On Monday, October 10th, Marvel and IMAX gave fans an exclusive opportunity to experience Doctor Strange — or at least a few minutes of it. Similar to what the two brands hosted years ago ahead of the release of Guardians of the Galaxy, special screenings were held at 115 IMAX locations across North America and tickets were given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Thankfully I was able to nab a reservation for this preview that promised to “Expand Your Mind.”
Note: if you don’t want to know anything about Marvel’s Doctor Strange before it opens next month, you should probably stop reading now.
The Doctor Strange “Expand Your Mind” IMAX preview begins with star Benedict Cumberbatch giving a short introduction. He starts off with his image being just the size of a regular movie screen, but he uses his hands to “expand” himself to fill the entire IMAX screen. The movie footage starts off with two expanded versions of scenes from the trailer. First, the self-centered Doctor Strange gets into a car accident in which his hands are mangled, ending his career as a doctor. Then, he takes a trek to meet the Ancient One, who reveals to him that there’s much more than just the world he knows. He warps from one place to another and ends up with copies of his hands sprouting more hands from each finger, and hands sprouting from those fingers until there’s nothing but hands all around him.
The next clip shows him training with the Ancient One, learning how to warp the world to his advantage in battle. He meets the gruff Wong, who tells him that the Avengers protect the world from physical threats, but they themselves protect it from multidimensional threats. The final scene is a battle between Strange and Kaecilius, in which Strange tries to escape as Kaecilius folds reality around him.
The visuals that were shown are simply unlike anything you’ve seen before. The only way I can think to describe it is a Matrix movie on steroids. The obligatory Marvel cameo appeared in the final scene and made the audience cheer, of course. This preview has convinced me that I wouldn’t be truly experiencing the movie if I didn’t see it in IMAX 3D, although that may be too much for those who are prone to motion sickness. Doctor Strange opens on November 4 and tickets are on sale now.