This far into the existence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s pretty widely assumed that every solo movie introducing a new hero will be an origin story that lays out how they got their powers and what negative personality traits they were held back by before their lives changed. Doctor Strange is no different, with it chronicling the transformation of Stephen Strange from arrogant surgeon to slightly less arrogant sorcerer, but writer Jon Spaihts says the movie almost went in a different direction.
Speaking with CinemaBlend, Spaihts explained that he, Marvel, and his co-writers initially weren’t committed to doing an origin story. He says they actually “played devil’s advocate” and sketched a version of the movie at one point that would open with Strange “fully-formed.” They’d fill in his backstory along the way, but he’d “be Doctor Strange from go.”
Spaihts doesn’t specifically say why they decided to go with an origin story anyway, but he does explain that Strange’s origin is his favorite in all of comics. He knows origins can be repetitive and that there’s “an inevitable same-ness to their structure,” but he says this one in particular is “so good” anyway. “It’s operatic,” he says, adding that he doesn’t think “there’s been a better realization of it than in this film.” CinemaBlend also notes that the Doctor Strange movie is the first real introduction of magic in the MCU, so easing viewers into its world was probably a good idea either way.
This comes about a month after Marvel revealed that the Captain Marvel movie will also be an origin story, so this trend shows no sign of changing.