When Marvel Studios’ chief Kevin Feige joined the cast and crew of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” for the film’s global press conference, the concept of the multiverse came top of mind.
“We’ve been planning this all along,” said Feige. “With Spider-man: No Way Home and now this Doctor Strange movie, we are showing our cards now.”
Feige also revealed that he and his creative leaders recently met to plan the next two decades of Marvel Cinematic Universe (aka MCU) films at a creative retreat, adding that it was during a similar meeting nearly a decade ago that they began thinking about their multiverse.
Little did he know that multiverse films would be the talk of popular culture nowadays, with upcoming films like “Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse” and the recently released films like “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” They all speak to answering the question of ‘what if’ and the complexities and consequences that result from finding that answer.
For Doctor Strange himself, the Multiverse seems to offer a narrative driver in understanding the character more. “In the Multiverse, these actors meet themselves, the good and the bad and the in between,” said director Sam Raimi.
Added Benedict Cumberbatch who has played Doctor Strange for six years now, “We’re dealing with someone who thinks he’s an outsider and responsible for a lot of bad, but it’s really holding a mirror up to him and seeing much more than that. Perhaps a capacity to lead well and to not fear.”
Fear drives a lot of this horror story masterfully told visually with Raimi at the helm, but each character including Scarlet Witch aka Wanda Maximov and new character America Chavez will use the Multiverse to test their character and try to overcome.
“There’s a lot that Wanda went through in WandaVision [on Disney+] that she is processing still,” said Elizabeth Olson. “She just does so to an extreme with this movie. It’s kind of scary of what happens when you don’t love well, but you love a lot.”
You can bet that the fear and anxiousness that drives both Wanda and Doctor Strange after the events of their latest MCU projects will feed into what drives this film’s story forward.
In all, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness does use both the Multiverse and confronting fear to the degree that the horror genre fits well into. Director Sam Raimi’s sensibilities with scaring audiences bodes well with the narrative richness that is the culminating stories that the MCU keeps giving us.
Playing with the genre types with the robust characters that we’ve known for years, you get something very unique, fun, and at times surprising in this Doctor Strange sequel. Just remember to be prepared for those MCU-level jump scares!
#DoctorStrange in the Multiverse of Madness is a HORROR movie in every sense of the genre (jump scares, scary musical motifs, gruesome imagery). Brave through it and you’ll be treated to a thrilling film worthy of PHASE 5 title of the MCU. s/o SAM RAIMI. pic.twitter.com/BTpL4W8d3h
— Jordie Poblete is potato (@jordiepoblete) May 3, 2022