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Marvel’s Kevin Feige on ‘Doctor Strange,’ Magic and That Director ‘Shortlist’

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Earlier this week, word circulated that Marvel Studios had narrowed its list of potential directors for the long-discussed Doctor Strange to just three names: Scott Derrickson (Sinister), Mark Andrews (Brave) and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies). However, studio President Kevin Feige indicates the shortlist isn’t quite so … short.

“We’ve met with all of [those three],” Feige told Slashfilm during a press junket for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. “Some of those three are not in contention any more, some of those three we’re still talking with and there are many others. We have not narrowed it down as much as the internet thinks. I wish we had.”

Badass Digest also spoke to Feige to get some insight into how magic works in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Are you watching the Cosmos series? That’s magic, [the quantum physics]. It’s unbelievable,” he said. “If somebody knew how to tap into that stuff, what’s the difference between that and magic? You don’t get into it in Harry Potter, but if a scientist went to Hogwarts he’d find out how some of that stuff is happening! We’re not going to spend a lot of time on that, but there will be some of that. And particularly for a character like Strange, who goes from a man of science to a man of faith and who traverses both worlds. And sometimes there won’t be an answer! Sometimes he’ll want an answer — ‘How is this happening?!’ — and nothing.”

He added, “Doctor Strange needs to be a Ditko/Kubrick/Miyazaki/The Matrix mind-trip.”


  • Mike McTighe

    He’s right. I’ve tried to write a few Dr. Strange scripts/stories over the years, and without much success. I’m a big Kubrick fan, so I’m glad he brought that up, but I also think the Miyazaki and Matrix comparisons work here as well. Dr. Strange is one of those things that when you write it like every other superhero movie you really lose something. Because he doesn’t ever truly feel like a superhero. He has no secret identity (really), he’s not really in a classic ‘good versus evil’ battle. He deals with these forces that are so far above us, they’re beyond our comprehension, and if the script and movie doesn’t reflect that it won’t reach it’s audience.

  • DeAndre Hudson

    This movie will probably shine light on Strange in The New Avengers the upcoming Original Sin mini and might make marvel give him a rebooted book!

  • quinn

    Kevin Feige’s statement is spoke like someone who’s never studied a hard science or engineering discipline. There is a continuum to technological progress. A good example of Feige’s muddled thinking is the execrable THOR 2 The Dark World. If Asgard were technologically advanced, why do they still use archaic weaponry? In fact, the Asgardians were at a pathetic disadvantage in that movie because the so-called “dark elves” were using energy projection weapons or projectile weaponry. Didn’t either side ever develop nuclear weapons?

    “Sufficiently advanced science = indistinguishable from magic” is a moronic crutch used by people who know nothing of either

  • JokersNuts

    I’m really excited for a trippy Doctor Strange movie, but I agree with others that magic is magic and a “realistic scientific explanation” isn’t necessary and tends to rob the fun out of this stuff.

  • Tim Lydon

    Mjolnir fires lightning and can return to it’s owner at will. Most weapons can’t do that.

  • Tim Lydon

    In Thor 2 Asgard had laser turrets.

  • Hypestyles

    I just hope that the script avoids the obtuse ultra-detailed-explanation-science-babble that threw me for a loop in part 2 of the Matrix.. Show us, don’t tell us.

  • DarthTigris

    Magic sucks. It’s going to break the MCU, just like it breaks pretty much every story that it’s forced into in Marvel comics. If they insist on doing magic, do it separate from what we currently have and keep it in it’s own corner. That’s my take anyway.

  • Ozzy

    Did you not take into account cultural and societal practises…just because a society has the capability to have certain types of weapons does not mean they will use them. Nuclear weapons or equivilents there of would be in the weapons vault(a big deal in the first movie)…why because they would be too dangerous to use. Hell the rainbow bridge when misused is capable of destroying a planet over interplanetary distances….Not all conflicts go to start with the use of the biggest weapon in the arsenal. And hey the Asgardian had probably never needed to fight against weapons like the dark elves had for thousands of year…..mostly cause they can most likely use their basic weaponry(which was shown at times to be more then simple weapons) and general toughness to ignore everything thrown at them. That and one of Asgards big guns got wrecked in the first movie.

  • Arawhon

    “Sufficiently analysed magic is indistinguishable from science.”

  • Adam L

    I believe it was Arthur C. Clarke the renowned science fiction writer and physicist who is credited with the saying about magic/science. Surely you aren’t saying he used it as a “moronic crutch”?

  • Tommy Rankin

    I’m hesitant about introducing magic. I prefer sci-fi because magic can be such a deus ex machina unless you establish hard rules for it which is rarely done. Some low level supernatural stuff like supernatural vampires and demons like Blade and Ghost Rider are ok but spell casting witches and warlocks I don’t like because that usually goes too far for my liking.
    But it’s likely that we’ll see a Dr. Strange movie since they’ve talked about it for a long time and there’s constantly some developments and advances with it. So we’ll see it sooner or later. Let’s just hope that they can really pull it off and have Strange using some kind of weird Quantum science magic mix that doesn’t seem too far removed from the rest of the MCU. Though it might be best for them to keep Strange away from the Avengers films and other characters in his own little corner unless there’s a story that makes his incorporation absolutely necessary.

  • MenacingPhantom

    His power is based on the incredible concentration of quantum-mechanical “magichlorians” inside his cells!