With Marvel’s Avengers lineup providing hit after hit, The House That Stan Lee Built is moving into some of its lesser-known properties for summer action fare. One of the next up will be Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, and Marvel is tapping a notable horror director to helm it.
The announcement came Tuesday evening in the form of a tweet from Scott Derrickson, who previously directed Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose:
My next movie will be: STRANGE
– Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) June 3, 2014
Accompanying the tweet was a shot of Derrickson holding up a super-old issue of Doctor Strange. Like, 40-years-old, super-old.
For the uninitiated, Derrickson will be tasked with the tale of Doctor Stephen Strange, who left a career in neurosurgery following a car accident that shattered the bones in his hands. Too proud to go into teaching, Strange eventually made his way to a guru in the Himalayas. The guru, who was the most powerful sorcerer on Earth, trains up Strange in the path of the Sorcerer Supreme.
All that’s to say that Derrickson’s Strange movie will be more on the magical side of things, as opposed to the Super Soldier Serums, Arc Reactors, and Gamma Radiation that have formed the basis for Marvel’s previous hits. Marvel fans can expect to see Doctor Strange battling otherworldly terrors unlike anything ever seen this side of a Lovecraft novel. Really, Shuma Gorath is a poor man’s Cthulhu.
Fans can also expect that Derrickson’s Strange will feature some cameos or shouts-out to other Marvel properties. Strange was already mentioned in other Avengers-related Marvel fare, even before Derrickson was given the director’s chair.
Since Derrickson is a horror director, he and the good Doctor could be a perfect pairing, like Robert Downey Jr. being cast as Tony Stark.
Derrickson will be working with Marvel’s Kevin Feige, for whom a Doctor Strange movie is a long-lived dream come true. Executive producing Derrickson’s work will be Louis D’Esposito, Vitoria Alonso, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, and Stephen Broussard.
Variety has praised Derrickson being named to helm Strange, pointing out that he’s quite capable of pulling big box office receipts out of smaller budgets. Derrickson’s Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose cost less than $20 million each, but both brought in more than twice that in profits.
While Derrickson prepares to get Doctor Strange out by 2016 or 2017, Marvel is still looking for directorial talent for another of its lesser known superheroes. Ant-Man recently lost its director, but it’s still set for a July 17, 2015 release. Marvel says another director will be announced soon.