Will Doctor Strange change the way we think about comic book movies?
The year 2016 was always going to be the year that the public’s appetite for comic book movies was going to be tested. A total of seven comic book movies were planned for release this year (six now that Gambit has been delayed), leading some to believe that this would be the year that the comic book movie market would officially become over-saturated. However, in as competitive of a comic book movie market we’ve ever seen, could an unlikely film steal the show?
Since Comic Con last year much of the talk for comic book movies (CBM’s) in 2016 revolved around Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. And while DEADPOOL made a valiant early year run at CBM of the year, the recent release of the teaser trailer for Marvel’s Doctor Strange gave audiences a glimpse of something completely different, and perhaps just what the public needs to cleanse their CBM palates.
In the first trailer for the film that stars Sherlock thespian, Benedict Cumberbatch, as Stephen Strange, the tone of the film spoke of something unique to the genre—the abstract. While action sequences oozing destruction, choreographed melee, and the occasional oddball superhero character has conquered audiences time and time again, the introduction of mysticism and abstraction to the level of Doctor Strange has yet to be seen. Within the trailer for the film visuals are fed to the viewer that blend Salvador Dali with Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Now the jaw-dropping sequences in a CBM are no longer that of Superman fighting General Zod through skyscapers, or the Avengers saving New York City from an Alien invasion. Now those sequences are reserved for visuals that test our ability to stretch our minds, and in so doing, our disbelief in a manner that hasn’t been required since Neo’s famous “there is no spoon.”
Could Doctor Strange breath new life into the CBM genre? Until November 4, nobody can say for sure. But here’s to hoping.