Read on only if you don't mind reading spoilers for the film.
|Alias(es)|| Steve Strange|
|Appeared in|| Doctor Strange|
Avengers: Infinity War
- "I don’t believe fairytales about chakras or energy or the power of belief."
- ―Stephen Strange[src]
Dr. Stephen Vincent "Steve" Strange is a world renowned neurosurgeon until a tragic accident cost him his medical skills and career. Searching for a way to restore his talents, he traveled the world until he finally encountered the Ancient One, the enigmatic teacher who offered to teach him the ways of the Mystic Arts.
Though his focus was healing his hands, Steve learned more about the mystic arts and soon helped the Masters prevent Kaecilius and the Zealots from merging Earth with the Dark Dimension, but not before witnessing the death of the Ancient One. With the demise of his mentor, Steve then became the protector of the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City as well as Earth's protector from inter-dimensional threats.
Doctor Stephen Strange finishes up an operation and receives news from Christine Palmer, Strange's ex-girlfriend about a braindead man with a bullet in his head. Despite fellow doctor Nicodemus West's objections, Strange operates on the man and safely takes the bullet out, leading the man to gain a full recovery. After the successful operation, Strange invites Christine to watch him at a convention, but she refuses. It is clear that Strange is a very self-absorbed perfectionist. While on the way to the convention, Strange, while speeding in his sports car up a mountain, is distracted by new patient records coming in and crashes his car off a hill and wakes up to his hands being nearly inoperable. Despite his best efforts and Palmer's support, he ends up failing with all his experimental treatments, losing nearly all of his money and Christine.
During physical therapy, a colleague then tells Strange about a certain patient named Jonathan Pangborn, a man who was fully paralyzed but made a successful and miraculous recovery. Strange seeks out Pangborn who directed to "Kamar-Taj" in Kathmandu, Nepal. In Nepal, Strange is followed by the same mysterious man name Karl Mordo who saves him from being robbed and beaten up by thieves. He then tells Strange where to go and leads him to Kamar-Taj, where he meets the Ancient One. After asking about Pangborn, the Ancient One says that he "re-oriented his spirit" and cured himself. In a rage, Strange tries to confront the Ancient One, but she force pushes his spirit into multiple dimensions to Strange's fear and surprise before bringing him back in and kicking him out. While out, a desperate Strange tries to enter the place to no success. While this is happening, the Ancient One and Karl Mordo discuss training Strange. The Ancient One is weary because of what happened to Kaecilius who went to the dark side and Strange exhibiting almost the same level of arrogance, but Mordo persuades her to allow Strange in. Strange is then let in and given a room when he realize that the watch that was almost stolen a gift from Christine is broken.
Strange then ventures into a Kamar-Taj library with where he meet Master Wong, and checks out certain books on sorcery. He then notices a section which Wong says is exclusive to the Ancient One and is not to be touched. He says that certain pages were stolen by the former master Kaecilius and threatens Strange over touching the books in that section. Strange begins his training and struggles in contrast to his fellow trainees. When he complains about his hands failing him, the Ancient One brings out a master with only one hand who manages to conjure a spell. The Ancient One then tells Strange to silence his ego for his power to rise, and teleports him to the peak of Mount Everest by using a Sling Ring, giving him thirteen minutes to conjure a spell to bring himself back or die. Despite the worries of Mordo, Strange manages to pull it off and return. Later, Strange decides to read up on astral projection but is denied access by Wong. Using his new teleportation skills, Strange steals the books and learns how to astral project and have his spirit leave his body. The next day, the Ancient One confronts Strange about the stolen books and instead, teaches him how to conjure a "safe space", which is essentially a backwards reflection of the real world where one can practice all they want without harming the real world and is a shield for threats. The Ancient One then warns Strange about Kaecilius and Mordo practices Strange's combat skills, citing that there is a certain relic of power that goes to sorcerers when they are ready.
