Welcome back to The Collider Pop Culture Review, in which Collider’s weekend editor Vinnie Mancuso wakes up only slightly hungover on a Saturday to rate the week’s biggest stories in film and television on a scale from 1 to 10. (1 is soul-crushingly bad, 10 is mind-blowingly incredible.) This week: Doctor Strange is reportedly rising from the ashes to get a sequel, The Mandalorian added some highly interesting new cast members, Godzilla: King of the Monsters still looks 100% dope AF, and a new Titans trailer sees Batman just murdering everyone.
‘Doctor Strange’ Sequel in Development
Rating: 6, or “Strange Days Have Tracked Us Down”
Because Disney does not give one, single, solitary fuck about preserving the cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War, reports have started rolling in of a Doctor Strange sequel in development with Scott Derrickson returning to direct and Benedict Cumberbatch reprising his role as the master of the mystical arts who can manipulate anything except for a steady American accent.
Before we dive into the pros and cons of another Doctor Strange movie, let’s take a brief moment to mention how absurdly fascinating Marvel Studios is as an entertainment monolith that just straight siphons money into its gullet No. Matter. What. The Russo Brothers straight up disintegrated half the known universe like a bunch of out of control Boba Fetts, breaking thousands upon thousands of fandom hearts in the process, and then Marvel just like, announced a whole slate of movies starring all those dead people. (See: The Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer). And it doesn’t matter! Nothing matters! A comet could strike this Earth and bring about the fall of humankind on March 7, 2019 and Captain Marvel would still open to $50 million on March 8, 2019. If Chris Evans sent a personalized hand-written note threatening the lives of my loved ones if I went to see the new Captain America movie I’d say my farewells and fire up Fandango because blood is thicker than water but not adamantium. I do not know the solution, or if it’s even technically a “problem” per se, but I think eventually we’ll have to reckon with the fact that Marvel is basically someone who keeps committing incredibly obvious crimes but still remains in the highest possible position of power, something that sounds really familiar right now but I can’t quite figure out why.
Anywozzle, a Doctor Strange sequel, same director, same-Berbatch. The first movie is such a middle-of-the-road MCU entry that trying to voice an actual, passionate opinion on it is like getting riled up about oatmeal. Oatmeal’s fine. I’d rather eat dozens of other things, but oatmeal’s fine. Doctor Strange isn’t outright offensively bad like Thor: The Dark World, but the MCU has gotten so much more playful with things like Thor: Ragnarok and Ant-Man & The Wasp that Strange’s meh-ness sticks out that much more. It’s especially a shame with a character like this, who used to give out-there artists like Dan Adkins and Steve Ditko reasons to turn comic book pages into magic mushroom freakouts. The word “Strange” is right there in the name! Derrickson’s first go-around was more like Doctor Tame (uh-thank-you, please send $15 for that A+ joke to this address.)
But the character did come into his own eventually, especially in the back-half Dormammu stuff and in Infinity War. If Marvel can find a legit way to bring Steven Strange back from the Dyson dust-vacuum then I’m down to at least bargain with a sequel.