It took me a while to come
around the MCU. I’d seen a few of the early installments—when they were
making Marvel movies without really knowing how big it would get, and the lack
of planning showed—and at the time I thought they were somewhat fun, but mostly
disposable. Then a few of the later additions like Black Panther and Thor:
Ragnarok made me suspect that maybe it was all coming together into
something greater than I’d initially thought. Finally I saw Doctor Strange,
and they got my attention once and for all. Its trippy weirdness had me hooked.
Then a little while ago it was announced that the next MCU wave would include Doctor Strange 2: Multiverse of Madness, and that it would be the first horror movie to edge into the mix. Interesting…
…never a good sign when movies that are already in production replace the director…
Then it was announced that the original director, Scott Derrickson, had either quit or been fired or some combination of both. This did not bode well for the Doc’s sequel. Not only is it never a good sign when movies that are already in production replace the director, but Derrickson had been at the helm of the first movie and had done a bang-up job with its general bizarreness.
But then it was revealed that Sam Raimi—renowned director of The Evil Dead and Spider-Man trilogies—would be likely be taking over. And that is fantastic news.
Sam Raimi Is the Ideal Director for Doctor Strange 2
While Derrickson started the Doctor Strange movies
off well, Sam Raimi will take the concept to a whole new echelon of weird
First of all, let’s consider the horror aspect of the
situation. Raimi is considered one of the greatest living horror directors, having
written and directed the likes of Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army
of Darkness, Darkman, and Drag Me to Hell. He’s also produced
a number of modern horror flicks that have been well received, like Don’t
Breathe and Crawl. Raimi is a master of horror, knowing how to build
tension, create disturbing monsters and imagery, and even leveraging the typically
over-used jump-scare to great effect.
Raimi is a master of horror, knowing how to build tension, create disturbing monsters and imagery…
Then there’s the trippy, psychedelic aspect of the Doctor
Strange films. There are scenes in the first movie that could have been
extracted straight out of an LSD trip (and probably were), and we should expect
the sequel to be just as out-of-this-world. It is about the multiverse, after
And Raimi’s movies tend to be weird. Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness are both wacky to the point where they could almost be labeled as psychedelic horror films, and even his more “normal” movies like The Quick and the Dead tend to have a uniquely warped elements to them.
Finally, the fact that Raimi tackled the original Spider-Man
trilogy suggests that he’s capable of translating his talents from the horror
genre into the realm of comics. Yes, Spider-Man 3 was bad, but the first
two installments offered big entertainment that would fit right alongside anything
in the MCU lineup.
The Sam Raimi Tone Suits the MCU
In the end, it’s all about tone. The MCU leans hard on thrilling
action pieces in which the tension is relieved by moments of humor (some would
say that they take this too far, but I digress…), and it’s likely that Doctor
Strange 2: Multiverse of Madness will leverage a similar concept with
horror being tempered by laughs.
As anyone who has seen Evil Dead 2 knows, this is where
Sam Raimi excels. His movies deliver the perfect balance of exciting horror and
weird hilarity. And as he’s proven with his big-budget Spider-Man movies, he
can certainly make the most of all the money Disney is sure to give him.
In other words, Doctor Strange fans should rejoice, because
the follow-up is in good hands.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.