When Marvel's Doctor Strange hits the big screen in a few years, he might do so in a way that's pretty different from your standard superhero movie. In addition to the good Doctor, though, Marvel is saying that it absolutely wants to give fans what they want by bringing Captain Marvel and the Black Panther to the big screen, as well.
Most superhero movies start with the origin story, showing who the hero was as a common schmo, how they got their powers, and how those powers change their lives. It's a way to ease audiences into the weird ride that they're about to undertake. Thus, Peter Parker and the spider bite. Thus the endless retelling of baby Kal-El's escape from Krypton, even though it's freakin' Superman and everybody knows that story.
Not so with Doctor Strange, though, according to a new report from Badass Digest's Devin Faraci. In an appearance on the Meet the Movie Press podcast, Faraci claims that Marvel is taking a different tack with Doctor Strange and skipping the origin story almost entirely. (h/t: Comic Book Resources)
"That's all gone," Faraci says. "Marvel's new thing is no more origin stories. So, Doctor Strange movie no longer has an origin. It begins in media res. It has Doctor Strange already established as the Sorceror Supreme."
Reportedly, Marvel has had a Doctor Strange script bouncing around in-house for years now, but the House of Ideas apparently wasn't happy with what they had on page already. Jon Spaihts is said to be be working on a totally new script that jettisons Strange's origin in favor of the Doctor's present. We're interested in how that will pan out, but a bit cautious: Spaihts' previous credits include Prometheus, so it's not like he's entirely unsullied.
In truth, we've already seen a bit of this supposed new origin-free direction from Marvel. If you've seen Guardians of the Galaxy – you totally should, by the way – you likely noticed that there's just a bit of lip service directed at Star Lord's "origin." Just a few minutes with a dying mother before –boom! – we're off into the cosmos with talking raccoons and decapitated space gods and green people galore.
It worked terrifically in Guardians, and it could work just as well for Doctor Strange. Not having an origin story frees up about a third of the movie for other material. Hopefully, that will mean more action and fewer rushed set pieces. We're also interested to see how that would translate into other Marvel movies, namely Black Panther and Captain Marvel.
Fans have been clamoring for Marvel to bring the Panther and the Captain to the big screen, and Marvel Studio president Kevin Feige has some encouraging words for those anxious to see non-white and female superpowered Marvel leads. (h/t: Comic Book Resources)
"[Black Panther and Captain Marvel] are both characters that we like," Feige said to IGN in a recent interview, "that development work has been done on; it's continuing to be done on them.
"It's a question I get asked more than anything else – more than Iron Man 4, more than Avengers 3. That's sort of the first time that's really happened to us. That makes a difference. That's something we have to pay attention to."
That doesn't mean Marvel is pushing them to the forefront just yet, though. The House That Stan Lee Built has a lot on its plate, but Feige isn't discounting fan interest in the possibility of those two superheroes.
"In this particular case, I think it's a groundswell [of popular support]," Feige added, "and I think it means something substantial."
If Marvel manages to make good on the possibility of Captain Marvel and the Black Panther, that would mean the introduction of wholly other facets of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Captain Marvel mythos ties into the "cosmic" end of Marvel's properties, and it's more in line with the worlds shown in Guardians of the Galaxy, with the aforementioned space gods and interstellar cops and so forth. Carol Danvers, the current Captain Marvel, got her powers of flight, energy blasts, and near invulnerability from the original Captain Marvel, an alien sent to Earth as an observer from the... you know what? Long story. The takeaway is: super strength, flying, and general butt kicking from a female lead. Think My Super Ex-Girlfriend, but without the condescension to women.
The Black Panther, meanwhile, is one of the more multifaceted characters in the Marvel Universe. A king in his native Wakanda, the Black Panther is the latest in a line of Panther protectors for that land. He's got enhanced strength, incredible fighting prowess, a world class mind, and the technological resources of the most advanced nation on the planet. We're seeing something a bit like Coming to America, but with Zamunda having invented the iPhone back during the Roosevelt administration.
And we just might get to see these two coming to the screen sooner rather than later. Marvel has already laid out a number of its movies stretching years into the future, but there are a few "unrevealed project" slots in Marvel's lineup. Depending on how well scripts and casting and fan interest go, we could see Black Panther or Captain Marvel or both hitting the silver screen in the near future. What's more, there are rumors that Marvel hasn't revealed all of the characters that will appear in next summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron. There's no better way to build buzz for a character than to have them appear in what will undoubtedly be the biggest movie of the summer. Stay tuned, true believers!