Benedict Cumberbatch: ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Is the ‘Most Frightening Marvel Film of All Time’

"There are definitely moments that make you jump, definitely moments that do fit into the horror genre."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness"

Despite a director change, the promise of “Doctor Strange 2” is still the same: Bring on the scary.

Lead star Benedict Cumberbatch said that “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” in theaters May 6, definitely has a “darker tone” than any other Marvel film.

“I think almost definitely it is the most frightening Marvel film of all time,” Cumberbatch told Esquire Middle East. But I know that doesn’t necessarily put it in the same league as ‘The Shining’ or of ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose.'”

Cumberbatch continued, “I would say in [the] compound sense of what little I know is it’s definitely darker in tone, and in terms of advice for taking kids of a certain age, it’s going to be prohibitive for certain people of a certain age because it is scary.”

And even though Doctor Strange himself isn’t a fan of horror, Cumberbatch confirmed there are plenty of jump scares and signature Raimi moments.

“There’s a lot of shock horror as this is a Sam Raimi film, in tone and execution,” Cumberbatch told Empire Middle East. “There are a lot of his trademark zoom cuts, close-ups and the schlockiness of it as well. It does feel like watching a Sam Raimi film of old at times. There’s a nostalgia kick to that, which I think feels playful at times, as well as dark and quite scary. I wouldn’t say it’s an out-and-out spine-chilling horror film, but there are definitely moments that make you jump, definitely moments that do fit into the horror genre.”

When “Doctor Strange 2” was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, the sequel was slated to be directed by Scott Derrickson, who previously helmed “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and “Sinister” as well as the first “Doctor Strange” installment.

Derrickson reportedly parted ways with the sequel due to creative differences and longtime horror-comedy veteran Raimi took over the film.

“It’s spooky at times and scary at others,” the “Evil Dead” and original “Spider-Man” trilogy director previously told Fandango. “It’s unknown what you’ll find in the multiverse. It’s within that unknown that suspense and darkness exists, a tool to titillate the audience’s fear.”

“Doctor Strange 2” centers on Strange’s reckoning with himself while trying to stitch together the hole in the multiverse. Elizabeth Olsen also reprises her role as Scarlet Witch following “WandaVision.”

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.