The initial poster for Marvel’s Doctor Strange movie was released Tuesday and it presents us with a strong vision of the titular character staring up towards a glass ceiling where… something probably awaits. Magic? Danger? Adventure? All three?
We assume that’s Doctor Strange, of course. Since we know he’s being played by Benedict Cumberbatch, it would obviously make sense. But because it’s Benedict Cumberbatch, we don’t actually see his face. Because that’s a thing when it comes to Cumberbatch and movie posters.
For example, here’s his Star Trek Into Darkness poster…
And this is his poster for The Imitation Game.
What’s the deal, movie studios? Who are you to tell us that this face doesn’t put butts in seats? Are they worried that Benedict’s smoldering looks will put audiences into a daze from which they’ll be unable to visit Fandago or drive their vehicle towards the nearest cinema in order to see the film? Are the Freemasons trying to tamp down the unadulterated appeal of Cumberbatch?
The truth is, of course, much more boring than any of that. The “main character facing away from us” motif has actually become a popular one in recent years, especially when the film is trying to give off an air of mystery.
Doctor Strange is, by his nature, a mysterious figure. There was much (unnecessary) mystery surrounding Cumberbatch’s character before STID. In The Imitation Game, he’s playing a man known for breaking an enigmatic code. So only being able to see him from behind feeds that sense of curiosity.
He’s even been on the other end of the trend as well, in a manner of speaking. One of the posters for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies shows actor Luke Evans from behind as he prepares to battle Smaug, who was voiced by Cumberbatch.
See, we do like to see Benedict’s face. When he’s a talking dragon.