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How Doctor Strange is connected to the MCU

The introduction of Doctor Strange into the Marvel Cinematic Universe raises nearly as many questions as it answers.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the Sorcerer Supreme in the upcoming fourteenth film in the MCU, and the character wields a type of spiritual magic that Iron Man, Captain America, and even Thor have never seen before. So is Dr. Stephen Strange aware of the Avengers and all their epic battles before he's severely injured in a car accident? And why didn't any similar sorcerers step in when Loki and Ultron wreaked all that havoc?

We may not find many answers in Scott Derrickson's adaptation, but Marvel president Kevin Feige recently offered a few explanations to CinemaBlend.

As for whether or not Strange knows about the Avengers, Feige said he probably just has a passing knowledge. "One would imagine that anybody living in New York is aware of what had occurred in various instances," he said. "But like in our real life, people go about their daily business and go about their job, and his job is to be the best neurosurgeon and to take the best cases and to get the most attention and to get the most accolades and that's what he's focused on until his accident. So he doesn't spend a lot of time talking or thinking about the Avengers."

So why hasn't anyone used magic in the MCU before? Turns out sorcerers are less concerned with crime than they are existentialism. "People inhabiting the same world, who are stopping buildings from falling down and robots from doing this or aliens from doing that, these people in this movie are stopping inter-dimensional forces from wiping out all of reality," Feige said. "So, although it doesn't necessarily come up, we've always sort of assumed that the sorcerers have bigger fish to fry. When they hear there's something happening in the city, or there's a bank being robbed, they're not thinking about it. They're thinking about, 'If we don't keep vigilant, our sense of reality will disappear and there won't be a bank to rob and there won't be a city to be conquered.'"

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch told Collider why he took the lead in Doctor Strange. "One of the things that attracted me to the role is the fact that it's a really wide origin story," he said. "There's the whole chapter before where he's the neurosurgeon who has the accident. It's fantastic. It gives me an excuse as an actor to be learning with my character, which is something you can do authentically. I'm not a martial arts expert, I'm certainly no sorcerer. So all these things, the movement of the body, the physicality, the changes he goes through mentally and physically, obviously we're not shooting in sequence, but it's a great part."

Marvel also released a batch of new posters ahead of the movie's release on Nov. 4. Check them out below, and find out three huge actors who very nearly played Doctor Strange instead of Cumberbatch.