Doctor Strange writer Michael Waldron has shared in a new interview how he is putting a new spin on the classic comic book character.
The screenwriter revealed to: Vanity Fair that the latest iteration of the character was inspired by both the late chef and writer Anthony Bourdain and legendary actor Harrison Ford, 78.
Benedict Cumberbatch, 44, will reprise his role in the upcoming sequel Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which is expected to hit theaters in 2022.
Role Models: Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness screenwriter Michael Waldron revealed to Vanity Fair that his version of Doctor Strange was inspired by Anthony Bourdain and Harrison Ford; still from Doctor Strange (2016)
According to Waldron, Bourdain inspired him to envision a version of Doctor Strange that was more of a man of the people, as opposed to the know-it-all elitist of the first film.
‘I tended to’ [travel documentarian and chef] Anthony Bourdain,” he said. ‘Strange is elitist as a neurosurgeon and wizard. Anthony Bourdain was a man of the people, but there was that intense intellect.
“You always felt like he could hollow anyone out with his words at any time. But still, Anthony Bourdain never really knocked down,” explained Waldron. “That was the first ingredient in Doctor Strange’s stew.”
Though Bourdain made a name for himself as a chef at several high-profile New York City restaurants, his greatest success came as a writer and then as a host of popular food documentaries.
Mix and match: Waldron wanted Strange to be both a “man of the people” and a strong “intellect” like Bourdain, while also being “a hero that can take a beating” like Ford
New Writer: Waldron took over the writing duties of the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel; seen in 2019 with Kate Herron (R)
In 1999, The New Yorker published his popular all-encompassing article Don’t Eat Before Reading This, which was later expanded into his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly.
The memoir mixed with behind-the-scenes gossip about the restaurant industry with details about his own life and his passion for food.
Bourdain was best known to the public for his television appearances and his Travel Channel series No Reservations and the sequel to CNN Parts Unknown, in which he both toured the world sharing international cuisines with his viewers.
The chef and docuseries star was 61 when he died by suicide on June 8, 2018, while filming Parts Unknown in France.
Bourdain’s identification with travel was also one of the reasons Waldron drew inspiration from his life.
‘Anthony Bourdain had been everywhere, had seen everything. What surprises you right now? I guess for all the heroes in the MCU, in a post-Endgame world, how do you rally yourself to fight the standalone movie villains after you fight Thanos?’
Tragic Death: Bourdain was a respected chef, writer and docuseries star who died by suicide in 2018 while filming his CNN series Parts Unknown
Raiders Of The Lost Ark star Harrison Ford was also a major influence on Doctor Strange 2.0.
In addition to Bourdain, Strange’s world-jumping character led Waldron to see the character as “Indiana Jones in a cloak.”
“He’s a hero who can take a beating,” he explained. “That’s what made those Harrison Ford heroes so great. Those guys are getting kicked in the ass.
“Look at Stephen Strange in the first movie,” he continued. “He gets really beat up, but he’s very capable and all. I can tell you it’s a ride.’
Ford will likely take a few more knocks as Indiana Jones when he dons the character’s iconic fedora for the fifth time.
His longtime director Steven Spielberg won’t be producing this film until after he handed it over to Logan director James Mangold, amid reports of creative differences with the creative team.
Iconic Character: Waldron said he imagined Strange as “Indiana Jones in a cloak” and complimented Ford’s action heroes for getting “their a**es kicked”; seen in 2019 in Beverly Hills
In the latest Doctor Strange movie, Cumberbatch’s title character will accidentally unleash a powerful evil force amid his ongoing investigation into the Time Stone, one of the Infinity Stones that propelled Thanos’ rise in the last two Avengers movies.
The film was originally going to be directed by Scott Derrickson, who directed and co-wrote the first film, but he left the project after the producers refused to create a weirder version of the character and a horror-inspired story.
Sam Raimi, who previously directed the Tobey Maguire films starring Spider-Man, was later installed as director with Waldron co-writing the screenplay.
New Blood: Sam Raimi, who directed the Tobey Maguire movies with Spider-Man, replaces Scott Derrickson to direct the sequel; still from Doctor Strange