Scott Derrickson making The Day the Earth Stood Still

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

While Marvel is still busy trying to find someone to make Ant-Man, they’re not wasting any time moving full-force forward on their next venture, Dr. Strange. Although talks are still early, Variety has confirmed that Scott Derrickson, director of many a horror great (plus the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still), will be the man to bring the next Marvel character to life.

Stephen Strange is one of the odder Marvel entities, a former neurosurgeon (yeah, that title isn’t just for show) who became Sorcerer Supreme, protector of Earth against all things mystical and magical and fantastically evil. Have you seen his cape? You don’t get to wear something that grandiose just because you feel like it. It’s earned.

The character first appeared in Marvel’s “Strange Tales” alongside the Human Torch in 1963, then he began his grand tour of becoming every college student’s favorite comic book character — nobody with a substantial amount of time on their hands and access to a few or maybe a lot of potent drugs in the 1960s was going to pass up reading about the adventures of a whimsical, cape-wearing sorcerer who leaps through surreal landscapes and surrounds himself in psychedelic visuals rife with Egyptian and Sumerian mythology.

Like any Marvel property, the seeds for this one have long been planted. His place in line was asserted years ago as part of their mysterious, all-knowing, multi-phased plan for taking over the world mapping out their universe on film and television. It was just a matter of time before he officially showed up on the roster.

Most recently, a single utterance of the name Stephen Strange was rattled off in a laundry list of other characters in danger during Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Did you hear a few gasps during this round of dialogue during the film? It was the shrill cry of your theatre’s geeks figuring out that Dr. Strange would probably be getting his own movie soon, if not just making an appearance in whatever was next.

Derrickson is a talented filmmaker known for such gruesome flicks as Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose (and Deliver Us from Evil, out next month) — beautifully shot films with hide-behind-your-hands worthy imagery. His films aren’t shy about gore and occult terror. With that darkness and dreariness, could Dr. Strange‘s psychedelia be curbed in favor of some kind of twisted mind trip?

Of course, with a director all but pegged down, focus will now shift to who will play the good doctor himself. While there are absolutely no frontrunners at this time, one can’t help but remember Nathan Fillion’s little slip that we should look out for him in a post-credits scene after Guardians of the Galaxy. Is this our man?


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