Since Benedict Cumberbatch made his MCU debut as Doctor Strange in 2016, people have made comparisons between his character and Tony Stark. Specifically, their shared sarcasm, wit, and tendency to push other people away.
Played by Robert Downey Jr, Tony Stark was the one who kicked off the Avengers saga with the action movie Iron Man in 2008, with a complex and multi-layered team of superheroes like Captain America, Black Widow and Thor all being built around him. However, his time as an Avenger came to an end in the 2019 time travel movie Endgame where, in order to stop Thanos’ tyranny, he made the ultimate sacrifice.
Stark and Strange didn’t share much screentime during their crossover period, but they did end up working together a lot during the two-parter epic Infinity War and Endgame, with Strange being the one to give Stark the signal that this was the one reality in which they would indeed beat Thanos. Now, as Strange looks set to play a more central role in Phase 4, Cumberbatch spoke to KCRW about some of the traits he and Stark have in common.
“If you’re not a people person, how would you do that? Well, I mean, the trademark snarkiness, the kind of off the cuff wit and put down, the sort of the ego behind that, but also the enjoyable aspect of that, which is something we’ve seen very prevalent with Tony Stark, and especially Downey’s incandescent encapsulation of that, in his performance over the last decade,” he said.
“It’s definitely something where I feel it’s not just the goatees that the men have to talk about. There is a way that they have difficulty with other people or a manner in which their egos get the better of them. And their wit is something that comes up full score on many occasions. I think that in the past that has been the case with Strange.”