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‘Doctor Strange’ Reportedly Will Skip the Origin Route


dr strange-the oath1

When Marvel’s Doctor Strange finally arrives in theaters, don’t expect to see a retelling of his journey from arrogant young surgeon to disciple of the Ancient One to Sorcerer Supreme. Although purported script details surfaced more than a year ago, tracing the Master of the Mystic Arts back to age 10, director Scott Derrickson’s film is believed to have done away with all of that, at least in part because the studio is moving away from origin tales.

That comes from Devin Faraci of Badass Digest in an appearance on the Meet the Movie Press podcast. Around the 52-minute mark, he says:

So, for Doctor Strange they’ve had a script in-house forever. It is a pretty standard origin story for Doctor Strange. It’s got Baron Mordo as the bad guy. That’s all gone. Marvel’s new thing is no more origin stories. So, Doctor Strange movie no longer has an origin. It begins in medias res. It has Doctor Strange already established as the Sorcerer Supreme. It is a totally new script. Jon Spaihts is working totally new, On his own, without any of the previous stuff. Not even touching the previous script.



  • Joakley

    That’s one of the ones that could benefit from an origin story. It’s a good one, most people don’t know it, and we haven’t seen it much before. It’s not like a character who has had their origins shown in movies several times before

  • Guest

    Funny. I’m all in favor of ditching origin stories… but in Strange’s case I actually wanted to see the origin.

    It’s sort of “Strange Begins” if done properly.

  • Nathan Daniels

    I like having the origin stories – it sets the character up, especially in a connected universe where they may have people in common.

  • Captain Skeleton

    There are lots of superheroes whose origin stories are quite frankly boring and unnecessary. I’m happy there are skipping it with Doctor Strange.

  • nihilance

    Just because it won’t be an origin story doesn’t mean his origin won’t be depicted in flashback or some other way.
    It just means the movie will start with Strange as Sorcerer Supreme and not as an asshole surgeon.

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    i feel differently . Dr strange already felt more mature (aka wiser , in the older stereotypical sense of the term) , i’m not so sure everyone is interested in see the young “brash” version , and dont wish instead to jump straight away into the action with him already the doctor supreme . Well at least even if a newbie at it , at least already wearing the title . A few flashbacks here and there should initially suffice

  • RantGirlRants

    Everyone knows Superman and Batman’s origins. That’s why there’s complaints about re-showing them over and over. Dr. Strange, like Iron Man is not a character that people outside of the comic fans are familiar with.

    And, when you think about it, his origin does lend itself well to a film.

  • Shawn L.

    This is one of the advantages of knowing there will always be a next movie.

    The same way that many TV shows hold back on the backstory these days. Better to get the people hooked on the characters and story, before getting down into the details of the origins.

    I suspect that Batman v Superman will be the same way. It will likely be about the relationships between the various characters. Just enough to establish “Who we are”… and leave “how we came to be” as questions for later, (to paraphrase the title of the first Batman story).

  • Shawn L.

    Dr. Strange will benefit by an air of mystery about him and his origins, being a mystical based hero. The origin can be teased out for a later film.

  • Chris Schillig

    It should be interesting to see how audiences react. Strange has a unique backstory, but it can probably be dispensed with in favor of moving directly into the action.

  • halfmadjesus

    Not the right call, I fear. Only because, even though Dr. Strange isn’t well known, he has one of the best origin stories in the history of comics — as good as Superman, Spider-Man, Batman or any superhero you want to name. His character arc is also one of the most sweeping. Strange doesn’t just go from being likeable douchebag to hero. He goes from being a genuinely unpleasant, selfish and shallow person to the complete opposite of that.

    I mean, I know some people apparently have Superhero Origin Fatigue, and I guess they could still come up with something interesting, but I for one will be disappointed to not see the Ancient One, Mordo, and all the bits of Strange’s origin on screen. Jumping right in to Dormammu and Clea just to give him a love interest and a more visually interesting villain isn’t the best way to go, I feel.

