In an extremely surprising move, Marvel Studios has hired the relatively unknown Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) to helm their big screen adaptation of Dr. Strange. The news comes on the heels of controversy and a still empty director’s chair for their production of Ant-Man which was to begin filming within weeks. However, in the big picture, Marvel had been upfront with their desire to get a film made about Stephen Strange. Going as far as mentioning his presence in Captain America: The Winter Solider.
The choice of Derrickson makes sense in the context of Marvel’s existing method of making movies which integrate into their larger, shared cinematic universe. In order to do that, they need individual directors that lack the clout to make huge stands on story issues. So tapping younger or underused directors makes sense from the studio’s perspective, particularly financially. Most of the larger, over-arching stories are being mapped out by studio head Kevin Feige and others to connect to the Avengers storylines. Derrickson has some successful horror films under his belt, as well as experience with making films on a blockbuster scale with the Keanu Reeves’ led, The Day the Earth Stood Still. So he more than likely, will not be too overwhelmed by the experience.
Derrickson’s experience with making supernatural horror films should serve him well in translating Dr. Strange to the big screen. The story of surgeon Stephen Strange, leads him on a journey of redemption in which he loses the use of his hands. This propels him on a journey through the Asian mountains in search of a remedy to his condition. Ultimately he emerges as Earth’s supreme sorcerer, the main protector against the larger scale supernatural and magical threats to the Marvel universe. This presents Marvel the opportunity to further broaden their cinematic canvas and include a logical introduction to the magical elements of the comics into their films. And as many comic book readers know, Dr. Strange has a very crucial role in the protection of Earth from Thanos (to be played by Josh Brolin), the rumored villian of the third Avengers film. There have been rumors of the studio pursuing leads such as Johnny Depp for the role in the past, so it seems we should be bringing you some big casting news in the near future.
Are you excited that the Dr. Strange movie is finally happening? Any ideas on who you would cast as Stephen Strange? I will throw out a couple that I would give an audition… Liam Neeson…and dare I say Keanu Reeves…? He is the “One.” Whoa….