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The Key Questions as Marvel Prepares to Make the ‘Doctor Strange’ Movies

Acclaimed writer Brian K. Vaughn penned the limited series Doctor Strange: The Oath in 2006. Credit: Marvel Entertainment.

Was Walt Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) Marvel Studios smart to hire Scott Derrickson to make the long-anticipated Doctor Strange movie? Can it succeed without the support of a monthly comic book, as Marvel's other films have enjoyed? Guest host Alison Southwick puts these questions to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Nathan says that Derrickson has a long history of making movies cheaply and profitably, especially in the supernatural arena where Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme exists. His latest effort -- Sinister, about a true crime novelist plunged into a series of horrific events -- earned $87.7 million worldwide on a mere $3 million production budget. At Rotten Tomatoes, 63% of critics and 61% of audiences rate the film as "fresh."

You might even say that Derrickson's path tracks well with that of fellow director Gareth Edwards, who made a ridiculously profitable independent movie called Monsters before signing on to direct Godzilla, which has made $394.7 million worldwide as of this writing. A sequel is already in the works.

On the question of whether a Doctor Strange movie can work without the support of an associated monthly title, Tim says that the character is well known enough by fans to merit the try. History also says that Marvel will commission a new Doctor Strange series ahead of the movie's release for marketing purposes, just as it did for Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Click the video to watch as Alison puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then leave a comment below to tell us what you think of Marvel's plan for Doctor Strange. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

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  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2014, at 9:30 PM, Hoser003 wrote:

    I agree that Scott Derrickson is a good choice for director. Marvel has consistently shown a good judgment in choosing its directors. I also do not think that the lack of a monthly comic will affect the success of the movie. In the grand scheme of things, the comic book reader/fans are a very small percent at the box office. The average movie goer isn't going to know who Doctor Strange is. They will go and see the movie because the trailer(s) and because it says "Marvel", and they will want to see how it fits in with the rest of the movies. As far as the Ant-man goes. I disagree, to a point, with the "direct-by-numbers" comments. The common opinion seems to be that Edgar Wright left because he refused to make the changes that Marvel wanted and that he (Edgar Wright) was not being allowed to make the movie that he wanted. What people either forget, or don't know, is that the Ant-Man movie has been in work (with Edgar Wright) for over 6 years. He took several breaks to make other films while developing it. Think about it. When Edgar Wright was first brought onto the Ant-Man project, the only Marvel studio movies that were out were "Ironman" and "The Incredible Hulk". Marvel was still in the very early stages of planning their universe. Since then we have had 6 more Marvel movies. In all reality, the changes that Marvel wanted to make to the Edgar Wrights' script were most likely to keep it within the Marvel Universe that had formed. I wouldn't say that a studio that gave a director over 6 years to get his movie together was a "direct-by-numbers" studio. Now with Edgar Wrights departure, I would agree with that statement as they need someone who can come in and direct the movie that they need RIGHT NOW, so that they can keep on schedule. Ant-Man being pushed back or even canceled will really be Marvel's first big hic-up, and one that they can survive somewhat unscathed do to their history of success. But it will make any movie following that is not an already existing franchise a little harder to sell.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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