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Why Doesn’t Doctor Strange Get To Hang With The Rest Of The MCU?

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets more complex and over-populated, there’s an increased risk that each new Marvel movie will sacrifice depth, in order to cover the franchise’s full breadth of characters and relationships. As fans now know, Doctor Strange took the opposite approach, focusing on the intricacies of the title character and his unique skill set, rather than share his limited screen time with countless other stars.

Asked to account for this choice, co-screenwriter Jon Spaihts explained that there simply wasn’t enough space for any more superheroes. “The story of Doctor Strange, the cosmic expanses to which he opens the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this movie, that takes up a lot of room,” he told Cinema Blend. “His story is a big story, and the adventure that he gets up to is a big adventure. There’s not a lot of room for an intrusion or visitation from one of the other heroes just to shoot the breeze. Down the road, no doubt they’ll cross paths more with other people, but there wasn’t a lot of room for it.”


While Doctor Strange spends much of the film in distant locales like Nepal and Hong Kong, Spaihts and his co-writers had to be mindful of the ways his actions impact all those offscreen superheroes. “There was some consideration of how visible the disturbances in this film should be,” he said.  “The extraordinary things that happen to New York are carefully bracketed within a device that makes them invisible to people outside the conflict. That’s a common argument in the world of comic books generally. Fans are saying, ‘Well, if Daredevil is dealing with this thing, where is the Fantastic Four when this happened?’ And frankly Doctor Strange in some of the larger epics has to be exiled to the North Pole or off-planet or something because he could have solved the problem!”

Doctor Strange is in theatres now. While this movie keeps MCU overlap to a minimum, you will find plenty of Easter eggs and comic book references. For a quick recap of those, check out the video below.