Sam Raimi on how Doctor Strange lets viewers ‘build their own nightmare’

Like the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movie starring the arrogant wizard Stephen Strange, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Directed by a filmmaker with long experience in the field of horror. For 2016 Sorcerer Supremeit was Malignant and The Exorcism of Emily Rose Screenwriter-director Scott Derrickson. This time it is legendary director Sam Raimi, who before making history with the first Spider-Man trilogy, was widely known for the Evil Dead trilogy, horror comedy. Drag me to helland unusual superhero story Dark Man.

In Madness’s Multiverse, Raimi brings his distinct sensibilities to a franchise that isn’t normally all about horror. In a brief interview just before the movie came out, we asked Sam Raimi: What is it about Doctor Strange that makes him so well-suited to the horror genre?

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

With the Spider-Man movies, you talked about the characters’ desire to connect with humanity. Where do you find that in Stephen Strange?

Sam Raimi: Well, I like the fact that he’s a flawed character, Benedict’s way [Cumberbatch] portrayed him, and how the Marvel movies have introduced him. I like that he’s a bit proud, and his ego has grown. He’s the type of man who thinks he’s the only one who can do this job exactly as it needs to be done. He’s not really a team player. Those imperfections are how the audience connects with who he is. While they weren’t admirable traits, it made him who he was.

Both you and your predecessor, Scott Derrickson, come from horror backgrounds. What makes Doctor Strange so appealing to a horror filmmaker in particular?

Reading comic books as a child, Dr. Strange will always be fighting – not just crooks and villains, but truly spooky magical forces that threaten Earth or our universe. And so it’s always been a natural element of comics. And that’s unique to it. Maybe Batman has a bit of that, but aside from horror comics, this is a superhero who specializes in handling slightly scary things. So having a background like Scott Derrickson, it probably served him well in building that nice first Doctor Strange movie. And my horror background really helped me with the suspenseful sequences.

So what makes for a good spooky Doctor Strange sequence?

For myself, I think that allowing audiences to use their imaginations, giving them the right seeds and tools to help build their own nightmares – allows certain areas of the frame is black or indeterminate, for the audience to use their imagination in creating the finished monster, so it is the collaboration between the director and the audience to make the fear happen out.

Your own horror in particular, with the Evil Dead movies and Drag me to hell, which can be described as a bit malevolent and humorous, this also describes this version of Doctor Strange. Would you like to consider that side of him?

That’s what Benedict brought to the character, and I really enjoyed that. He is not taken lightly by fools. He doesn’t have enough patience for anyone else. That’s why the character of America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez, is a real breath of fresh air to the movie, because Doctor Strange really needs a few slaps and a bit of a wake-up call. He needs to realize that this whole self is really just a front for his insecurities. And she woke him up, she helped Doctor Strange make a small move to become a little more open-minded, a little less proud, more willing to believe that someone else can do the job well but not only himself.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Currently showing in theaters. Sam Raimi on how Doctor Strange lets viewers ‘build their own nightmare’

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