Later, Strange, after trying to write an email to Palmer, decides to go to the Library. With Wong absent, Strange tries to follow a time manipulating spell in a banned book while wearing the Eye of Agamotto and manages to restore the missing pages of the book as well as an eaten apple. Wong and Mordo then catches him and scolds Strange over the danger of making repeated time loops and emphasizing that natural laws of the world should not be tampered with. Wong says that as the Avengers save the world from physical threats, they as sorcerers defend mystical threats. Strange is then brought to a room by Wong and Mordo with three sanctums, one leads to Hong Kong, another leads to London, and another leads to New York. Strange is informed that all three Sanctums must be protected by the sorcerers. An overwhelmed Strange decides to leave, but Kaecilius arrive in the London Sanctum with his zealots which they destroyed with a massive explosion through the Kamar-Taj the passageway sending Strange to the New York Sanctum.
In the New York Sanctum, Strange sees Kaecilius arrive and kill Daniel Drumm. Strange decides to fight them, and despite some struggles, he defends himself by sending one of Kaecilius's zelots into a desert and closing the passageway and another into a jungle area. Kaecilius then attacks him, but suddenly the Cloak of Levitation attaches to Strange and protects him from Kaecilius, and leads Strange to a suit of armor which he traps Kaecilius in. Kaecilius then says that his ultimate goal is eternal life and that the true enemy is time he was going to summon Dormammu from the Dark Dimension and use power from that. He says Dormammu is not the enemy but the savior of worlds. While Strange is listening, one of the zelots suddenly throws a spear into his back and Strange is stabbed. After trying to escape, Strange creates a portal and teleports to the Hospital where he is reunited with Christine. He convinces her to perform surgery on him and then astral projects to a surprised Christine. Meanwhile, the zelot of Kaecilius astral projects himself enters the portal to New York which Strange forgot to close, and the two spirits fight. Strange's physical body flatlines but quickly realizes that defibrillator shocks give him more power. After two powerful shocks, he defeats the zelot and is back in his physical body. After telling a surprised and confused Christine about his journey, he decides to go back to the New York Sanctum and finds Kaecilius gone and the body of the zelot, dead. Mordo and the Ancient One arrive. They realize that Cloak of Levitation itself to Strange was his relic and the Ancient One promotes Strange to a master, telling him to protect the New York and Hong Kong sanctums before Kaecilius gets to it. Strange is bothered and wants to go, but the Ancient One angrily tells him that he has a delusional ego. Strange, meanwhile, retaliates and questions the Ancient One about her power of immortality, saying that she fed off power from the Dark Dimension. Suddenly, Kaecilius and his follower's attack, and Strange creates the reversed mirror spell to protect himself, before realizing that they can still die while inside. Strange and Mordo are attacked and chased, and Strange is almost killed but the Ancient One saves them. The Ancient One then fights with Kaecilius after a discussion on his plot, and Kaecilius throws the Ancient One through a conjured portal falling into New York vertically from a great height. The Ancient One falls flat onto the ground leaving her in critical condition.
Strange brings her to Christine who her operated on and he astral projects to talk with her spirit. The Ancient One says that she using the power from the Dark Dimension was true, but she only did it to prevent horrible futures, which sadly only got worse after saving a bad one. She then says that Stranger has no future, but only possibilities, bue his arrogance and fear of failing is holding him back. The Ancient One then tells Strange that the power to heal himself has always been within, and then tells him to stop Dormammu before deciding to die finally. After the Ancient One's death, Strange talks to Christine and kiss her goodbye.
Strange goes to Mordo back in Kathmandu, and despite Mordo's grievances over the Ancient One, he convinces Mordo to go with him to protect the Hong Kong Sanctum. However, when the two arrive, they see that the sanctum has already been destroyed and the dark dimension is fully summoned. Strange then uses Eye of Agamotto he learned earlier and reverses all the damage, including saving Wong. Kaecilius and the zelots, however, attacks them, and Strange instead decides to fly to the Dark Dimension himself. In the Dark Dimension, Strange sees Dormammu and attempts to bargain with him. There, Dormammu kills Strange, before Strange appears yet again, having created an infinite time loop to trap Dormammu until he lets him make a deal. Eventually, Dormammu cracks and takes Strange up on his offer, leave Earth alone.
