53 years after Doctor Strange made his first appearance in the Marvel Comic “Strange Tales, at the hands of artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee, the Master of Mystic Arts enjoyed a triumphant a Super Hero’s welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Doctor Strange, and now returns to unlock the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
At the very beginning of Doctor Stephen Strange’s journey into the mystic arts, The Ancient One told him, “If I were to tell you everything, you would run from here screaming in terror.” At the time no one could have imagined how prophetic her words were, because five years later Sam Raimi, the master of terror and wizard of thrill, took the helm of the second instalment of “Doctor Strange.”
Raimi is no stranger to superhero movies. He directed and produced Darkman in 1990 and the original Spider-Man trilogy. So, what brings him back to the superhero genre almost 15 years later?
“When Kevin Feige announced that he wanted to bring a little bit of a horror element to ‘Doctor Strange,’ that was interesting to me,” explains Raimi. “Horror and suspense have always been fun aspects of moviemaking to me. One of the reasons I’m interested in Doctor Strange as a character is because he’s a magician. Growing up, I was a magician for kids’ parties and weddings. I really enjoyed creating illusions. A superhero who is an illusionist and a magician is of particular interest.”
Those familiar with Raimi’s films will know he uses filmmaking tools to both comic and artistic effect, not afraid to push the boundaries of what audiences might be expected to accept to a place where few directors dare go.
A longtime and committed fan of comic books, how Raimi uses the camera is heavily influenced by the medium—his trademark extreme close-ups, tilted angles, quick cuts, and mimicking comics.
Co-producer Richie Palmer reveals what is in store for Doctor Strange at the hands of Sam Raimi
“We always wanted to make this Marvel Studios’spookiest, scariest and most thrilling movie. We definitely wanted to deliver on that promise, and Sam Raimi is the master of the macabre. He’s definitely the guy to do that. We just had no idea of how crazy it would get!”
“The first Doctor Strange film really opened up people’s minds, and in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we are going to push it further,” says Raimi. “This film takes us on a journey through different realities in the Multiverse.”
The film is directed by Sam Raimi, from a screenplay crafted by Michael Waldron, who recently served as head writer and executive producer on Marvel Studios’ Loki series for Disney+
What is the Multiverse?
The Multiverse Raimi speaks of is infinite parallel universes, each universe home to everything that already exists, but in a different reality. Imagine many different versions of yourself living in different versions of the reality you know, leading different lives with different outcomes to the one you are living.
Now, with the introduction of America Chavez, who has the power to cross into different universes, those possibilities have increased tenfold, giving filmmakers a passport to explore the Multiverse in a way never before conceived by the MCU. With that power comes all sorts of opportunities.
“In past Marvel movies we’ve hinted at the idea of Multiverse, this idea that within the Multiverse, there’s every possible version of our world,” says executive producer Eric Hauserman Carroll. “In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Stephen Strange is going to break that wide open for us.”
Benedict Cumberbatch, who returns as Doctor Strange, whose new adventure in the Multiverse also takes him on a journey of self-discovery, says: “Strange sees, through his experience in the Multiverse and the various versions of him in the Multiverse, how much of a pattern of behaviour he carries. It’s a kind of imprint, an identification of who Doctor Stephen Strange is in any universe and what the dangers of that character are. Is he going to be the hero to his enemy or the enemy to his hero? Who is our Doctor Strange in the Multiverse? He’s literally coming up against versions of himself to figure that out.”
“Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are interested in the characters. Who are they? What could they have become? Did they make the right choices? Even in ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ choices were made that some of the characters in our movie regret. They see the repercussions of that in this film, which is really interesting. The continuance of Marvel Studios stories can be so rich, and we’re able to explore it in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” says Raimi.