‘Doctor Strange': Scott Derrickson says Marvel film will be his next

June 03, 2014 | 3:51 p.m.

“Ant-Man” might still be hunting for a director, but “Doctor Strange” appears to have found one.

Scott Derrickson will helm the upcoming Marvel project, part of the studio’s phase three roster of comic book blockbusters.

Derrickson announced via Twitter on Tuesday that “Doctor Strange” would be his next film, though Marvel has not officially confirmed his hiring as either the film’s writer or director.

Doctor Strange

“Doctor Strange” (Marvel)

As a writer-director, Derrickson has made a name for himself in horror with features including “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.” and “Sinister.” His next film, “Deliver Us From Evil,” is due in theaters July 2 and centers on a New York police officer who teams with a priest to investigate a rash of possessions in the city.

In a 2012 interview with Hero Complex, Derrickson described his affinity for genre filmmaking, saying “I think more than comedy, probably more than straight drama, I like horror. And horror I think I’m particularly good at. It’s a mistake a lot of directors make, especially young directors. They always want to make the kind of movies that they most admire and aren’t necessarily sensitive to what they have the best skill set for. I have a pretty good skill set for horror. I also love the idea of trying to elevate the genre beyond the norm.”

True crime also has been something of a recent preoccupation for Derrickson, who adapted Mara Leveritt’s 2002 book “Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three,” as the basis for the upcoming Atom Egoyan film “Devil’s Knot,” a dramatized account of the arrest and conviction of the so-called West Memphis 3.

Additionally, his credits include the 2008 remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” starring Keanu Reeves.

“Doctor Strange” will bring to the screen Stephen Strange, the former neurosurgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme who is the Marvel Universe’s greatest protector against magical peril – and one of his fellow superheroes’ most sought after advisors.

First appearing in a Stan Lee-written and Steve Ditko-drawn story in “Strange Tales” No. 110 in 1963, the brilliant magician has fought such foes as the dread Dormammu of the Dark Dimension and the dream-powered Nightmare, all while sporting a red cape with a spectacularly high collar. He has also been seen as a member of groups including the Defenders, New Avengers and Illuminati.

It’s possible the character might appear in a third “Avengers” film, alongside other heroes including Ant-Man. A shadow of uncertainty fell over the planned 2015 standalone release centering on the latter character — which will star Michael Douglas as the original Avengers member Hank Pym and Paul Rudd as reformed thief Scott Lang — with the unexpected departure of fan-favorite writer-director Edgar Wright last month.

Are you excited for a “Doctor Strange” film? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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