Back in Hong Kong, everything is back to normal, before Kaecilius and his followers begin disintegrating part of the bargain was to give them "eternal life" with Dormammu in the Dark Dimension forever. While the world is safe, Mordo is enrage at Strange violating the world's natural laws and storms off, warning him about the eventual price he has to pay. Strange and Wong then return to Kamar-Taj, where Strange returns the Eye of Agamotto revealed to be an Infinity Stone. Wong tells him to be ready and Strange arrives at the New York Sanctum and checks his watch fully embracing his new role as a sorcerer.
Stephen teleported Loki away when Thor Odinson brought him to earth to search for Odin, who was not on Asgard. Stephen bring Thor to the Sanctum Sanctorum. Stephen agrees to help Thor find Odin on the condition that all Asgardians leave Earth. Thor agrees, and after doing some research during which Thor is constantly teleported around the Sanctum much to his displeasure Stephen finds that Odin is in Norway. He then releases Loki from his endless fall, and when Loki goes to attack an exasperated Strange unceremoniously sends them both through a portal.
To be added
Prior to his accident, Steve had a massive ego that fueled his career. Steve only took on patients that he believed would help benefit his status, even refusing to heal a US Army Colonel's back. However, this changed after the accident, which left Steve a broken man, albeit also one extremely determined to heal himself, with Steve notably standing outside of Kamar-Taj's front door for five hours after being initially thrown out.
Upon visiting Kamar-Taj, Steve initially maintained his narrow-minded arrogance and stubbornly refused to believe that the Ancient One was telling the truth until she forcibly demonstrated astral projection and sent him across multiple dimensions. Following his ascension to the role of Master of the Mystic Arts, Steve gradually became more selfless - apologizing for his past treatment of Christine Palmer and showing a new-found trust in former rival Nicodemus West - and heroic - demonstrated by his willingness to sacrifice himself to keep Dormammu from merging Earth with the Dark Dimension.
Steve was unafraid of conflict, as when cornered by the Zealots, he continued to fight the more experienced sorcerers with all his training, and later on confronted Kaecilius himself in combat. He also was willing to cause the death of Lucian when they where fighting in their Astral Forms, as well as bargain with Dormammu to condemn the Zealots to being fatally merged with the Dark Dimension, quick to accept that it would mean saving reality.
In his initial confrontations with the Zealots, Steve was notably distressed by his having killed one of them. This was due to his training as a doctor, having committed himself to the principle of doing no harm. The act of killing disturbed him greatly, to the extent that he nearly abandoned the cause of the Ancient One, and considered throwing away the study of sorcery completely.
Powers and Abilities
- Master Sorcerer: As the present guardian of the New York Sanctum Sanctorum, Steve, despite his relative inexperience, is one of the most powerful Masters of the Mystic Arts, possessing a considerable mastery of the mystic arts, which he uses to defend his native reality. Indeed, despite his inexperience, an impressed Karl Mordo claimed that Steve's prodigious skills mean that he was "born for the mystic arts", and the Ancient One herself noted that Steve has tremendous potential as a sorcerer. With the help of numerous mystical artifacts and relics, in addition to his astral powers, Steve is able to gain access to a multitude of mystical powers. While inexperienced, Steve was able to make a stand and lasted the longest of all the hero's against the nearly complete Infinity Gauntlet wielding Thanos. His mastery of the magical arts even earned him the praise of Thanos himself.
- Eldritch Magic Manipulation: Steve is able to create, shape and manipulate Eldritch Magic. He demonstrated the ability to form Eldritch Whip, and Mandalas of Light.