  • SadBatman

    Despite the rumor, I think Marvel is savvy enough to know that people pay for origin stories. Unless something changes drastically within the next few years, I don’t think that will change much.
    I’d be willing to bet that even if most of the story has the Sorcerer Supreme already set up as a mature character, there will at the very least be flashback sequences to a younger version. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were more than flashbacks.
    Marvel is certainly moving in a more experimental direction, so a non-origin origin could be the way to go.

  • Robin Smits

    Noooo! The Doctor Strange origin story is one of the most underappreciated ones in comics. Imho it’s as great as any of the big three (Superman, Batman, Spider-Man)

    I don’t care about skipping origin stories, when they are silly or something. But not

    this one!

  • Bagel13

    Wrong decision. Doc origin IS one of the best around. I’d hope the whole story would end with him moving into the Sanctum. I pictured them setting the story back in the 1960s, Strange spending decades learning the mystic arts, and ending in…1990s? as the Master of the Mystic Arts. As SS, you loose the Ancient One right off the bat, you have to start with omega level threats, sacrificing story for SPFX. It may turn out great, but at the moment, grrrrrr & meh.

  • Cristóbal Jorge Robles

    There is a good origin story of his that is animated on Netflix

  • Cristóbal Jorge Robles

    I swear to god that Johnny Depp better play this role. Disney has been throwing him around in roles for years…FINALLY a perfect role for him.

  • demoncat_4

    not having his origin since doctor strange is not well known like the avengers. may wind up hurting marvel trying to get new fans in the seats though they never dwelled too much into the guardians of the galaxy origins either and that film is doing good box office . so maybe not having to deal with stranges origin and fans having to wait till another one to see him be the sorcerer supreme will work for marvel. we shall finaly see

  • Jenn

    Hell. No. Depp has no range any more, he’s a one note caricature of himself. A good no-name actor would be preferable to Depp.

  • ChurchTucker

    Didn’t Blade pretty much skip the origin story?

  • Hypestyles

    I guess we’ll see. I just hope that there is plenty of suspense and character development. Not just special effects.

  • unpaidpundit

    Marvel is probably afraid that The Ancient One will be perceived as a racist, Asian stereotype. And Marvel is right — that is exactly what many critics would say. Critics would also express OUTRAGE that The Ancient One does not choose an Asian person as his successor. This is the same kind of fear that drove Marvel to change the character of the Mandarin in “Iron Man 3.”

  • King Chibi

    “With Doctor Strange it is a classic Marvel origin story, because he’s got one of the best origins ever and it’s our opportunity to take that left turn into the supernatural.” – Kevin. I don’t know who this Devin Faraci is. Remember, people “leak” many detials before flims are even flimmed let alone in the process of being casted and written. dont believe them… believe Marvel. One web site even quoted me for saying I think Skye’s fahter in agents of shield is either the inhuman Maxiums or Karnak

  • King Chibi

    Except you miss his motivatin that drove him during the status qua, how it relates to magic (star crossed event during childhood), and why + how he wanted to change

  • King Chibi

    Would they ignore the chosen one trope? Ancient One did choose Steven as the next in line, which pissed of Baron. As a result, Baron tormented child Steven.

  • ligud

    Well, he already exists in the MCU. So it makes sense to not make an origins movie. His origin story will be told in a flashback or something.

  • Omy

    Could anybody recommend some good Dr.strange story lines, thanks.

  • modok baby

    I’m really surprised how many people are taking this report to mean that they wouldn’t be explaining his origin *at all*… it seems like a given that they will provide all necessary history/motivation in some form or another; I think Faraci is just saying that it won’t follow the familiar template where the first act would have him as an arrogant surgeon, the second act would his journey/training, and the third act would be returning to Greenwich Village and then facing Mordo or whoever. That would heavily recall the structure of Iron Man, Batman Begins, Thor and plenty of other superhero movies (as well as having other surface similarities to Tony Stark’s arrogance and Bruce Wayne’s Tibetan training).. I imagine the origin will be related economically through exposition, prologue, flashback, but the “now” of the movie will have Strange already proficient in the mystic arts.

