Why Doctor Strange Is The Perfect Follow Up To Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War is here. Phase Three has begun. It’s immediately evident Marvel has learned from their mistakes with Phase Two’s early films. Once The Avengers assembled, fans wanted more from Marvel’s solo franchises. Iron Man 3 was a great movie but it felt disconnected and isolated from the rest of the cinematic universe. The same can be said for Thor: The Dark World.
Those two films felt like afterthoughts of Phase One. (Much like Ant-Man felt like a Phase Two epilogue of sorts.) When Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrived, we finally had a powerful movie that directly impacted Marvel’s universe as a whole.
Phase Three avoids the solo franchise trap and kicks things off with Marvel’s most ambitious film to date. Captain America: Civil War. Facing consequences of their own destructive actions, most of Earth’s mightiest heroes will wage war over conflicting ideals. It’s the perfect way to kick off Phase Three as Civil War will certainly change the MCU forever.
How do you follow up a film as big as Civil War? You take us somewhere entirely new. Some place Strange. Most fans will agree one of the highlights of Phase Two was James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. That film took us to a new corner of the universe and featured an all new cast of characters we fell in love with.
I may be in the minority but I felt Ant-Man was a broken movie that didn’t bring anything new to the table. For example… The original Iron Man movie was about a rich genius who built a super suit. His technology is stolen and he has to defend the world against another foe in a suit. I loved Iron Man but stick with me as I describe Ant-Man… A rich genius builds a super suit and passes it on to another. The technology is stolen and the hero must defend the world against another foe in a suit. There are some subtle changes in there but the skeleton remains the same. I think Ant-Man (especially Paul Rudd) belongs in the MCU but his first outing was a misfire. We lost a lot of momentum thanks to that movie.
Thankfully, Civil War will reassert Marvel’s rightful claim to the superhero movie throne. (Remember when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Civil War were scheduled to release on the same day!?)
Next up? Doctor Strange. Led by Benedict Cumberbatch, the Sorcerer Supreme’s cinematic debut will introduce us to the magical side of the MCU. Doctor Strange already feels more Guardians and less Ant-Man thanks to a stellar cast and unique storytelling possibilities. Thanks to the idea of multiple dimensions and the potential reveal of the soul infinity stone, Doctor Strange can stand alone. We don’t need nine Avenger cameos in order to convince audiences to line up.
“Doctor Strange follows the story of neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions.”
Stephen Strange may share Tony Stark’s arrogance but that’s where the similarities end. Doctor Strange will be about the search for knowledge and the absolute unknown. I can’t wait to see what the mystical side of the MCU looks like in the hands of talented horror director Scott Derrickson. (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
All these elements combined with what I hope will be a worthy villain in Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Eijofor) will surely differentiate the film from other Marvel films. And that’s EXACTLY what we need in the wake of Captain America: Civil War. Marvel is taking us somewhere new. Fans spent the majority of Iron Man 3 wondering why Tony Stark never called Steve Rogers. He was certainly in contact with Bruce Banner but we all know he’s capable of more than therapy sessions.
MARVEL PHASE THREE:
We countdown all of Marvel’s upcoming Phase Three films from Captain America: Civil War to Avengers: Infinity War and beyond!
In terms of Phase Three movies, Doctor Strange could be completely separate from the rest of the MCU and fans will still understand why he is a part of it. In that way, he stands alone. Black Panther and Spider-Man will be introduced in Civil War. The idea of Inhumans is currently being explored in great detail on Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Captain Marvel could theoretically connect Guardians to The Avengers as another cosmic hero from Earth.
Doctor Strange has his own story to tell for now but that doesn’t mean it won’t connect to the rest of Marvel’s grand plans for Phase Three. I believe we will finally see one of the last hidden Infinity Stones. The Soul Stone. We know the location of four out of six thus far. The mind stone rests on Vision’s forehead, the space stone is locked away in Oden’s vault, the Aether is presumably still in the hands on the Collector and the power stone is protected by the Nova Corps on Xandar.
That leaves Soul and Time. Doctor Strange will explore multiple dimensions and acquire magical powers unlike anything we’ve seen before. It’s a perfect opportunity to introduce an Infinity Stone. My money is on Soul. We don’t need a Thanos reference. We already understand why the stones are important. But Stephen Strange doesn’t. I think he will learn a great deal about the stone and it’s impact on the universe. Thanks to that knowledge, I believe Doctor Strange will be front and center in Avengers: Infinity War. A crucial character with powerful tools to help the Avengers (and Guardians?) defeat Thanos.
Doctor Strange has the potential to repeat and possibly exceed the phenomenal success Guardians of the Galaxy achieved. It’s a film with a completely different tone than other Marvel films with a completely new visual palette. It’s impossible to expect Marvel to deliver epic films like The Avengers, Civil War and Infinity War every outing. That’s why I’m excited for Doctor Strange. I’m ready for something original and different. Something magical, unique and strange.