Scott Derrickson On The Visuals Of ‘Doctor Strange’

Doctor Strange

‘Doctor Strange’, the 14th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is going to expand the visual vocabulary of the MCU in a big way. Previous Marvel films have been hesitant to explore magic and mysticism, but here, they’ll be front-and-center. It’s an exciting opportunity that has the potential to change the MCU as we know it, and ‘Doctor Strange’ director Scott Derrickson sounds more than up to the task. ‘Doctor Strange’ is featured in EW’s Fall Movie Preview, and Derrickson talked about playing in the world (or worlds) Strange inhabits.

“All I will say is that the movie deals heavily with other dimensions…There was a fair amount of surrealist art and photography and M.C. Escher that played into the visual design of the movie. The ambition was to use cutting-edge visual effects to do things that are fresh and new — to not just blow things up.”

And for Tilda Swinton, who plays the Ancient One in the film, it seems that experimental ambition is what attracted her to the project in the first place.

“My home is in experimental cinema. I’ve always worked with people who are messing with stuff. Marvel is going to pull some s— out no one’s ever seen before.”

There’s been much said about the mind-bending visual aesthetic of the film, but certain plot details have been cagey. Specifically, Mads Mikkelsen’s character, Kaecilius, a former student of the Ancient One gone rogue. Without giving much away, Derrickson briefly talked about the villain of the film.

“I wouldn’t call him a villain, and Mads [Mikkelsen] won’t call him a villain…He has a very compelling point of view that Doctor Strange is confronted with in the movie. That, to me, is what makes a good opponent for the hero of a story.”

Marvel has gotten flack for its less-than-stellar treatment of villains, but the idea of the villain who doesn’t believe he’s the villain sounds totally compelling. And with Mads Mikkelsen on board, I’m curious to see the threats they’ve got lined up for Stephen Strange.

Marvel’s Doctor Strange follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe.

Doctor Strange‘ stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, and Tilda Swinton. It’s directed by Scott Derrickson and will open on November 4th.

Source: EW (via

Alan Gunn

Alan Gunn

Cali boy. Disciple of Spider-Man. Still a million bucks shy of being a millionaire.