- Flight: Using the Cloak of Levitation, Steve is able to levitate, hover, and fly in the air even without the presence of wind. It is unknown how fast Steve can travel with the Cloak, though it is shown that it could greatly lessen the impact of falling from great height by effortlessly reducing his speed.
- Teleportation: Using Sling Ring, Steve is able to open a fiery portal to another location, gaining ability to move across both the physical world and the dimensional Multiverse. He can also make portals small enough to reach through and grab several books from Wong's library.
- Interdimensional Travel: Using the same Sling Ring, Steve can travel between different dimensions and universes, crossing over different planes of existence or traveling across various forms of reality.
- Astral Projection: Steve is capable of separating his astral spirit from his body, gaining access to the Astral Dimension, with him thus notably managing to assist Christine Palmer in operating his physical body, and to speak to the Ancient One's spirit before her clinical death. He also had Christine defibrillate his body to cause his Astral form to send out a blast of energy while grappling with Lucian's Astral form, which killed him.
- Chronokinesis: Using the Eye of Agamotto, Steve is able to control the flow of time, be it on a small or massive scale, notably to turn back something to a previous state, to accelerate its time in order to apply changes that have not happened yet, or to lock it in a time loop, resetting its state until he stops its effect. He first tested the ability on an apple, rewinding time on it to make it whole and then forwarding time to make it eaten down to its core, despite not actually eating it to that point before hand. He even used it to make an almost holographic reconstruction of the stolen page of the Book of Cagliostro and read from it, though he seemed to be unable to make the page real and only could reveal what had been their before. He notably used this ability to trap even Dormammu himself in the same moment, which would reset each time Dormammu killed Steve and keep Dormammu from leaving his dimension to invade Earth.
- Transmutation: During his meeting with Thor, Steve was able to turn a cup of tea, into a mug of beer, after Thor said he does not drink tea. The mug, which Thor suddenly found in his hand in the place of the tea cup, was also able to magically refill itself, much to the pleasant surprise of Thor.
- Conjuration: Steve was able to hide the Time Stone after secretly removing it from the Eye of Agamotto and later made it appear between his fingers to give to Thanos.
- Atmospheric Spell: Steve was able to conjure a wave of golden light that cleared the street of smoke and debris after Ebony Maw's Q-Ship landed in Greenwich Village, while also stopping the destructive windstorm the ship was causing. The smoke was expelled from the street and towards the sky.
- Protection Spell: Steve was able to cast a protection spell on the Eye of Agamotto in order to prevent it from being stolen by Ebony Maw, so it will burn anyone that attempts to take it, making it impossible to remove; it unless the spell was removed, even if he Steve was killed.
- Duplication Spell: During the Battle of Titan, Steve was able to create dozens of copies of himself to attack Thanos with their Eldritch Whips.
- Binding Spell: During the Battle of Titan, Steve conjured dark red metallic bands to restrain Thanos's hand so he couldn't use the power of the Infinity Gauntlet. The bands were much stronger than the usual Eldritch Whip he uses to restrain enemies, notably able to restrict Thanos's use of the Gauntlet for a considerable period of time.
- Dimensional Warping: Strange was capable of conjuring a construct of the Mirror Dimension in the form of crystalline fractals that acted as a shield, absorbing an energy beam from the Power Stone, and was also able to send the fractals at Thanos.
- Master Physician: Steve is one of the world's most renowned neurosurgeons. His skill allowed him to perform nearly any form of operation with little to no mechanical assistance flawlessly. He perfect record and reputation with the craft reached such a point that ultimately, he developed a penchant for undertaking only the most challenging of operations, in order to boost his huge ego. Indeed, his skills are so impressive, that Steve was targeted by HYDRA's Project Insight as a potential threat long before he ever became a sorcerer.
- Multilingualism: Steve is is capable of fluently speaking English and Sanskrit; which made him able to read the Book of Cagliostro.
