Marvel’s Dr Strange movie has been given the green light with Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy shortlisted to wear the blue spandex and red and yellow cape.
A minor character from the vaults of Marvel comics, Strange utilises a range of magic to battle evil.
Basically, he's a bit of a bad ass.
With that in mind, now's the time to brush up on your knowledge of Marvel’s strangest hero.
1 | He’s one of Stan Lee’s many creations
As well as the Hulk, The X-Men, Daredevil, Spiderman and The Avengers, the self-proclaimed Marvel ‘Generalissimo’ first brought Dr Stephen Vincent Strange to comic book pages, way back in 1963.
Judging by Lee's track record both on and off screen, Dr Strange has the potential to be up there with the studio's best efforts.
2 | He’s the original Gap Yah traveller
Strange began life as an arrogant and successful neurosurgeon, before a car accident shattered his hands, thus ending his ability to perform surgery.
Rather than re-think his career options, Strange decides the only option is to set off on an around-the-world-trip in search of someone to heal him (presumably there were no doctors up to scratch in his native U.S.).
3 | The film may not be family-friendly
Director Scott Derrickson cut his teeth on horror films Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil and The Exorcism Of Emily Rose.
While this suggests the supernatural elements of Dr Strange are in good hands, it may not be the best film to take your seven year-old nephew to.
4 | He's set to do for wizards what Iron Man did for tech geeks
Forget Daniel Radcliffe and put Emma Watson to the back of your mind for a second.
Dr Strange has the edge on any teen wizard you'd care to mention with his arsenal of grown-up accessories like, erm, his crystal ball and a cloak that enables him to fly...
5 | His arch enemy has a head made of fire
If you thought the multi-dimensional exploits of Thor were confusing and couldn’t keep up with Hugh Jackman jumping about time in the latest X-Men flick, Dr Strange might not be the film for you.
Things get even weirder when it comes to Strange's nemesis, Dormammu, a warlord from another dimension whose head looks like a volcano.
If the role of Strange went to Cumberbatch, our money would be on Hardy to take Dormammu.
6 | His origin story mirrors Batman’s
Whilst hanging out in the Himalayas, Dr Strange encounters a suspicious character named the Ancient One, who moonlights as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme.
After some initial friction (and presumably quite a lot of heavy drinking as Strange tries to come to terms with things) the Ancient One takes Strange on as an apprentice, eventually training him to become the most powerful magician in the world.
7 | He’s not the most PC hero
In the comics, Strange is joined by his trusty Chinese sidekick Wong. Given as this is slightly, just a bit racist, we’re expecting the film to give Wong a 2014 update.
8 | He’s a lady’s man
Strange clearly has no fear of HR slapping him with a sexual harrasment claim as his foxy assistant Clea is also his lover.
Voted 28th in Comics Buyer’s Guide’s 100 ‘Sexiest Women In Comics’ – and often seen in a skin-tight pink catsuit – we've already started campaigning for Amber Heard or Amanda Seyfried to take on the role.
9 | Strange is a sucker for a goatee
The beard is one of Strange’s defining characteristics and gives his appearance a sense of gravitas that many superheros are missing (we're looking at you, Superman).
In terms of the actors in the running for the role, Tom Hardy grew a fantastic beard for Mad Max and Locke, but somehow it’s easier to imagine Cumberbatch in possession of a finely groomed face rug.
10 | Anything goes
With the release of Marvel’s space comedy Guardians Of The Galaxy this summer and a movie adaptation of the lesser-known Ant Man story line well in development, Dr Strange signals that comic book films are about to move even further away from the reality-based seriousness of the Dark Knight Trilogy.
In other words, all bets are off when it comes to comic book films and which characters are going to get a big-screen adaptation next.
Post-Dr Strange, the cinematic world should be wide open to all of Marvel’s weird and wonderful characters.
Whether that signals a new age of comic book films, or the death of the genre, remains to be seen.