T H E FA I T H , D O U B T A N D F E A R S O F H O L LY W O O D ’ S M O S T I N T ER EST I NG BLOCK BUST ER FIL M M A K ER
B Y J AY S O N D. B R A D L E Y
he Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise is making a major change. When MCU went bigbudget with the blockbuster Iron Man in 2008, the decision was made to keep the stories grounded in science fiction, and to steer them away from the realm of fantasy. This is why every Marvel character carries a decidedly modernist, scientific explanation for their powers. Even Thor and the other Asgardians represent technologically advanced aliens rather than gods.
In 2011's Thor, Thor tells Jane Foster, “Your ancestors called it magic, but you call it science. I come from a land where they are one and the same.” That’s all about to change. The newest addition to the MCU, Doctor Strange, will introduce an essential element intentionally absent from previous films: magic. And at the helm as both writer and director is Scott Derrickson, the acclaimed horror filmmaker—and Christian. Since the early 1960s, comic book fans have known Dr. Strange as “Sorcerer Supreme” and the “Master of the Mystic Arts.” His skills are firmly rooted in the arcane, which is what initially drew Derrickson to
the character. Unlike the Avengers' Scarlet Witch whose powers the MCU attributes to “cosmic energy,” Strange’s powers will simply be magical. “We’re not explaining magic scientifically,” Derrickson remarks. “Magic is magic.” “My interest in the comic goes back a long time,” the director says, “because I grew up reading comics, mostly Marvel Comics, and I always loved Doctor Strange uniquely. It was the presence of the fantastical, the presence of the supernatural that was in it. The idea of magic. Seeing a component that was very unique to more scientifically or biologically weird superpowers. ... I thought that character in the
10/6/16 10:41 AM
Published on Oct 26, 2016