First Glimpses of Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘Doctor Strange’

Come, peer with me now into the all-seeing Orb of Agamotto for a glimpse into the future of the Doctor Strange movie: star Benedict Cumberbatch filming on the set in n Kathmandu, Nepal.

These scenes would appear to be set early in the movie, when disgraced surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange is searching for a cure for the nerve damage to his hands. I have to admit, it is cool to know that production has officially begun on the adaptation of my all-time favorite comic book character — even if I do have very mixed feelings about this production.

I am happy that the movie is being made, but I have serious issues with the casting of Cumberbatch in the lead. He’s a good actor, IMHO, but there has grown up around him a bloated fandom that feels almost like a cult of personality. I really do not understand the slavering awe and worship with which Cumberbatch is treated. It’s like he’s the greatest actor of all time. And this cult of personality will definitely clash with the movie. BC will tower over the film and distract from discussion of the film on it’s own merits.

It happened with Star Trek: Into Darkness. After he was cast, all anyone wanted to talk about was, “Who is Benecict playing? “Is he Khan?” “He’s Kahn, isn’t he?” (And, despite outright lying by the studio, he indeed was playing Khan.) I just don’t want everything about Doctor Strange reduced to whether the Cumberbitches (look ’em up) like his hair in a particular scene.

It’s just not fair that my guy is likely going to be crushed under the weight of his own star. But hey, I should be grateful that Marvel and Disney are willing to pour some cash into this production — unlike the 1978 TV movie made for CBS. And, yes, Cumberbatch is an improvement on Peter Hooten.

Directed by Scott Derrickson and co-starring Tilda Swinton (Ancient One), Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Baron Mordo) and Michael Stuhlbarg (Nicodemus West), Doctor Strange will be released Nov. 4, 2016.

James Bond is Back — in His Own Comic Book Series!

The latest James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig, SPECTRE, opens in the USA on Friday, and today 007 returns to comics for the first time in decades with the release of Dynamite Entertainment‘s  James Bond 007 #1 by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters (Wolverines and Batwoman).

Ellis has penned an original story based on the character as depicted in Ian Fleming’s original books, not the very different character who evolved on the movie screen. The first story arc sees Bond investigating a mysterious organization behind a new drug hitting the streets — an investigation that has already seen the death of agent 008.

Ellis had a few interesting things to say to website i09 about the new series:

“This is the Ian Fleming Bond—the Bond of the books, a direct commission from Dynamite Comics and the Ian Fleming literary estate. The single real difference is that I’ve set it in the present day, having expressed that preference to the estate because I didn’t want to do period pastiche. Beyond that, you should consider it as taking place somewhere in the last half of the Fleming canon.”


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