SINISTER Director Scott Derrickson in the Running to Direct DOCTOR STRANGE; Jonathan Levine and Mark Andrews Still in the Mix

     March 11, 2014


A few weeks ago, we reported that Mark Andrews (Pixar’s Brave), Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies), Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), and newcomer Dean Israelite (Welcome to Yesterday) were all in the mix to direct Marvel’s Doctor Strange.  It’s a diverse bunch of directors, and now one more name is joining their ranks: Scott Derrickson.  Derrickson mostly has a horror background.  His previous credits include Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Hellraiser: Infernoand he recently directed the supernatural thriller Deliver Us from Evil. However, he does have a big-budget feature to his name having directed the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Hit the jump for more.

In addition to reporting on Derrickson being in the mix for the directing gig, THR writer Borys Kit also tweeted, “Being told Mark Andrews (Brave), Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) still on the shortlist,” so I’m wondering if that means Arcel and Israelite are out.

Either way, the addition of Derrickson means that the only constant for Doctor Strange from a directing perspective is that they’ll be reasonably affordable.  Beyond that, it’s tough to point out what Jonathan Levine and Scott Derrickson have in common, or what in their past filmography lines up with a story about a neurosurgeon-cum-sorcerer living in Greenwich Village.

However, it’s important to remember that we don’t know what kind of approach Marvel will be taking to Doctor Strange, but it will be exciting to find out.  Kung Fu Panda scribes Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger are being eyed to write the screenplay, but the studio reportedly wants a writer/director team that can work together to hammer out the story.


  • jack

    In the words of Brad Pitt in Troy: “Is there no one else?”

    • enderandrew

      They hired an unknown French director for The Incredible Hulk, and it was much better than Ang Lee’s version.

      They hired the Swingers guy to do Iron Man, and it worked out beautifully.

      They hired Joe Johnston to do Captain America when most people were associating him with the Jurassic Park 3 train wreck and he couldn’t get much work (ignoring his illustrious past with ILM and The Rocketeer).

      The hired Whedon (fresh off getting fired from the Wonder Woman job, and having Dollhouse fail) to do The Avengers. That worked out magically.

      For Thor 2, they hired a TV director who had never done a movie before and it was fantastic.

      The brothers who directed the awful You, Me and Dupree were given Captain America 2, and the press are calling it the best Marvel movie to date.

      Their only safe hire for the director’s chair was Brannaugh.

      Marvel has yet to hire anyone for Doctor Strange, but Keven Feige has earned my trust at this point.

      Edit: It is quite possible the reason that most of these movies have worked (even Iron Man 2 and 3 made tons of money when fans didn’t like them that much) is Kevin Feige serving as Godfather of the MCU, and deciding the gameplan, theme and tone for each of these. If he hired Chris Nolan to direct, he probably couldn’t tell Nolan what to do as much as he could a guy like Alan Taylor.

      • JBug

        You left out Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director who owned it on IM3. Alan Taylor did a sub-par job on Thor 2. The main problems with the movie was poor/too much CGI, and crappy directing (IMO).

      • cruzzercruz

        It seemed like they wanted to use his experience on Game of Thrones to build a better Asgard, which I think was a success. Although I’m a fan of the movie as a whole, mostly just because I wanted to see more Thor.

      • JBug

        I liked the direction they went with in first Thor a lot more. I thought the mideval look felt anachronistic when the movie went into scifi mode. Also, Asgard looked amazing in the first one, before they tried making gritty. I totally agree about wanting to see more Thor. I was trying the entire movie to like it. Even though Thor didn’t let down, I wish they kept the feel of the first one.

      • cruzzercruz

        The only thing that got me was Thor’s demeanor. I know that he was supposed to have matured and was dealing with potential war and aftermath of rebellions, but he seemed dour. I wanted more “Old man and a fool” lines to yell at my friends.

      • jack

        I was really only referring to Derrickson whose films I have found to be lacking. The Russo bros were hired based on their strong work on Community. Favreau had already proven that he could direct good films. As JBug mentions and I agree, Thor 2 was ok, but is on the lower end of the MCU films IMO. Yes, Marvel has a good track record and I think Andrews or Levine would do just fine. I just don’t think Derrickson is the choice.

      • enderandrew

        I absolutely loved Thor 2. I thought it was surprisingly funny coming from the “Game of Thrones” TV director.

        I normally really like Shane Black, but didn’t like Iron Man 3 at all. It just didn’t feel like an Iron Man movie.

      • cruzzercruz

        I think it transcended what we had come to expect from Iron Man movies. I liked the film best when Tony was out of his suit, proving that he’s capable even when he isn’t montage toiling away on a machine or face quipping at JARVIS from inside a helmet.

      • randommale7

        Actually Alan Taylor has directed several films before, look it up

      • Person

        The Incredible Hulk was nowhere near as great as Ang Lee’s version. A fun movie, and probably a better representation of the comic book character, but as a movie it was definitely inferior to the 2003 picture.

      • cruzzercruz

        Ang Lee’s Hulk was an interesting movie. Leterrier’s was a better adaptation and more entertaining one.

      • TigerFIST

        well shit! Very good points…

  • Dave

    And feige said it was BS

  • One

    Derrickson is a great fit for the material. Hope he gets the job.

  • Brook

    I’d still go with Levine. Just rewatched 50/50 and good lord is that an emotionally devastating, yet somehow genuinely hilarious film.

    • Strong Enough

      you can thank the writing for that one

    • cruzzercruz

      I haven’t really enjoyed any of Levine’s films, but I don’t know that he’s wrong for Doctor Strange. This might be the first Marvel film where the director shortlist makes me just think, “Meh..”

    • cruzzercruz

      I haven’t really enjoyed any of Levine’s films, but I don’t know that he’s wrong for Doctor Strange. This might be the first Marvel film where the director shortlist makes me just think, “Meh..”

  • Person

    Derrickson sounds like a great choice. Sinister is one of the few horror movies of the past several years that was legitimately creepy and well done. He’s a talented guy, and his aesthetic seems well suited for Dr. Strange, at least what little I know about it.

  • Strong Enough

    Please Mark Andrews

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