The first official glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel hero Doctor Strange graces the new cover of Entertainment Weekly, and the biggest revelation is that he probably isn’t spending much time in the makeup chair. The actor sports facial hair and a cloak that will be familiar to comic-book fans, as well as Strange’s powerful amulet, the Eye of Agamotto.
Doctor Strange from the Marvel comics (Alex Ross/Marvel)
The Oscar-nominated actor joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the mystical former surgeon, who is introduced to magic during a quest to heal his hands, which were mangled in a car accident. (Intriguingly, Cumberbatch’s hand appears to be bare in this photo — in the comic books, the character has traditionally worn gloves, which he has in other photos, here.) Tilda Swinton plays The Ancient One, the old Himalayan sorcerer who introduces Strange to the mystical realm; Chiwetel Ejiofor takes on the role of Baron Mordo, another apprentice of the Ancient One who becomes Strange’s rival. Horror maestro Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil, Sinister) is directing the movie, which is still in production.
The EW cover post doesn’t have much more info — details about Rachel McAdams and Mads Mikkelsen’s characters are promised in tomorrow’s longer feature — but we did get a little tease about Cumberbatch’s magical learning curve and his fears about inciting fan outrage/speculation.
“I’m still in the infancy of learning all that,” Cumberbatch said, referring to how exactly one acts like a mystical superhero. “It was like, okay, I’ve got to keep throwing these poses, these spells, these rune-casting things, everything he does physically. I’m thinking, there’s going to be a huge amount of speculation and intrigue over the positioning of that finger as opposed to it being there, or there. And I’m still working on that. We haven’t played any of those scenes yet.“
Update: In a new post at EW, Mikkelsen was revealed as the main villain in Doctor Strange, “a sorcerer who breaks off into his own sect… and 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.”
Doctor Strange hits theaters on November 4, 2016. Check out the full cover below, and beneath that, a look at the comic book version of Doctor Strange.