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

Without “revealing” anything of the content of the new Marvel film Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness, at the cinema this May 4th, the superpowered neurosurgeon finds himself from the very first minutes facing another version of himself. A face-to-face underwear that shocks Doctor Strange. He becomes aware of the dangers of the multiverse, of these parallel dimensions already mentioned in the first film Strange Doctorthen inside Spider-Man: There is no way to go home.

In other words, somewhere in the universe, another Doctor Strange lives his life differently from the one he lives on Earth and above all 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), allows to increase the possibilities tenfold thanks to his power to open portals to different universes.

In Spider-Man: There is no way to go home, viewers had the pleasure of seeing three different versions of Spider-Man reunited in the same film. This time it is Stephen Strange having to deal with his clones. How did actor Benedict Cumberbatch meet the challenge of playing more shades of himself? He returned to this difficulty during a press conference held by videoconference from Los Angeles on Sunday 2 May 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 multirole with incredible possibilities of interpretation. Doctor Strange encounters other versions of himself. There are fights between him and another Stephen Strange. To make it work, there’s a great balance between being the same character and acting a little differently. “, laughs Benedict Cumberbatch.

Doctor Strange in battle.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF MARVEL STUDIOS)

The actor digs a little more into this insight into his character. “Strange discovers, through his experience and alternate versions of himself in the multiverse, how his behavior follows the same patterns. It’s like a fingerprint, an identity card of his personality and the dangers she represents in any universe. Will he become his hero’s enemy or his hero’s enemy? “.

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

Beyond Dr. Stephen Strange multiplying his presence, like the other actors in the film, the viewer must expect a rather dark story in the face of the horrors that come out of the multiverse. This is the direction that Sam Raimi wanted to give to this sequel to the adventures of the neurosurgeon wrapped in the powerful cloak of levitation.

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

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

Sam Raimi

director of “Doctor Strange 2”

Obviously engaged in a self-promotion exercise, the cast members have promised mountains and wonders for this film. For Benedict Cumberbatch, navigating the multiverse is the strength of the film. “The few sequences where they cross multiple worlds will take the fans’ breath away. The stakes are real, the threat is on a global scale. And all these elements fit together perfectly “believes the actor, nominated in the best actor category at the 2022 Oscars for his role in The power of the dog by Jane Campion.

In the deluge of special effects designed to shape the multiverse, Sam Raimi does not forget that the key to seducing audiences remains the humanity his actors bring into the film. “The technology has changed and it has become easier to make this type of film. But the most important thing is the humanity of the actors in connecting with their superhero. So nothing has changed for that.”judge.

Elizabeth Olsen, returning to the big screen with her heroine Wanda, defends this human progression of her character through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is still expanding with this intertwining of parallel realities. “Whatever happens to her, my goal is to keep advancing and evolving as a woman”. Sam Raimi states: “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 be of the same opinion.

Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness is in cinemas from Wednesday 4th May.

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