“The Cosmos: Forever, Forbidding, Dark. Man builds things to shelter himself from its mysteries. One of these things is his Reality–The conventional wisdom of the Masses. But one man lives a different reality–A true reality. He does not shrink from the unknown. He is, therefore, his own shelter–and the shelter for all his fellows. He is Stephen Strange, A Doctor…And a Sorcerer Supreme.“ Steve Englehart Dr. Strange #1
It looks as though Scott Derrickson has been tapped to direct a Doctor Strange movie. Derrickson’s filmography is seeped heavily in horror with recent successes such as Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose and the little gem Hellraiser 5, a very strong entry for a lagging franchise. While this could all fall apart a la Edgar Wright if it moves forward it seems that the Sorccer Supremes’ big screen feature will have a bit of a horror vibe to it, and that is fine. Doctor Strange is one of the most enigmatic and intriguing characters in the Marvel Universe. If you go back to his debut in Strange Tales 110, 1963 (a series he took over it was renamed Doctor Strange with issue 168) and getting his initial solo series, the stories are dark occult mysteries. If you go back into those early books they are filled with Demons possessions and bodily mutilation.
To further sure up his horror cred Doctor Strange appeared with Blade and Hannibal King in the Tomb of Dracula and was clearly part of Marvel’s horror themed books in the 60’s and 70’s. If you don’t believe me just look at some of the early Doctor Strange covers, in issue 4 he literally faces off against death. If that’s not enough keep in mind that in his initial solo outings he was often referred to as a necromancer.
When Blade, Hannibal King and Frank Drake formed the Night Stalkers in 1992 it was due to Doctor Strange bringing them together. Marvel Studios clearly likes to tie its films together and tease future projects, this could be a great opportunity to get Blade back on the big screen, hopefully in an R-Rated Night Stalkers film. The type of film that if successful could lead to a MAX line a Marvel films.
Doctor Strange’s movie will a PG-13 film, I base this on no confirmable fact, but I am correct. With this rating it some of the darker elements will have to be teased and Derrickson’s Exorcism of Emily Rose shows he can pull this off, and most of Sinister’s scares came from the tone and mood.
Doctor Strange would not have to be limited to these dark corners of the Marvel Universe. He is clearly involved with the Avengers and could be used to replace an outgoing Sam Jackson. Doctor Strange’s time with the Defenders shows his potential in a team based environment, and how many of The Defenders ended up as Avengers anyway?
The focus could be more mystical, similar to his feature length 2007 DVD release. Moving in this direction he could tie to Shang-Chi’s Deadly hands of Kung Fu, or Iron Fist(though he is already moving to Netflix)
Doctor Strange has been used in many different ways in his marvel career and is one the characters with the most potential, and in this he is one of the harder characters to get right.
All of this is shear speculation though, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo’s backgrounds were in quirky comedies and The Winter Soldier was by far the most intense Marvel Universe film to date. Scott Derrickson may wish to try his hand at lighter fare, or a mystical Kung Fu flick, he may not even end up being the director. I’ll be curious to see who’s writing the script, but with Marvel’s current track record I find myself cautiously optimistic for the Sorcerer Supreme. P.S. regarding casting rumors I’m cool with Jared Leto getting the role, especially fresh off an Oscar win.
So What are your thoughts on Doctor Strange?