Marvel’s Doctor Strange was a smash hit when it debuted in theaters last November. The mind-bending psychedelic acid trip starring Benedict Cumberbatch is Marvel’s most successful character launch since Robert Downey Jr. kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man in 2008. The film itself wasn’t just a financial success, but a critical success as well with some even hailing it as the greatest, most faithful adaptation of a comic book character to hit the big screen yet.
“I kind of put the blinders on. Once I saw that the reviews were all positive, I didn’t read them. I just saw it was 90-something percent on Rotten Tomatoes and the box office was huge. At that point, I just kind of turned it off and tried to not pay too much attention to it for my own, I think, mental and emotional health.”
While Derrickson isn’t interested in the opinions of the critics, he did say he has paid some attention to the reaction to the film on Twitter:
“I can only assume, and based on some of the Twitter feedback, that people got an experience that went beyond their expectations, and that was always the idea. It was to create characters that they cared about, that had ideas that had some weight and some significance, and that would be a visceral experience beyond what they’d experienced before in a movie. It seems, based on what little feedback I have paid attention to, it seems like that happened.”
It absolutely did happen. What I think is most impressive about Doctor Strange is that Marvel struck a delicate balance as the film not only satisfied the most hardcore fans of the comics but it also appealed to general audiences who had zero knowledge of the character prior to the film’s release. For most people — whether you were a fan or not — you cared about Stephen and his struggle to find a new purpose in the world after his tragic accident. But all film is subjective so no matter how good something is, there will always be someone who doesn’t see it the same way. While the majority of the response to Doctor Strange was positive, I can certainly understand Derrickson’s desire to avoid the toxicity artists are met with on the internet.
Doctor Strange lands on digital services February 14 followed by the 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and On-Demand release on February 28th.
The film also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton.
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.