Stephen Strange made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in 2016's Doctor Strange, and the character has since become every bit as important to this shared world as characters like Iron Man and Captain America. The mind-bending visuals in the hero's origin story have also proven key, and the former Sorcerer Supreme looks set to be a big part of The Multiverse Saga.
Since his debut, Strange has appeared in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and this summer's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Benedict Cumberbatch also reprised the role for a standout performance in What If...?, and it's clear both the actor and character are massively important to future plans.
Talking to us about the release of The Black Phone, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson reflected on the character's huge impact on the MCU and his time working on the project.
"I feel extremely proud of Doctor Strange, It was a very, very ambitious movie at the time and I’m really proud of the character we created and very proud of casting Benedict," the filmmaker recalls. "I think he was obviously the right guy to play Doctor Strange. I’m also very proud of the visual language in that film and how it continues to permeate the MCU."
"It was a wonderful experience and very demanding, but I felt very supported when I made it. I really felt like Kevin [Feige] was willing to let me reach as far as I was reaching visually and thematically," Derrickson continued. "There are a lot of spiritual ideas in it and it’s a film with a lot of ambition. I’m really proud of the movie."
Derrickson decided against returning for the sequel, though has never spoken poorly about his time working with Marvel Studios. Ultimately, the two sides had different visions for the character, but we can't complain about what Sam Raimi delivered or the edge-of-your-seat horror movie that is The Black Phone (we'll be sharing our full interview with the director soon).
The Black Phone is now streaming on Peacock and also available on Digital platforms. The movie arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on August 16.