Doctor Strange had a big IMAX footage preview event last night. As part of the promotional campaign surrounding the event, director Scott Derrickson participated in a Reddit thread where answered fan questions about the film.
We've already seen a lot of unique-looking footage from Doctor Strange, and our own Lucas Siegel reported that the IMAX footage, "also revealed the mind-bending nature of magic in the film...best described as viewing a kaleidoscope while high on psychotropics and dreaming."
With magic and mysticism and matter rearrangement putting on such a vivid visual display, it might be easy to assume that Doctor Strange will be the usual lighter and adventurous Marvel movie; however, Derrickson took to Reddit to let fans know that won't be the case. While the Sinister director explained that this is, of course, a Marvel movie and not a horror movie, he did not that, "it is a bit darker and more serious than other Marvel movies. I think the connection between my horror films and this film is the balance of the supernatural/fantastical with very realistic, grounded characters."
The story of Dr. Stephen Strange's journey from arrogant surgeon, to broken man with broken hands, to neophyte mystic, to Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel universe is one that has definitely had darker themes and elements in its various interpretations. Even the 2007 animated movie (which this live-action movie shares a lot in common with) was more daramatically heavy and serious in examining life and control vs. destiny and any other number of easter philosophical ideas.
As for Doctor Strange being darker: we haven't really seen much dark or horror-themed moments in the footage released, but word from the IMAX screening event is trickling in as we write this (like in the Reddit thread above), and there are whispers that dark freaky occult-themed elements are definitely part of the film. We can wait to see more of it.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; and Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019.