionally associated with specific deities. These energy centres create a spiritual portal or vortex to allow the energies, healing and mystic teachings of the various Dieties to come through and were also adopted by Tibetan and other forms of Buddhism.
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(Warning: spoiler for Infinity War) As she is dying, the Ancient One mentions that she had foreseen all of her possible futures which all lead to her death and no further; she then tells Strange that she also saw all the possibilities of his future. It is most evident that she had used the time stone to calculate the possible futures for herself and for Strange, for, in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Strange himself used the time stone to foresee all the possible futures regarding their war against Thanos.
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Chiwetel Ejiofor's Baron Mordo is very similar, in his intentions and righteousness, to Ejiofor's character from Serenity (2005). The post credits scene shows the similarities as he feels his righteousness is best for the world.
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Another Pink Floyd reference is the t-shirt Dr. Strange is wearing as he descends into despair and breaks up with Christine - it is an album cover of Syd Barrett's solo album The Madcap Laughs.
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There's a bit of an actor allusion in the character of Mordo, to Chiwetel Ejiofor's character in Serenity (2005). In that movie he plays The Operative, whose philosophy is to do anything and everything required by his mission for the society he works for, including killing without hesitation or remorse. In this one his character speaks of his readiness to kill "without hesitation" to uphold the mission of the secret sorcerer society. In the stinger Mordo is even implied to understand that what he's doing (taking away a crippled man's ability to walk out of principle - a man who has done nothing to hurt anyone) is evil, but he still does it because he believes it to be necessary. In "Serenity" The Operative says outright that he knows his actions to be evil, but he carries them out because he believes what he does needs to be done.
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The QR codes on Pangborn's X-rays go to a working website.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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