Marvel selects Scott Derrickson to be the man to introduce Doctor Strange to the masses
Just yesterday, I talked at length about Marvel Studios‘ recent issues with Edgar Wright and how his sudden departure from Ant-Man has left the studio, and fans, reeling. Clearly, they’re not wasting any time though, as just last night it was revealed that Scott Derrickson would be getting comfortable in the director’s chair for the Doctor Strange movie. This news has come just two months after it was reported that Marvel’s Head Of Production, Kevin Feige, was meeting with a slew of potential candidates.
Feige has been discussing his love for Doctor Strange for some time now, and even though the studio hasn’t announced when we will see a Doctor Strange film, it’s clear that it will likely occupy Marvel’s second movie slot in 2016, releasing in the tail end of the summer movie season after the release of the highly anticipated sequel, Captain America 3. As always, Marvel is well ahead of the curve, giving Derrickson and the studio plenty of time to work together on a script, and casting the film. Derrickson tweeted the below image to celebrate, with the caption: “My next movie is going to be STRANGE!”
Derrickson’s filmmaking background is primarily in horror, having crafted The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, Sinister, and the upcoming Deliver Us From Evil for the big screen. He also helmed the disappointing The Day The Earth Stood Still remake, which coincidentally is also the only film in his repertoire that he didn’t have a hand in writing, so it’s not entirely his fault. From a visual standpoint, it demonstrated that Derrickson has the ability to work on a larger scale with a bigger budget and deliver well crafted, eye popping visuals, which is a necessity for any blockbuster filmmaker.
However, what makes Derrickson’s choice an exciting one for fans is his experience, and critical acclaim in the supernatural horror genre, a realm that he is visiting once again with his summer release Deliver Us From Evil. This will likely come into play massively when tackling a big screen adaptation of The Sorcerer Supreme.
For those not in the know, Dr. Stephen Strange is an arrogant, successful neurosurgeon who is robbed of his impressive surgical prowess, only to later gain vast supernatural abilities that help him combat a variety of dangerous magical threats and protect the Earth from other realms and entities that would seek to destroy it.
This is of course, Marvel’s first foray into the world of the supernatural, which will once again massively expand the borders of their already existing Cinematic Universe, and hopefully rip open the floodgates for a whole host of other Marvel characters that perhaps have been a bit too “out there” to consider yet. Feige has been discussing his passion for the project for some time, going so far as to say that he believes the film “needs to be a Ditko/Kubrick/Miyazaki/The Matrix mind-trip”.
With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why Marvel would be interested in a filmmaker like Derrickson, who has previously demonstrated an ability to ground the horrifying and fantastical without sacrificing a sense of wonder – something that will prove useful when crafting a version of the character that will not only be his own, but a hero that could stand side by side with the rest of The Avengers. While Derrickson’s usual supernatural affair may be more dark, disturbing, and ultimately graphic than a Marvel movie will end up being – there’s no doubting that he’ll be able to bring a pervasive darkness and fear to Doctor Strange that can exist without the use of explicit gory images. If anything, his version of Dormammu (The Lord Of The Realm Of Darkness, and Strange’s nemesis) is likely to be terrifying to behold.
In terms of the script, it is unlikely that Marvel will have struck a deal with a prolific writer/director if they didn’t intend him to have a hand in the script-writing process. Derrickson’s own writing partner, Robert Cargill had this to say on Twitter:
“As far as I know, no decisions about writing DOCTOR STRANGE have been made yet.”
While Cargill, may not sound entirely confident about their chances, it’s still extremely early days now, and as the cast begins to take shape, we will likely hear more details.
Derrickson was also supposed to be working on a screen adaptation of the Deus Ex videogame series, which he was also writing the script for as well. It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard anything about that production though, so perhaps this is a sign that it has been delayed?
As for who should play the Sorcerer Supreme? Well, there have been many rumours circulating for some time now; some say that Marvel is looking for a younger 20-something actor, some say that Marvel is looking for a middle-aged actor. The only thing we do know is that Feige has said that it won’t necessarily be a major star, which would align with Marvel’s usual casting tactic for new major roles. Personally, I would hope to see an older actor take on the role, as it’s hard to imagine a young and brash Doctor Strange.
Be sure to stay tuned at The Monolith for our list of potential actors that could play Doctor Strange!
In the meantime, check out the trailer for Derrickson’s upcoming horror film, Deliver Us From Evil, due out this summer.