Director Sam Raimi pulled out all the stops for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
The film has typical elements that fans can expect from a Marvel movie, such as callbacks to the Avengers and blockbuster action scenes.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the “Evil Dead” filmmaker revealed how the latest Marvel movie may just be the franchise’s first real step into the horror genre.
Sam Raimi Says He Wanted To Make Doctor Strange ‘Spooky’
Raimi revealed that he was interested in making this a more mature Marvel movie during his first conversations with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
“When Marvel first announced Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, they said this would be their first horror entry in the Marvel universe, so that mandate was passed on to me,” Raimi explained. “I said, ‘Great, Kevin, let’s make it spooky!’ Because the comics of Doctor Strange are spooky! He fights spirits and demons and all sorts of frightening monsters. So, I used a lot of what I had learned in making horror films — building suspense, delivering scares, keeping the audience on the edge of their seat — and was able to apply it in the making of this film.”
Although he’s best known for directing the original “Spider-Man” trilogy, Raimi admitted that he’s always been a fan of Doctor Strange.
“I had always been a Doctor Strange fan and a fan of the comics books as a kid,” Raimi explained. “I think because he was a magician who was also a superhero, and he didn’t just fight bad guys. He had a cosmic aspect to him, where he would protect the Earth and the universe from magical threats.”
Sam Raimi Said He Focused On Exploring Doctor Strange’s Flaws
“In this movie, he makes a tiny little journey from being a very proud superhero to being someone who learns a modicum of modesty and learns that other people can be trusted, too,” Raimi explained. “He’s not the only one that can do the job. It’s about coming to understand that others have worth and he’s not better than everyone.”
“I find when the characters are anchored emotionally, you really can go to great extremes on the canvas of fantasy or horror or adventure,” he added.
Raimi also explained that the “Doctor Strange” sequel was shot in a “parallel way” to “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
“Our movies were shot in a parallel way, and we had to keep abreast of their story information,” Raimi explained. “What did Doctor Strange know after the last Spider-Man movie of the multiverse? Did he remember anything? We really needed to pick up right where they left off. So, there was a lot of trading of information, and there was a lot of rewriting on our set because they would make a change.”
Although Marvel’s big-budget blockbusters aren’t typically that flexible, Raimi said he liked the approach and compared it to his earlier, small-budget films.
“It’s probably the director’s and writer’s equivalent of improv because it’s happening in the moment,” he explained. “As you’re directing and shooting and writing, they’re making changes, and you’ve got to suddenly change the scene and roll with it. And if you have the right attitude, it can make it better. Every opportunity for change is an opportunity to make it better.”
When asked if he would be back to direct another “Spider-Man” or “Doctor Strange” movie in the future, Raimi played coy about his future with the Marvel franchise.
“I’m open to anything,” Raimi replied. “As long as there’s a team that really cares about the characters as much as Marvel does, it’s a pleasure to work there.”
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is currently available in theaters.