Scott Derrickson compares working on ‘Doctor Strange’ to ‘The Black Phone’

scott derrickson
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Scott Derrickson traveled to the end of the cinematic landscape and back, and is regaling us with his adventures.

Derrickson started directing micro-budget horrors like Hellraiser: Inferno, worked his way up to helm the MCU’s Doctor Strange, and went back to inexpensive horror with The Black Phone after plans to direct Doctor Strange 2 fell through. Other names including Sam Raimi and Gareth Edwards have taken the same trajectory from bloody shoestring to Gucci drawstring, but Derrickson has the rare distinction of returning to his roots — and feeling pretty good about it.

“I made exactly the film I wanted to make,” he told Collider. “Jason Blum is the greatest producer . . . all he did was just say, ‘Whatever you need [I’ll do it].'” In addition to The Black Phone, Derrickson’s notable horror credits include The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, the latter of which was also produced by Blumhouse. Thanks to Blum’s hands-off when needed, hands-on when required approach, both movies came out how the director intended.

Compare that to Doctor Strange, which was also the movie Derrickson wanted to make, but with the caveat that he was essentially co-directing with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

“When you’re making a movie that size for Marvel, you really are working with Kevin Feige. You’re really co-making the movie with him and there’s a lot of people giving influence into the process. It’s different than when you’re talking about a smaller contained horror film because then you really function like an auteur. It’s all on you.”

However, Derrickson mentioned one aspect where they’re the same: time and budgetary constraints.

“The funny thing about it though is that Sinister was $3 million, this movie was $18 [million], Doctor Strange was over $200 million; they’re all the same! You never have enough time or money. You always have the same problem.”

Support Derrickson on the newest leg of his unique journey by watching The Black Phone in theaters.