The internet is buzzing with rumors about the casting of Marvel’s Doctor Strange. While some really great names have been linked with the role of earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, there is another reason that I am thrilled to hear that Stephen Vincent Strange will be appearing on the silver screen.
It means REAL magic will be appearing in a modern comic book movie universe for the first time.
Yes, I know that Loki has been using his hologram-like tricks since his first appearance, but Marvel has been very careful to explain away magic. Asgardians aren’t gods, they are super advanced aliens who occasionally come to earth to pretend to be gods. It’s not a Soul Forge, it’s a Quantum Field Generator. Jane Foster lays it out for us when she explains, “Magic is just science we don’t understand yet.” While they have been pushing the envelope with each new film, there still hasn’t been anything that has been expressly described as magic. Doctor Strange’s power is completely based on magic and I don’t think that they will risk the wrath of fans to try to explain it away with some advanced science. The technology-ruled Marvel movie universe is officially going to cross the line that they’ve been so careful to tiptoe with Thor.
This is a huge deal when many people claim that some characters, like Wonder Woman, can never appear on screen with their magic-based powers and backstories intact. These people argue that the modern audience won’t accept magic in comic book movies, and so these iconic characters must be altered to fit neatly into the expected norm. It’s refreshing that Marvel doesn’t agree.
This adds a huge number of amazing possibilities for upcoming DC and Marvel movies! Scarlet Witch, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, John Constantine (for real this time), Enchantress, and so many others now have hope of appearing on screen intact. While adding a few technological advances to the Amazons might smooth the transition (maybe a cloaking device hides Paradise Island instead of magic?), I believe that the magical foundation to Wonder Woman’s powers and her magical items can succeed on the big screen. DC’s movies have had a very different tone than the Marvel movies, but I believe that they can build upon the foundations laid by the successful Marvel franchises. The average moviegoer isn’t going to separate the DC and Marvel movies into exclusive categories. If they accept Loki and Doctor Strange in an Avengers movie, they will accept Wonder Woman or John Constantine in a DC movie.