Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hit theatres May 6, and it is the most impressive cinematic event since Avengers: Endgame in part, due to director Sam Raimi's horror influence. When Marvel decided to dip its toes into the horror genre, it took a deep dive resulting in a beautifully terrifying masterpiece.
Director Sam Raimi Brings Horror to the MCU with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Benedict Cumberbatch's Dr. Stephen Strange is having wildly realistic dreams, seeing America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) and a hippier, ponytailed version of himself running towards a glowing object and away from the cycloptic octopus-esque creature chasing them.
Strange soon realizes that his dream isn’t a dream but rather a window into another universe. It doesn’t take long for the sorcerer and Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong) to be greeted by Chavez on Earth 616. She is being chased by henchmen creatures working for someone who wants to steal her powers of multi-universe dimensional travel.
Chavez joins Wong and Strange, who attempt to recruit Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) as they work to find the Book of the Vishanti to protect the multiverse.
Sam Raimi, Horror, and the MCU
Sam Raimi is no stranger to directing films about superheroes or the horror genre. He's a natural choice to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and fans of both genres will enjoy this foray by Marvel Studios into the horror genre.
Some things have changed since you brought Spider-Man to the big screen. What was it like coming back to the comic book world and having all these new gadgets and options available to help you create this incredible film?
Sam: The technological difference that really enabled me to work on this movie so effectively was Zoom. The modern telecommunications system. I could speak to tens of crew members at once. We could show a storyboard from an artist. The editor could bring up a piece of the cut. We really had great communication audio/visual. It's fantastic. But, as far as the most important thing that changed? [It's] the thing that didn't change. The most important thing is having great actors and them knowing that the most important thing they can do is within themselves. That's how people connect to our superheroes.
These are great actors. They've got a vast set of experiences that they're not afraid to pull into their performances, and they also know their characters very well. These three at least have played their characters for so many years now in so many important Marvel movies. It's great to see the knowledge of their characters that they had in this film, because the Multiverse, it's basically a mirror, and they meet altered versions of themselves. And these actors are so good, they just have to change the slightest aspect of their character's personality to make an interesting conflict with the alter-self.
Superheroes and horror seem like a perfect pairing for Sam Raimi.
Sam, what made you want to sign onto Multiverse of Madness and bring your beloved horror elements to the MCU?
Sam: When Kevin announced that this movie would be the first entry into Marvel putting their toe into the world of horror, I was thrilled that he called me to come in and talk about the possibility of directing the picture. I was able to take those horror films that I made in my youth and what I had learned from them: building suspense sequences, titillating the audience, gonna give them the scare now? No. Now, I'm gonna give it to them. That's stuff I was able to apply in the spooky sequences in this film.
For Marvel nerds, it's important to note that Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3. These were not considered MCU canon until Spider-Man No Way Home was released in 2021, but they still exist in a separate MCU timeline.
Rated: PG-13, for intense sequences of violence and action, frightening images, and some language
Runtime: 126 minutes
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2022.
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