Benedict Cumberbatch faces the challenge of playing multiple versions of his character

Without “spoiling” anything about the content of the new Marvel movie Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness, in theaters on May 4, the superpowered neurosurgeon is confronted with a different version of himself from the very first minutes. An intimate face-to-face that upsets Doctor Strange. He becomes aware of the dangers of the multiverse, these parallel dimensions already mentioned in the first film Doctor Strangethan in Spider-Man: No Way Home

In other words, somewhere in the universe, another Doctor Strange lives his life differently from the one who lives on Earth and especially with perhaps less virtuous intentions…

If the multiverse was already a concept known to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the arrival of the character America Chavez (played by the young Xochitl Gomez, 16) can increase the possibilities tenfold thanks to his ability to open portals to different universes .

In Spider-Man: No Way Home, viewers had the pleasure of seeing three different versions of Spider-Man put together in the same movie. This time it is Stephen Strange dealing with his clones. How did actor Benedict Cumberbatch rise to the challenge of playing multiple shades of himself? He returned to this difficulty during a press conference delivered on Sunday, May 2 via video conference from Los Angeles in the presence of the other actors of the film (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Xochitl Gomez, Benedict Wong), and director Sam Raimi.

With this multiverse, we play multi-role with incredible possibilities of interpretation. Doctor Strange encounters other versions of himself. There are confrontations between him and another Stephen Strange. For it to work, it’s a good balance between being the same character and playing a little differently”s’amuse Benedict Cumberbatch.

Le Doctor Strange en plein combat.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF MARVEL STUDIOS)

The actor digs a little more this introspection of his character. Strangely discovered, through his experience and the alternate versions of himself in the multiverse, how his behavior follows the same patterns. It is like a fingerprint, an identity card of his personality and the dangers it represents in each universe. Will he be the hero of the enemy or the enemy of his hero?”

Director Sam Raimi, dressed in a millimeter-cut tuxedo during the film’s screening, admitted that this confrontation with the multiverse had boosted the actors’ imaginations. “The actors were very creative. We were able to recreate better things than if I had been alone. They changed a few details of their character’s character to stay in conflict with themselves.”

In addition to Doctor Stephen Strange multiplying his presence, like other actors in the film, the viewer should expect a rather dark story in light of the horrors that come from the multiverse. This is the direction Sam Raimi wanted to take for this sequel to the adventures of the neurosurgeon draped in the powerful cape of levitation.

“When Kevin Feige announced that he wanted to give Doctor Strange a horror twist, I was immediately interested”by Sam Raimi “For me, horror and suspense is the most fun in the cinema. What fascinates me most about the character of Doctor Strange is that he is a magician. I myself was in my youth, for children’s parties or weddings. I loved to create illusions . A superhero who is an illusionist and a magician arouses a special interest in me”

“What fascinates me most about Doctor Strange’s character is that he is a magician”

Sam Raimi

director of “Doctor Strange 2”

Clearly engaged in an exercise in self-promotion, the cast members have promised mountains and wonders for this film. For Benedict Cumberbatch, navigating the multiverse is the film’s strong point. “The few sequences in which they will traverse different worlds will take the fans’ breath away. The stakes are real, the threat is on a planetary scale. And all these elements fit together perfectly”says the actor, nominated in the Best Actor category at the 2022 Oscars for his role in Power of the dog by Jane Campion.

In the deluge of special effects designed to shape the multiverse, Sam Raimi doesn’t forget that the key to enticing audiences remains the humanity his actors bring to the film. “The technology has changed and it has become easier to make these kinds of movies. But the most important thing is the humanity of the actors to connect with their superhero. So nothing has changed before that.”he judges.

Returning to the big screen with her heroine Wanda, Elizabeth Olsen defends this human development of her character through the Marvel Cinematic Universe that continues to expand with this interweaving of parallel realities. “No matter what happens to her, my goal is to keep her progressing and evolving as a woman”† Sam Raimi believes: “Wanda defends her point of view in the film, she brings a great humanity that connects with the audience”. To see if the fans will have the same opinion.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be in cinemas from Wednesday 4 May.

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