Marvel Studios has found a director for Doctor Strange: Scott Derrickson, who has directed horror flicks such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which made $144 million worldwide, and Sinister. Derrickson was also the director of the Keanu Reeves science fiction vehicle, The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Doctor Strange is an occult superhero, who defeats his enemies using magic. He is also known as the “Master of the Mystic Arts,” and he battles against denizens of evil, who more often than not are dressed in colorful, psychedelic-inspired clothing.
The current head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, is a big fan of the Doctor Strange series of comic books. Seemingly not content with having blockbuster superhero movies like The Amazing Spider-Man and the X-Men franchises being produced during his tenure at Marvel, Feige is seeking to mine lesser-known gems and he’s hoping to make them, also, into cinematic successes, such as Guardians of the Galaxy, which is expected to hit movie theaters this summer.
Though there has been no official confirmation from anyone at Marvel Studios yet, Scott Derrickson, 37, tweeted on Tuesday that his next movie will be “STRANGE,” and he included a photo of himself reading a Doctor Strange comic book. It has bee rumored that Marvel is waiting until next month’s Comic-Con to confirm that he is the director, and also to reveal who will be in the cast.
Doctor Strange (created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee) made his first appearance in a Marvel comic book, Strange Tales (No. 110), way back in 1963, more than half a century ago. Doctor Strange had been an actual doctor, a neurosurgeon, Doctor Steven Strange.
The hands of Doctor Strange get injured in a car accident. The bones get shattered, and his hands are unsteady and shaky afterward, which ends his career as a neurosurgeon. He eventually becomes destitute and homeless, and he seeks out an elderly hermit, the Ancient One. After Doctor Strange saves the Ancient One’s life from one of his disciples, Baron Mordo — who becomes an arch-enemy of Strange’s — he is taken on as a disciple, and receives magical training from the Ancient One, who is, at the time, the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. Eventually, Doctor Strange is named the successor of the Ancient One, and he becomes the new Sorcerer Supreme, charged with continuing his duties of protecting Earth and its inhabitants from magical baddies.
Marvel Studios execs have not yet hired a writer for the screenplay of Doctor Strange, but they have been looking at Glenn Berger and Jon Aibel, among others, for the job. Though it’s early on in the stages of adapting Doctor Strange to the Big Screen, Marvel Studios has experienced few, if any, glitches so far, unlike when studio execs and Ant-Man ex-director, Edgar Wright, mutually parted their ways.
Besides directing the films mentioned earlier, Scott Derrickson directed and wrote Deliver Us From Evil (Screen Gems), due out July 2 and set to star Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn, and Eric Bana. Derrickson will also produce and write a sequel to Sinister, which will be called the imaginative title Sinister 2.
Doctor Strange just might turn out to be a dark horse box office hit for Marvel Studios, if it is not made to outlandish and campy. If Scott Derrickson is able to perform his own cinematic magic on the film as its director, and the special effects are spectacular enough, Doctor Strange will definitely be a movie worth checking out.
Written by: Douglas Cobb