  • modok baby

    There’s a great list hosted on this very website (basically) from just last year:

    Doctor Strange #56 is also a really good single issue introduction to the character with great Paul Smith art, and I’ve heard similar (extremely positive) things about the recent New Avengers annual #1 by Frank Barbiere and Marco Rudy. Come to think of it, I’m gonna read that myself ASAP.

  • Omy


  • stainedglassscarlet

    His name drop in Winter Soldier has me thinking he already is something of a major player.

  • Solo500


    There’s 2 great runs which I love and recommend:

    Check out the Englehart/Frank Brunner and Englehart/Gene Colan work from the 70’s for some of the best cosmic comics ever.
    Marvel Premiere 9-14/Dr Strange 1-18

    The original Lee/Ditko stuff is essential. They were shorter stories serialized in Strange Tales #110-146.

    Most likely a Marvel Unlimited account would be the easiest way to see all of this in color. The Essentials have these stories but IMO they suffer in black and white (even though that’s a cool way to study them after really experiencing the stories.)

    Have fun.

  • Solo500

    The origin story comics movies are invariably plodding affairs. It’s amazing that they can take an economically told comics story and drag them out in such dispiriting ways. Better to jump right in and reveal origin stuff as appropriate for the narrative.

  • Chuck777

    You don’t need an “Origin Movie”, just some flashback or an explanation.

  • JMG

    To me this is fantastic news. I don’t want to have to watch an hour and forty five minutes of him being a doctor, a drunk and an acolyte with only fifteen minutes of him being the Sorcerer Supreme at the end. I’d rather see two hours of him battling Nightmare or Dormammu.

  • jimkakalios

    I would add the (too) short Roger Stern/Marshall Rogers run from the 80’s. It got me seriously hooked on the character.

  • Captain Skeleton

    you don’t even need flashbacks it could be a line of dialogue.

  • lewis4510

    A long drawn out origin story would be boring. I’d rather see him already be SS right off the bat. But you could still tell the origin in a series of flashbacks and it could still be considered a “classic origin story.”

  • george tourette

    there is no need for an “origin”movie. yes the origin story is amazing but can work awesome in a post traumatic sequence or as couple said in flashbacks. there is no need to lose 30 minutes to say the origin and also in movie language you have to establish early what the hell is this character in terms of powers. losing 30 minutes (i believe this is the common duration for origin stories in movies) and suddedly jump to the “magic” is going to hurt the movie itself. still i am expecting like mad this movie and i hope to be damn good…

  • Nerd Rage

    Doctor Strange has already been name checked in both CA: The Winter Soldier and Agents of Shield, but only in the context of being an amazingly talented doctor, not in the sense of possessing mystical powers. Part of the mystique of the character could be this “does he actually have powers or not” dilemma. Is Doctor Strange a supremely talented charlatan or does he have actual mystical powers at his command? By parcelling out his origin in bits and pieces, the filmmakers could draw out this mystery, and then hopefully answer it in a climactic final act.

  • Tom

    No more origin stories? Doing one so well is what made Captain America such a hit and the drama and special effects with Strange just being introduced to the spiritual world is cause for scare and nice special effects.
    They messed up this one. They could have created a stand alone character that’s all his own. Then, it would have really felt like something added to the roster. Another super-hero? Not so much.

    What a waste.

  • Scott

    You should watch movies like Man of Steel, then, if you like your movies all visual without a good story.

  • guyjones

    I think that this is a sorely mistaken creative decision, if it is indeed true. From a purely dramatic perspective, the sweeping character arc which characterizes superhero origins makes for satisfying and great drama. And, while the story of arrogant and self-centered personalities emerging as more selfless and caring individuals through trials and tribulations is not entirely original and has been told before (e.g., Tony Stark; Bruce Wayne; Thor), Doctor Strange’s origin story is still one of the most interesting in the Marvel canon. Flashbacks can be used to fill in some backstory in an efficient manner, but, they are not the same as a dedicated origin story.

  • Jürgen Erhard

    What a reputable source. IOW: there is no source, we just have an unsourced, unfounded rumor.

  • Letti

    “It’s not like a character who has had their origins shown in movies several times before”
    *cough* spider-man *cough*