Supernatural martial arts film hits theaters in November

If there’s one thing Marvel fans love, it’s hearing about new movies to look forward to in the franchise. Set to be released in November, “Doctor Strange” is the latest film from the comic book behemoth to grace the silver screen. Cinema Blend got the chance to visit the set of the film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch of “Sherlock” fame, and also spoke to director Scott Derrickson about what’s influencing his interpretation of the Marvel favorite.

“Doctor Strange”
The backstory of “Doctor Strange” is simple enough. Introduced in 1963 in the comic, “Strange Tales,” Dr. Stephen Strange is a wealthy neurosurgeon who suffers nerve damage in his hands when he crashes his car. Since he’s a neurosurgeon, he’s basically useless without his hands, so he traverses the world to find someone who can fix them when traditional medicine fails him. In Nepal, he meets the Ancient One, who not only has the power to fix his hands, but also teaches him about magic and mysticism. According to Polygon, these aren’t the only skills he uses – he also learns martial arts, and frequently uses it to get out of binds. While we don’t know what direction the film will take, judging by the trailers, there will be a good deal of martial arts for audiences to enjoy.

Marvel’s 14th film
Derrickson is no stranger when it comes to supernatural films. He’s had his hands in plenty of  horror movies, including directing and writing “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “Sinister” and “Deliver Us From Evil.” He seemed an obvious choice for a film about a mystical superhero. Derrickson has never worked on a martial-arts film before, however, it is one of his favorite types of action portrayed on the silver screen.

“Martial arts is the kind of action that does tie in well to the supernatural,” Derrickson told Cinema Blend. “That is a whole sub-genre within martial arts cinema, the supernatural martial arts movie, particularly within Asian cinema. I felt like, when it came to fighting in the movie, that just made sense, to certainly to go in that direction and stay away from weapons, gunfire, and things like that and to avoid having fighting be the casting of bolts of light.”

The addition of Scott Adkins
Supernatural or not, it wouldn’t make sense to create a martial-arts film without an actual martial artist on set. Last year, the studio announced that Scott Adkins would be taking on an undisclosed role in “Doctor Strange.” Adkins is a British actor with roles in films like “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Zero Dark Thirty” under his kickboxing black belt. In addition to kickboxing, Adkins has trained in a variety of martial arts, such as judo, karate, Krav Maga and ninjutsu, according to his official website. It will be exciting to see what role he plays in “Doctor Strange.”