Director Sam Raimi pulled all stops for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
The film has the signature elements that fans can expect from a Marvel movie, such as a callback to the Avengers and blockbuster action scenes.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the makers of the “Evil Dead” film revealed how the latest Marvel film might just be the franchise’s first real step into the horror genre.
Sam Raimi Says He Wanted To Make Doctor Strange ‘Scary’
Raimi revealed that he was interested in making a more mature Marvel film during his first conversation with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
“When Marvel first announced Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, they said this would be their first horror entry in the Marvel universe, so that mandate was given to me,” Raimi explained. “I said, ‘Great, Kevin, let’s make this spooky!’ Because Doctor Strange comics are spooky! He fought spirits and demons and all sorts of terrifying monsters. So, I used a lot of what I had learned in making horror films — building suspense, providing fright, keeping audiences in their seats — and was able to apply it to the making of this film.”
Although he is best known for directing the original “Spider-Man” trilogy, Raimi admits that he has always been a fan of Doctor Strange.
“I’ve always been a Doctor Strange fan and a comic book fan as a kid,” explains Raimi. “I think because he’s a magician who’s also a superhero, and he doesn’t just fight bad guys. He has a cosmic aspect to him, where he will protect the Earth and the universe from magical threats.
Sam Raimi Says He’s Focused On Exploring Doctor Strange’s Weaknesses
“In this film, he goes on a small journey from being a very proud superhero to being someone who learns a little decency and learns that other people can be trusted too,” explains Raimi. “He’s not the only one who can do the job. It’s about understanding that other people have values and he’s not better than everyone else.”
“I find when a character is emotionally anchored, you can really go to great extremes on the canvas of fantasy or horror or adventure,” he added.
Raimi also explained that the “Doctor Strange” sequel was taken “in parallel” with “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
“Our films are shot in parallel, and we have to keep abreast of their stories,” explains Raimi. “What does Doctor Strange know after the last Spider-Man movie from the multiverse? Does he remember anything? We really need to continue right where they left off. So, there’s a lot of exchange of information, and there’s a lot of rewriting on our set because they’re going to make changes.”
While Marvel’s big-budget blockbusters aren’t usually that flexible, Raimi says he likes the approach and compares it to previous small-budget films.
“Perhaps the improvisation of the director and writer is equal because it is happening at this moment,” he explained. “When you direct, record, and write, they make changes, and you have to suddenly change the scene and follow along. And if you have the right attitude, it can make it even better. Every opportunity to change is an opportunity to make it better.”
When asked if he would return to direct any future “Spider-Man” or “Doctor Strange” films, Raimi was coy about his future with the Marvel franchise.
“I’m open to anything,” Raimi replied. “As long as there’s a team that really cares about characters like Marvel, it’s a pleasure to work there.”
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is currently available in theaters.