Doctor Strange (2016)

Open your mind. Change your reality.

From Marvel Studios comes “Doctor Strange,” the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place—a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange—armed with newly acquired magical powers—is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.


Rachel as: Dr. Christine Palmer
Other cast: Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Stephen Strange), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo), Benedict Wong (Wong), Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius), Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One), Michael Stuhlbarg (Dr. Nicodemus West), Benjamin Bratt (Jonathan Pangborn), Scott Adkins (Lucian).
Alternative Title: Dr Strange (Alternative Spelling), Check Mate (Working Title)
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, & C. Robert Cargill (Written by) | Stan Lee & Steve Ditko (Comic Books)
Production Status: Available on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital HD
World Premiere: October 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, United States
Theatrical Release: October 25, 2016 (UK) | November 4, 2016 (US)
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Rated: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence
Distributor: Marvel
Run time: 115 min
Production budget: $165.000.000 (Estimated)
Box office: $232,413,829 (US) | $675,796,513 (World Wide)
Producers: Kevin Feige (producer), David J. Grant (co-producer), Victoria Alonso Stephen Broussard, Louis D’Esposito, Stan Lee, Charles Newirth.
Original Music by: Michael Giacchino
Cinematography by: Ben Davis

Related Media

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Production Notes

Rachel McAdams takes on the role of Dr. Christine Palmer. Dr. Palmer is a highly skilled trauma surgeon, who is not only Dr. Strange’s colleague but a friend as well. When the devastating accident that crippled Strange’s hands takes a toll on their relationship, Dr. Palmer comes to realize that Strange needs to rediscover his worth on his own.

On casting Rachel McAdams as Dr. Palmer, executive producer Stephen Broussard says, “We knew we needed someone just as smart and just as capable as Benedict. Dr. Palmer is very much a peer to Stephen Strange. She’s just as capable as he is in a different type of medicine. So we knew we needed someone that could go toe-to-toe with Strange’s intellect and arrogance. In the early part of the film, he brings those both in equal measure. And you needed someone that had the intellectual toughness and the emotional toughness to not be walked all over by him.”

For McAdams, becoming part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was an exciting opportunity. “I love the way they do films,” McAdams says. “You get to work with the best of the best in the world. There are no corners cut. Everything’s done really high end and you get a lot of time to make everything look so fantastic and believable. It’s just a really high level of filmmaking and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”

Playing a well-known character that has a history in the Marvel comics was an interesting angle for the talented actor. As McAdams explains, “There’s definitely a pressure to get close to people’s impression of what the character is. I’m fortunate in that she’s kind of an amalgamation of a few women in the comics and Scott’s own invention. So, it’s a fairly original jumping-off point for me.”

On her approach to researching the character, McAdams says, “I read a few of the comics. Scott Derrickson pointed me towards ‘The Oath’ in particular. He thought that would be the most helpful for my character. She’s not really in the Super Hero world yet in this one. She’s very much in the real world, in the hospital and in doctor land. For me it was interesting to get to know Strange in terms of the comics and see where my character might potentially be headed.”

Describing her character’s interaction with Doctor Strange, McAdams says, “Stephen Strange is a very famous, successful neurosurgeon at the same hospital that Christine works at. They are former boyfriend and girlfriend when we pick up in the story. So we start at the end of their relationship, which is a little bit different. It’s not a classic love story, which I thought was really clever.”

For McAdams, working with director Scott Derrickson was a very positive experience. “It’s a well-oiled machine here,” McAdams comments. “It doesn’t ever feel like it’s big. Scott has somehow made the set feel quite intimate. His enthusiasm and passion for the Doctor Strange world is very evident. He did so much work leading up to starting the project that I just felt like I was in such good hands. He knows what he wants, and it’s all pretty clear. So, it’s easy to come in and get to work. Scott’s so excited and positive about it all, and he’s been a real pleasure to work with.”

Continue to read production notes

Production Process

Production kicked off by filming some exterior scenes involving Benedict Cumberbatch in Kathmandu, Nepal, in November 2015. Principal Photography began on November 12, 2015 in London at Longcross Film Studios with Rachel joining the cast until late November 2015 and returned to continue to film early 2016. The movie also filmed on-location in London and New York. The movie wrapped filming on April 4, 2016 ( Official On-Set Images). To prepare for the movie Rachel spent time with neurosurgeons in Toronto and London, including Dr. William Harkness, who was the medical advisor for the film. She learned how to stitch up wounds. Furthermore, Rachel also read the book Do No Harm, which is written by neurosurgeon Henry Marsh.

