How Anthony Bourdain and Harrison Ford are inspiring a new take on Doctor Strange
One of the most exciting things about watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe develop over the past decade has been seeing the unique ways in which the franchise has approached the tone and theme of each superhero movie. And when Loki showrunner Michael Waldron was handed the keys to help helm Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, he was able to bring some of that unique aesthetic to Benedict Cumberbatch's Sorcerer Supreme by finding real-life inspirations to guide his character development.
"I gravitated toward [travel documentarian and chef] Anthony Bourdain," Waldron told Vanity Fair in a new interview. "Strange is an elitist as a neurosurgeon and a sorcerer. Anthony Bourdain was a man of the people, but there was that intense intellect. You always felt like he could eviscerate anybody with his words at any time. But yet, Anthony Bourdain never really punched down. That was the first ingredient in the stew for Doctor Strange."
Another way Waldron connects Strange to Bourdain? The two share the same love for traveling around the world (even if one uses a more mystical means of transportation.)
"Anthony Bourdain had been everywhere, seen everything. What surprises you at this point? I think for all of the heroes in the MCU, in a post-Endgame world, how do you rally yourself to fight the stand-alone movie villains after you fought Thanos?" the screenwriter asked.
Alongside Bourdain, Waldron also found inspiration in a beloved pop culture action hero — particularly Harrison Ford's iconic Indiana Jones character. Waldron described Strange as being "Indiana Jones in a cloak," comparing Strange getting beat up in the first film to Ford's messy on-screen altercations, adding "he's a hero who can take a punch. Those guys get their asses kicked."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives in theaters on March 25, 2022. Details about the film are being kept under wraps, but it's been confirmed that the film will be a direct follow-up to the events explored in Disney+'s WandaVision with Rachel McAdams reprising her role as Dr. Christine Palmer, Benedict Wong returning as Sorcerer Wong, and Elizabeth Olsen joining as the newly crowned Scarlet Witch. And according to Waldron, fans should be prepared to be taken on a journey they won't expect.
"I can tell you that it's a ride… very Sam Raimi. The film is incredibly visually thrilling," Waldron shared. "John Mathieson, our D.P., who shot Gladiator and Logan — I think the look of it is going to be unlike anything you've seen in the MCU before."