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Doctor Strange Director Scott Derrickson

Doctor Strange Director Scott Derrickson talks on making the Marvel film

Speaking with director Scott Derrickson, after viewing the spectacular film he directed, was a real treat. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson was the perfect choice to direct the newest Marvel’s film, because he made amazing decisions, resulting in Marvel perfection. Interviewing well-known celebrities is always fun, but I get a lot of pleasure out of speaking with the creative geniuses behind-the-scenes. Scott has a true love of Marvel and comics, and is genuinely excited about Doctor Strange. Getting to see one’s dreams come true and unfold in a way we all get to witness on the big screen, is quite the opportunity. I’d like to share with you some of Scott’s thoughts, from my recent interview regarding Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange Director Scott Derrickson

Visual Effects

It took a long time developing the visual effects. In big event movies, even in Marvel movies, special effects are usually used to destroy things. I just felt committed to the idea of using those big expensive visual effects for something else, something new, something more interesting, and specifically, something trippy, and weird.  And to give the audience an unexpected experience.

I don’t think that we could’ve translated Ditko’s art three or four years ago.  It’s like, visual effects have finally caught up with Steve Ditko. Technology is one of the reasons why this movie is here now. It’s finally time we can do this crazy stuff.

scott-3Doctor Strange Director Scott Derrickson


The ’60s comics were the primary influence for the movie, for sure.  That, and those early Stan Lee, Steve Ditko comics, which were very much products of the ’60s. The ’60s psychedelia weird imagery of the movie is so rooted in the Steve Ditko artwork from that era. 

What I wanted to do was to not make a throwback movie, or a nostalgic movie.  I didn’t want to try to go back and recapture the ’60s revolution feel, but I wanted to have that same mindset of open your mind, expand your mind, see things new.  Look at a new aesthetic and explore possibilities.  The goal was to take that ’60s mentality, and then bring it into a modern superhero movie, and do it with a character who was about something meaningful. 

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE Director Scott Derrickson on set.  Photo Credit: Jay Maidment ©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Director Scott Derrickson on set.
Photo Credit: Jay Maidment
©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Casting The Ancient One

Casting a woman as The Ancient One was twofold. The first reason was because I was trying to find ways, creative ways, and positive ways, to escape the racial stereotypes from the original comics.  The Ancient On had to be a magical, mystical, domineering, martial arts mentor, to Doctor Strange.  So the first thing I wanted to do is make it a woman.  I did that to get away from the cliché and the stereotype, but I also did that because I wanted a woman Tilda’s age.  I wanted a woman who wasn’t the 26 year old, tightly leather clad, hot, fan boy dream girl.  I wanted to have a real woman.

I wrote the role of The Ancient One for Tilda. The role was flat until Tilda Swinton came to mind, then it came to life. If Tilda didn’t accept the job, I was going to have to rewrite the role.

Doctor Strange Director Scott Derrickson

Motive for Making the Movie

I haven’t said this to anybody, but my biggest personal motive for making the movie is that I have two boys who are now 13 and 10. They’re huge Marvel fans, you know and I wanted to make a movie that would surprise them, but also a movie that would leave an impression on them, of what I think are some of the most important things in life.  

Doctor Strange Director Scott Derrickson

All this, straight from Doctor Strange director, Scott Derrickson. Be sure to see Doctor Strange in theaters this Friday, November 4th! You’ll love it!


I was provided an all expense paid trip, for the purpose of screening Doctor Strange, and interviewing the cast and director. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Emily Buys

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