[Article] DOCTOR STRANGE & The Superhero Return of Sam Raimi
Courtesy Marvel Studios

In Marvel StudiosDOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.

Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings took part in the global press conference for the release of Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Attending the press conference were Benedict Cumberbatch (“Stephen Strange”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Wanda Maximoff”), Benedict Wong (“Wong”), Xochitl Gomez (“America Chavez”), Director Sam Raimi, screenwriter Michael Waldron, and Executive Producer Kevin Feige.

As we wrote about in our “Moon Knight” coverage, the MCU has begun the process of leaning into the weird and terrifying by blending genres and dipping its toes into the horror realm. With the return of Sam Raimi, one of the masters of horror as well as the director of the first Spider-Man trilogy, it’s no surprise that horror fans are chomping at the bit to see what he has in store for us with MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS.

It’s been X amount of years since Raimi last directed a Marvel movie and much has changed in our world, especially in the advancement of technology. When discussing the topic, Rotten Tomatoes moderator Jacqueline Coley discussed with Raimi what he looked forward to now that there weren’t the technological limitations he had back in 2002.

Courtesy Marvel Studios

“The technology has changed and it’s become a lot easier. But mostly, the technological difference that really enabled me to work on this movie so effectively was Zoom, the modern telecommunication system,” Raimi laughed. “I could speak to tons of crewmembers 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 with audio/visual. And you were able to speak to a hundred people at once. It’s fantastic.”

No matter how good the CGI is, a film isn’t a film without the dedication of the actors. And to Raimi, that was the most important part of the film and the one thing that didn’t need to be changed:

“The most important thing is having great actors, like [these people]. And then they know that the most important thing they can do is within themselves. That’s how people connect to our superheroes. And these are great actors and they know what it’s like to be a human being. 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 [points to Cumberbatch, Olsen, and Wong] have played their characters for so many years now in so many important Marvel movies. It’s great to see the knowledge of the characters that they had in this film because what they meet is the Multiverse. And in 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.”

Now with the structure in place, Raimi was able to use his craft as well as his experience in horror with such classic genre films like Evil Dead, Drag Me to Hell, and more, to bring about an MCU film that features a much darker, sinister tone. During the conference, Jane Seltzer from Whiskey + Sunshine brought up the topic of Raimi’s involvement in the horror genre and what it was like for him to bring back those horror elements to the MCU:

Courtesy Marvel Studios

“It was great. 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 in 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. So, it was very helpful.”

Whether you’re a fan of the MCU or a die-hard horror fiend, one thing is for sure, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS is going to be a Marvel film unlike any other we have seen.

DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS opens exclusively in theaters on May 6th. For more on the film, check out our review here.

Shannon McGrew
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