I love Stephen Strange’s classic origin story in the comic books, and I absolutely abhor the notion of a potential Doctor Strange Movie devolving into an Iron Man spinoff, BUT… screw it! I’m convinced Marvel missed a glorious opportunity to cast Sam Rockwell as one of their superheroes, having already been cast as the villain in Iron Man 2 (BTW, did you know he was considered for the role of Tony Stark in the first Iron Man?). Let’s do a bit of grit work, and get this man into the DOCTOR STRANGE movie.
Besides we few diehards, nobody knows the tale of Stephen Strange, M.D. “Oh, he’s that cool wizard from Marvel vs Capcom 3″… good work there faux nerd, you win a point.
You see, the Sorcerer Supreme owes his origins to a familiar comic book archetype: the comeback kid. Doctor Strange was a successful young surgeon in New York. Much like his marvel peer Tony Stark, Strange epitomized the ‘playboy’ lifestyle as only a Stan Lee creation can. But one night after a few too many brewskies, the good Doctor decided to drive his hot little poon wagon to his glorious bachelor pad… which was an all around dick move. Strange crashed his car, destroyed his dextrous hands, and fell from the highest echelons of the medical field. Desperate, he traveled to the Orient in search of a healer, and while there, he encountered the Ancient One. This wise old sage trained Strange, reshaping him as the Sorcerer Supreme, successfully transforming the narcissistic asshole into a genuinely good dude. The entire plot of the Doctor Strange movie should rest on their relationship.
This is a bit like Justin Hammer’s tale, right? In Iron Man 2 we watch the egotistical billionaire (perfectly portrayed by Sam Rockwell) struggle to defeat his business opponent, Tony Stark. After a few dimwitted power plays and a failed partnership with a Russian supervillian, Justin Hammer is exposed by Pepper Potts, and the villain is tossed into jail.
Similar to Stephen Strange’s “I broke mah hands! Not mah hands!” ordeal, Justin Hammer is now at his lowest point. His career is destroyed, thanks to Pepper Potts and those meddling officers, so what’s a man to do? Well, after making parole, I’d suggest running off to The Orient in search of some inner truths. Enlightenment. Self love. All that jazz.
That’s not as convincing of a plot point as the comic book version (where he searched for a remedy for his mangled hands), but it’ll suffice for this unique Doctor Strange movie. At this point in our story, Hammer remains a selfish, entitled prick. He wanders around the world, hoping for a life changing affirmation of his beliefs, but it never comes. And after a few too many wasted nights sipping Nepalese gin in Kathmandu, then he meets him… the true blue Ancient One. This old geezer takes the Ham-bone (as I’ve affectionately termed Hammer) under his wing, subtly enlightening the billionaire as the pair wander through Asia eating and drinking to their hearts’ content.
After a few nights of slinging sage wisdom at Justin, the Ancient One decides that this wacky convict isn’t as bad as he thought, and the old man reveals his true nature. He explains the mysteries of the universe, teaches Justin Hammer to master the mystic arts, and decrees him the Sorcerer Supreme.
Can you imagine how perfectly Sam Rockwell would execute this role? He’ll tactfully embody the insecure, indignant side of Justin Hammer in the first Act, an ‘idiot abroad’ in the second act, and I’m sure he’ll convincingly evolve into a more caring (but equally hilarious) Sorcerer Supreme by the third. Best Doctor Strange movie, ever!
I know this is a wild tale, but it allows us to make use of an amazing actor (Sam Rockwell), who’d only be a one-off villain for the Marvel Universe. After witnessing his shenanigans in Iron Man 2, that immature baddie certainly has room to mature, and transforming him into Doctor Strange is a brilliant way to do so.
What do you think? Way too bizarre for the Doctor Strange movie? Or a fun twist ont the classic hero?