Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi praised DC’s Shazam! as a comic book film that really impressed him.
This weekend, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness finally hit theaters. The film, which boasts the return of visionary filmmaker Sam Raimi to comic book films showcases some of his signature directorial sensibilities, including his horror roots. Some of that style was on display in the Spider-Man trilogy, and in the 20 years since the original film came out, few comic book movies have exhibited some elements of horror. However, one film that showcased horror elements was DC’s Shazam!.
Shazam!, which was directed for the DC Extended Universe by David F. Sandberg, who also has a background in horror filmmaking, was favorably compared by some to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy in part due to its coming-of-age story and the use of surprisingly scary moments that will give younger audiences the right amount of horror.
As it turns out, Sam Raimi was a big fan of DC’s Shazam!. While promoting Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, he was asked about certain recent comic book films he’s seen that really impressed him simply as a fan of both comic books and cinema:
“I was really impressed with Shazam!. I couldn’t believe they made a successful movie out of that character. It was really fun and funny. I love the Batman movies, you know, The Dark Knight trilogy. I don’t know about ‘I can’t believe,’ because I always thought that the comics were the greatest stuff of movies, even when Hollywood didn’t think so… I’m impressed that the more minor characters are getting their own movies like Moon Knight, or even Doctor Strange. I didn’t think he was important enough in the universe to get his own movie, but I’m thrilled that he does because he’s so unique.”
Shazam! director David F. Sandberg reacted to Sam Raimi’s comments on Twitter, clearly pleased that an iconic horror filmmaker was a fan of his work:
Sam Raimi has previously referenced both Shazam! and Doctor Strange in his original Spider-Man trilogy. In the 2002 origin story, Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker exclaim’s the DC superhero’s iconic name when attempting to sling his webs. In the 2004 sequel, J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) and Hoffman (Ted Raimi) discuss villain names for Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), in which Dr. Strange is name-dropped, but said to be already taken.
Here is the synopsis for Sam Raimi’s new film:
The MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.
Directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Michael Waldron, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams, and Patrick Stewart.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters. Meanwhile, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to hit theaters on December 21, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the films, and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.