The day has arrived, folks. After nearly a year of fan artwork and, more recently, some candid set photos, Marvel Studios has unveiled the first official image of Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character in the upcoming superhero film Doctor Strange (plus a collection of other new images, right here). Based on the comic of the same name, the movie revolves around a self-centered neurosurgeon who, after losing the use of his hands in an auto-accident, seeks a desperate fix way up in the Himalayas, where he discovers mysticism in the form of his future mentor The Ancient One, who imbues Stephen Strange with magic powers.
This first-look photo actually looks exactly like some of the fan art that’s been making the rounds, so clearly Marvel and director Scott Derrickson (Sinister) aren’t veering too far away from the character’s comics origins when it comes to his looks. However, while Cumberbatch has been filming for a couple of months already, the EW photo shoot was the first time he had tried on the costume that Strange dons once gifted with magical powers. As a result, Cumberbatch said he was still in the process of figuring out his hand gestures:
“I’m still in the infancy of learning all that. It was like, okay, I’ve got to keep throwing these poses, these spells, these rune-casting things, everything he does physically. I’m thinking, there’s going to be a huge amount of speculation and intrigue over the positioning of that finger as opposed to it being there, or there. And I’m still working on that. We haven’t played any of those scenes yet. I felt really self-conscious. But, then, by the end, it was great. It’s like anything, you just have to experiment.”
The film is a promising new entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Derrickson having assembled quite possibly the studio’s most impressive cast yet. In addition to Cumberbatch, the film also stars Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Mads Mikkelsen. Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts penned the initial draft of the script, with Derrickson subsequently bringing on his Sinister co-writer C. Robert Cargill to further fine-tune the screenplay.
EW says to expect more info on Doctor Strange this week as part of its latest issue, but for now take a close look at the photo below for some steely-eyed Cumberbatch goodness. Doctor Strange opens in theaters on November 4, 2016.