- Eidetic Memory: Steve's photographic memory and perfect recall had originally greatly aided him in medical school, helping him earn his MD and PhD simultaneously. During his mystic arts studies in Kamar-Taj, Steve managed to master entering the Astral Dimension despite Wong not believing him to be ready, and Steve later greatly impressed Karl Mordo with how quickly the former was able to understand how to use the Eye of Agamotto after reading a portion of the Book of Cagliostro's instructions only once.
- Master Tactician: Steve is also quite skilled at being able to manipulate his enemies and take advantage of the terrain. He utilized the shock paddles via Christine Palmer to channel deadly amounts of electricity from his physical body into his astral form into the astral form and consequently the body of the Zealot he was battling, electrocuting and killing him in the process. He even managed to successfully defeat Dormammu without killing him by continuously trapping him in a time loop until the demon gave into his demands. This shows Steve's ability to think on his feet, a talent he likely developed during his days as a neurosurgeon.
- Expert Hand-To-Hand Combatant/Martial Artist: Steve, after being trained by both the Ancient One and Karl Mordo, gained some skill in martial arts, able to ultimately defeat and kill the Zealot Lucian, and to even hold his own relatively well against the far more experienced Master Kaecilius and Thanos.
- Expert Swordsman: Steve displayed considerable skill in swordsmanship, as he chose to craft a sword with Eldritch Magic to use as a melee weapon to combat Thanos and alongside Drax using his knives, proved to be able to fight against the Titan, fending off Thanos longer than Drax.
- Cloak of Levitation: A mantle that enables Steve to levitate and hover in the air. It can move on its own power, causing it to move and flap in the air without the presence of wind. Offensively, the cloak's ability to move and fly with or without a wearer allows it to grab, lift, tackle or send opponents flying through the air.
- Eye of Agamotto: A relic with a number of mystical properties, especially time manipulation in the user's immediate vicinity and on specific areas or targets. It is able to do so since it contains the Time Stone.
- Sling Ring: A mystical that enables Steve to open a fiery portal to another location to allow instant transportation to any location he desires.
- Quarterstaff: Steve used a quarterstaff during his training at Kamar-Taj.
- Donna Strange - Sister; deceased.
- Masters of the Mystic Arts
- Metro-General Hospital
- Etienne - Former colleague.
- Jonathan Pangborn - Ally.
- Thor Odinson - Ally.
- HYDRA - Enemies.
- Dormammu - Enemy.
- Loki Laufeyson - Enemy.
- Thanos - Enemy
- Bruce Banner - Ally.
- Tony Stark - Ally.
- Peter Parker - Ally.
- Peter Quill - Ally.
- Drax - Ally.
- Mantis - Ally.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (4 films)
Behind the scenes
- Before Benedict Cumberbatch was cast, Joaquin Phoenix was the studio's second choice for the role of Stephen Strange but after a few months of deliberation, he eventually turned down the offer due his reluctance to do a multi-picture deal that was required by the studio if he signed on. Johnny Depp was rumored for the main role while Colin Farrell, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hardy, Ethan Hawke, Jack Huston, Oscar Isaac, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Keanu Reeves, Justin Theroux, Jon Hamm and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were all considered or rumored for the role of Stephen Strange and Patrick Dempsey publicly expressed an interest in playing Stephen Strange.
- In a recent interview, Kevin Feige revealed that Strange likely does not have any powers yet during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as Project Insight was designed to anticipate future threats, not just catalog current ones. He said, that, at this point Strange is "probably not... the sorcerer supreme," but is an "unbelievably talented neurosurgeon who's opinionated and kind of arrogant... [which] might put him on the list."
- Aaron Lazar serve as Cumberbatch's stand-in during filming for both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, until the latter completes filming on The Current War. At that point, Cumberbatch reshot his scenes where his face needs to be seen.
- Doctor Strange's origin in the comics is the same as the film, in which Strange's hands get broken by a car accident and he has to seek out the Ancient One.
Promotion, Concept Art and Filming
To be added