Trivia & Facts

  • The film’s cast includes one Oscar winner (Tilda Swinton) and three Oscar nominees (Rachel McAdams, Benedict Cumberbatch & Chiwetel Ejiofor).
  • To prepare for her role, Rachel learned to stitch up wounds by using dummies but also Turkey breasts, oranges and doorknobs, which are common methods how medical students learn to stitch.
  • Rachel and Chiwetel Ejiofor were both nominated for the Orange Rising Star Award from the British Academy Film Awards in 2006, alongside Gael Garcia Bernal, Michelle Williams and James McAvoy. The latter won the award.
  • Quotes from Rachel

    “It was incredibly ambitious what he was trying to do [director Scott Derickson]. There’s spirituality and we’re dealing with a new kind of universe with magic and the occult — there was some real depth to it that drew me in.”
    On why she signed on to the movie (Etalk)

    “I’m an amalgamation of a few characters .This character is a bit of an invention, but that took some of the pressure off of having to step into this idea that people would have of her.”
    On her character Christine Palmer (24 Hours)

    Quotes from Cast & Crew

    “She’s really hard working and it looks effortless the way she does it. But she just interrogates the reasoning behind what she’s doing. She’s just flawless in her style and etiquette and her choices are sublime. She does that fine thing of creating someone you haven’t met but feel like you’ve known all your life. And everyone loves her wether it’s on the set or the audience. She’s just adorable and so, so good. I learned a lot from her and Tilda.”
    Benedict Cumberbatch, co-star (ETalk)

    “She’s fantastic in the film. I don’t think anyone could have played the role better. She was the only person I wanted for the role and feel grateful to have gotten her. And she’s personally every bit the smart, kind-hearted person you hope she’d be.”
    Scott Derickson, Director (Reddit Q&A)

    “[On which superpower he would give Rachel] I would give Rachel the power to communicate empathy and love to all the people in the world that she would want to, which would be probably everyone… That’s Rachel. Rachel is all heart. She would use that power and she would use it for good.”
    Scott Derickson, Director (Buzzfeed)

    Critical Reception

    “It goes without saying that McAdams will never get the credit she deserves for transforming the barely sketched out role of Strange’s former medical colleague Christine Palmer into a captivating three-dimensional character that feels like an integral part of the storyline even when she isn’t.”
    Gregory Ellwood (The Playlist)

    “The most human of characters is Rachel McAdams’ surgeon, Christine. As always the actress is delightful, divine and engaging and would have been an excellent way in to the story for the audience, were she not relegated to such a frustratingly secondary role.”
    Stefan Kyriazis (Daily Express)

    “Rachel McAdams, meanwhile, is one of the best love interests Marvel has to offer, headstrong and not pandering to Stephen Strange (unfortunately, not given enough screentime).”
    Jack Shepherd ( Independent UK)

    The movie currently holds a 90% rating at Rotten Tomatoes (Certified Fresh) and 72 score at Meta Critics

    Awards & Nominations

    ☆ 2017 Academy Awards for Best Achievement in Visual Effects
    ☆ 2017 BAFTA Awards for Best Production Design, Best Make Up/Hair, Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects
    ☆ 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards for Stunt Team

    ★ = win ☆ = nomination | View entire list at IMDB

    Promotional Tour

    July 23rd 2016 Comic-Con Marvel Studios Hall H Panel Panel | Press Room Videos
    October 19th 2016 Los Angeles Press Junket Images Videos
    October 20th 2016 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Images Videos
    October 20th 2016 Los Angeles Press Conference Images Videos
    October 21st 2016 World Los Angeles Premiere Arrivals | After Party Videos
    October 24th 2016 UK Fan Screening Arrivals | Photocall
    October 21st 2016 UK Premiere/Launch Event Arrivals | GQ Reception Videos
    October 25th 2016 London Press Junket Videos
    October 28th 2016 CP24 Breakfast Images Videos
    October 28th 2016 Toronto Press Junket Images Videos

    View our news archive for the full news feed of this project