Scott Derrickson Talks 'Doctor Strange' Inspiration

Director of the upcoming "Strange" movie cites the very first stories of Marvel's sorcerer supreme as his favorite.
Steve Ditko/Marvel Entertainment

Scott Derrickson has opened up about being announced as the director of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, saying that he “felt compelled to do everything in my power to get on the project.”

“I wanted it really bad,” he told the JoBlo website, “more than any other project than I’ve gone after.” He went on to say that he “genuinely felt like I was the right guy to do it.”

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Although the choice of Derrickson—whose resume includes Hellraiser: Inferno, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister and Deliver Us from Evil — may point to a potential horror movie direction for Strange than the character’s traditional comic book roots, his comments about what drew him towards the movie suggest otherwise.

“I feel such an affinity for the character and the story and the ambition of those comics,” he said, “especially the original Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Strange Tales [series]—I think those are my favorite of all of them.”

The Lee/Ditko Strange Tales stories, which ran from 1963 through 1966, could hardly be described as “horror,” instead offering an off-kilter mix of surreal (and, occasionally, surrealist-inspired) landscapes and imagery with melodramatic soap opera surrounding the former surgeon turned sorcerer and his rivals and enemies. If Derrickson makes a movie that draws its inspiration from these comics, the result would be something unlike any Marvel Studios movie to date—and also something that could make Guardians of the Galaxy look mundane by comparison.

Doctor Strange remains officially unannounced by Marvel. Jon Spaihts is currently in talks to write the screenplay.