Marvel Studios proved its moviemaking formula remains second to none with Doctor Strange, the media giant’s latest triumphant attempt at adapting one of its comic-book characters for the big screen. Scott Derrickson’s film was a critical and commercial ($660 million) smash, and as is so often the case with Marvel movies, Doctor Strange concludes with more than a few hints as to the future direction of its protagonist — namely, to adventure with the God of Thunder in this fall’s Thor: Ragnarok, and then to battle alongside the Avengers in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. And while Derrickson won’t be helming either of those forthcoming tentpoles, he did reveal to us the unlikely way in which he learned the plot of the latter surefire blockbuster.
Speaking to Yahoo Movies in advance of Doctor Strange’s home-video release, Derrickson admitted that he does know the basic story outline of Infinity War, thanks to an opportune run-in with its co-director Joe Russo:
“I don’t know anything about Thor: Ragnarok — Taika [Waititi, the director] and I are Twitter friends, but I don’t know him so well. I know Joe [Russo] a lot better, and I know the plot for Infinity War because I ran into him in front of the men’s room at Marvel one day, and we just got to talking and he ended up pitching me the story of Infinity War, which was great [laughs]! So I know the basic story of Infinity War because we both had to pee at the same time — and that’s really the only reason.”
While he says he has “no hand” in any in-production movies featuring Benedict Cumberbatch’s mystical master, Derrickson expressed excitement about discovering what other Marvel directors have in store for the Sorcerer Supreme — as well as great confidence that the results will be fantastic:
I can’t wait to see what Taika does with Doctor Strange. He shot the tag scene, which was just a joy for me, the first time I saw it. And I enjoyed that so much, I can’t wait to see how he uses him in Thor: Ragnarok.
The Russos are great filmmakers, and I’m friends with Joe, and they’re going to do amazing things with this character. I’m just glad I was able to help establish a character that was good enough to have life in those movies.
Derrickson’s conviction that Strange will be doing “amazing things” in Infinity War should only fuel excitement for the upcoming third entry in the Avengers series, due in May 2018. And while he credits mastermind Kevin Feige for keeping the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe together as a unified whole, he also believes the studio’s long-term success can be credited to its refusal to get too far ahead of itself, in terms of interconnecting its various properties:
I think one of the reasons it’s working over there at Marvel Studios is that they’re approaching it the same way Stan Lee did, in writing the comics. Which is, do it one comic at a time. They’re doing one movie at a time. And just making the next best step, and seeing where that leads. It turns into a really beautiful creative evolution, if you’re always looking for the best possible idea for each individual movie.
Stay tuned for our full, in-depth interview with Scott Derrickson in the coming weeks. Doctor Strange debuts on Digital HD on Feb. 14 and on Blu-ray/DVD on Feb. 28.