Sam Raimi on How Doctor Strange Lets Viewers ‘Build Their Own Nightmare’

Like the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movie starring the arrogant wizard Stephen Strange, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is directed by a filmmaker with an established presence in horror. For 2016 Doctor Strangeit was Sinister and The exorcism of Emily Rose writer-director Scott Derrickson. This time it’s legendary director Sam Raimi, who, before he… made history with the first Spider-Man trilogywas widely known for his Evil Dead trilogy of horror movies, the wild comedy-horror drag me to helland the unusual superhero story dark man

In Multiverse of madness, Raimi brings its different sensitivities to a franchise that normally isn’t that interested in horror. In a short interview just before the film’s premiere, we asked Sam Raimi: What is it about Doctor Strange that makes him so great for horror?

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

With the Spider-Man movies, you talked about your desire to connect with the humanity of the characters. Where do you find that in Stephen Strange?

Sam Raimi: Well I like that he has a flawed character like Benedict [Cumberbatch] portrayed him, and how the Marvel movies have presented him. I like that he is a little proud and his ego has grown. He’s the kind of guy who thinks he’s the only one who can do this job exactly the way it should. He’s not really a team player. Those flaws are how the audience connects to its humanity. Even if they are not admirable qualities, it makes him human.

Both you and your predecessor, Scott Derrickson, have horror backgrounds. What makes Doctor Strange appealing to a horror filmmaker in particular?

dr. Strange read the comic books as a child and always fought – not just outlaws and bad guys, but really ghostly, magical powers that threatened the Earth or our universe. And so it was always a natural element of the comics. And that was unique. Maybe Batman had a bit of it, but outside of the horror comics, this was the superhero dealing with things that were a little scary. So with the background Scott Derrickson had, it probably served him really well in making that first good Doctor Strange movie. And my horror background really helped me with the suspense sequences.

So what makes for a good spooky Doctor Strange series?

For myself, I think I allow the audience to use their imagination, give them the right seeds and tools to build their own nightmare – make some of the frame black or unknown, to let the audience use their own imagination in creating the finished monster, so it’s a collaboration between director and audience to make the fear come true.

Your horror work in particular, with the Evil Dead movies and drag me to hell, can be characterized as a bit mean and comical, which also describes this version of Doctor Strange. Did you want to lean into that aspect of him?

It’s something Benedict added to the character, and I really enjoy it. He does not suffer lightly from fools. He has patience for almost no one else. That’s why America Chavez’s character, played by Xochitl Gomez, is a real breath of fresh air for the film, as Doctor Strange really needs some clapping and some waking up. He has to recognize that this whole ego thing is really just a cover for his insecurity. And she wakes him up, she helps Doctor Strange make a little move toward something more open, a little less proud, more willing to believe that others could do it right, not just himself.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now in cinemas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.