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Cumberbatch discusses Marvel’s ‘left turn’ for ‘Doctor Strange’

“Doctor Strange,” the latest superhero to dominate the big screen, is taking Walt Disney Co’s Marvel universe in an unconventional direction, lead star Benedict Cumberbatch said on Monday.

Cumberbatch plays surgeon Stephen Strange, who harnesses mystical magic powers drawn from Eastern cultures. The actor said the new film intentionally takes a different path to Marvel’s other cinematic superheroes such as “Iron Man,” “Captain America” and “Ant-Man,” who draw power from technology.

“It was a real left turn for the comic universe, let alone the cinematic one,” Cumberbatch told Reuters of the original 1960s “Doctor Strange” comics at the film’s London premiere.

“It was very dark and mischievous and psychedelic and otherworldly and to try and replicate that in modern cinema is one of the great challenges,” he added.

“Doctor Strange,” out in theaters on Nov. 4, follows Strange, a cocky and brilliant surgeon – much like the billionaire “Iron Man” playboy Tony Stark – whose glamorous New York life is taken away from him when his hands are crippled in a car accident.

Strange’s desperation to heal his main assets lead him to Nepal, where he encounters the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and discovers how to harness mystical powers to heal and fight with, as the world faces threats from a menacing otherworldly being.

“It’s toying with a lot of new things like parallel universes and kind of philosophical ideas and working on a deeper level … the metaphysical is just a whole new world that’s opened up for Marvel,” co-star Rachel McAdams said.

The movie has received positive early reviews, with critics praising the plot, the visuals and the performances. (Reuters)