In the most exciting news we’ve heard in a while, Sinister helmer Scott Derrickson has been tapped to direct a film that’s a major priority for Marvel: Doctor Strange. The news came first through Derrickson’s Twitter profile, where he posted:
My next movie will be STRANGE: pic.twitter.com/5pdbO6Op6j
— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) June 3, 2014
Derrickson was on the shortlist to direct Doctor Strange back in March, and though a deal has not been signed quite yet, the director seems confident that the film will serve as his next project. He was previously working on an adaptation of the video game series Deus Ex, but Doctor Strange will require a lot of heavy lifting on his part before production begins. Given that the film will be part of Marvel’s Phase Three, expect it to take priority.
In the comics, Doctor Strange, aka Stephen Strange, is the “Sorcerer Supreme,” a character with tremendous magical abilities. His stories were often filled with supernatural happenings and forces of evil, so Derrickson, a skilled horror director, seems like a solid choice to bring the character to life.
Tellingly, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a scared HYDRA operative name-dropped Stephen Strange as a target for assassination because he posed a potential threat to the organization, which had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. at the time. We’ve been expecting to see a Doctor Strange film sooner rather than later, and that was a pretty big hint that one was actively in the works over at Marvel. The character is more connected to the magical side of the Marvel Universe as well, which we have yet to see much of. If the studio is planning on pursuing the Infinity Gauntlet arc though, Doctor Strange is a great gateway into the type of magic that is key to that storyline.
No screenwriter has been announced for the project just yet, but Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer previously worked on a script in 2010. When the shortlist was released a while back, Kung Fu Panda scribes Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger were mentioned as being in negotiations to rewrite the script, but they aren’t attached anymore.
Though no release date has been set, expect Doctor Strange to occupy one of two dates that are already staked out by Marvel: May 6th, 2016, and May 5th, 2017.