A few weeks ago, we learned that Scott Derrickson, the man behind genre favorites Hellraiser: Inferno and Sinister, had departed the planned sequel to his own 2016 MCU outing, Doctor Strange. Going under the title of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, suggesting possible links with the work of acclaimed horror author H P Lovecraft, Derrickson had promised the sequel would lean far closer to horror than its predecessor.
Honestly, this was pretty much the only thing that kept me interested in the MCU post Endgame anyway, and so when Derrickson did leave the project, I found myself surprisingly curious about who might be taking his place. For what it’s worth. I settled on Eli Roth being a relatively decent and suitable replacement for Derrickson, since he can handle horror and The House with the Clock in its Walls proved he could handle PG-13 restrictions.
But even my wildest imaginings didn’t come close to the absolutely batshit crazy but strangely perfect announcement we got this week.
That’s right guys, it looks like none other than Sam Raimi – you heard that right, Sam f**king Raimi – could very well be taking up the reins of the Doctor Strange franchise moving forward, leading it into the Multiverse and beyond.
While nothing is yet confirmed, it’s hard to deny just what a tantalizingly curious prospect this is. Raimi is perhaps most well known to more modern audiences as the guy who wrote and directed the Toby Maguire Spider-man films which, let’s be honest here, more or less set up the formula for Marvel’s success moving forward.
But, although his involvement in that trilogy suggests he has the ability to produce exciting, interesting family action movies, those films aren’t really the reason I find this such a great idea (although I am, admittedly, a big fan of Spider-man 2).
No, the reason I’m so damned excited by his prospect is because Sam Raimi is also the man behind such wonderfully insane and crazy movies as The Evil Dead trilogy and Drag Me To Hell. And, what’s more, we’ve seen his excitable, over the top crash zooms and unusual sound design choices make their way into big budget studio fair in the past anyway – remember the transformation scene in Oz the Great and Powerful? Remember the Doctor Octopus hospital scene in Spider-man 2?
The real question now, however, is whether or not Marvel would really allow Raimi to bring his slapstick insanity to the MCU. It would seem a little strange to hire someone like Raimi and then not utilize him, but then we’re talking about the studio who dropped Edgar Wright for being too… well, Edgar Wright. So, who knows? This could, of course, not work out at all in the end.
And Raimi joining Marvel isn’t the only piece of interesting news to come along this week.
At the time of writing we don’t yet know if Knives Out will win in the Best Original Screenplay category at the Oscars, but we do know that Rian Johnson’s Christie style murder mystery featuring an all star cast of famous faces, looks set to be getting that sequel Johnson seemed so eager to get off the ground.
I’m still all for this one. I’d happily have a new Benoit Blanc mystery every year if Johnsons can keep up the sense of fun and surprise that the original managed. Daniel Craig might be the harder one to convince, mind, given his previous comments about working on the Bond franchise. But, either way, this one is really exciting, and I’m curious to see where it winds up going moving forward, and now that the studio have officially announced it I can officially start getting all inappropriately into it, right?
Speaking of returning franchises – this week also saw the first trailer for Spiral, Chris Rock’s Saw spin-off/sequel drop.
While we still don’t know much about what sort of story this new Saw film is going to be taking, the trailer seems to suggest a tone that leans closer to the original Saw, as well as movies like Se7en, than it does the Saw sequels, which were perhaps a little too over reliant on their use of gore.
Spiral stars Rock and Samuel L Jackson, and I think the trailer looks absolutely brilliant. I’m genuinely curious to see where this whole thing winds up going when the movie is released later this year. I’m also pretty intrigued to find out just how all of this does align itself with the Saw franchise as a whole.
One of the most interesting aspects of Spiral is the way in which is recognizes its heritage but removes itself from them. Called Spiral: From the Book of Saw, rather than some sort of variation on the Saw titles of the past, suggests that this may be moving in a slightly different direction. Could we be headed for a Saw style anthology series?
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