When Community creator and all-around funny guy Dan Harmon was enlisted by Marvel to work on the script for Doctor Strange, the reason seemed obvious at the time: more than likely he was going to infuse the Sorcerer Supreme with a touch of humor. That’s been confirmed this week from the head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige.
The Marvel mastermind spoke with EW about Harmon’s involvement, confirming the writer brought a comedic edge to the film.
It is true that he was. He came in, he watched the movie. We are all big fans of his work, clearly. We at Marvel Studios are fans of Community, it’s where we found Joe and Anthony Russo, who came onboard to do Winter Soldier, and of course Civil War, and the upcoming [Avengers] films. So, we’re big fans of that. We’re also fans of his cartoon Rick & Morty, which is about, of course, humor, but I would argue that any given episode of that show has an unbelievably amazing sci-fi concept that could be its own movie. So, really, we just wanted him to watch the movie, and talk to us about it, and give us his opinions on the sci-fi concepts. That was as important to us as any humor that he could add to the movie. And he was very, very gracious in doing that.
The first trailer release for Doctor Strange was totally devoid of any sort of jokes, focusing instead on Benedict Cumberbatch getting situated to the world of magic, while offering a taste of the trippy special effects to come. The second trailer notably ended with a gag from Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) about the wifi, while subsequent TV spots have since thrown in an Adele joke or two.
In the grand scheme of things, comedy has become a crucial element in Disney’s Marvel movie formula. Now everyone expects it, especially since there’s been so much talk about Marvel going light and DC going dark.
Doctor Strange will hit theaters on November 4.