Sam Raimi doesn’t want zombies in his Doctor Strange movie

Is there any hell in the MCU? And does that imply the existence of demons, God, Lucifer, and who knows what else? All these things definitely exists in Marvel Comicsbut the MCU has been more vague on the question. Black Panther states that the rulers of Wakandan go to a particular afterlife, and Moonlight Knight recently frankly saying that there is a lot of life after that and the pantheon gods, though that series’ relationship to the MCU is rather meager.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness adds a new wrinkle, as the multiverse-traveling wizard Stephen Strange falls into the “souls of the damned” after he casts magic in a very specific way. So wait, does that mean human souls from hell? What will happen to the afterlife in this movie? Why are evil ghosts in charge of law enforcement with magic? And this will affect season 2 of Loki? Polygon asked Madness’s Multiverse screenwriter (and Loki writer and producer) Michael Waldron whether he just opened a giant religious worm box.

“Those were all conversations we had,” laughs Waldron. “There is nothing random in the movie. [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige] definitely be aware of the meaning of things here, you know? They are not the souls of damned people just for the sake of souls for the sake of damnation. “

[Ed. note: Spoilers ahead for a particular event in Multiverse of Madness.]

Zombie Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in Madness' Multiverse

Image: Marvel Studios / Disney

Fans are especially curious about ghosts and hell in the MCU because they have raising hope for existing Marvel Comics characters like Mephisto will eventually appear in movies or shows. But Waldron said that the spirits in the Madness’s Multiverse comes more from the supernatural tradition seen in the movies, built around Mount Wundagore and the corrupt book of dark magic copied from its walls, the Darkhold.

“We actually tried to root [the dead in this movie] according to our internal logic,” he said. “There is a Darkhold, and if you use the Darkhold to possess your own corpse, there is a separate sentinel beyond all of this that will come to you. And that’s who Stephen ended up fouling, so that’s pretty interesting to discover. ”

“Not using interstellar magic to possess one’s own corpse” seems like a specific special case for having the rule around, much less a set of spiritual execution quests. Waldron encourages viewers not to think of it as if someone wrote down a rule Stephen broke – it’s just something weird and infringing enough to really infuriate the spirits.

“In my mind, Stephen Strange and Wanda are the only two wizards strong enough to begin to walk in their dreams,” he said. “It’s an unattainable spell, let alone maintain. I think that Strange was, in my mind, probably the first person to attempt to possess his own corpse. That is Break the glass in an emergency on the back page of Darkhold. And those damned souls are like, Absolutely not, you cannot do this.”

The scene in the movie where the spirits attack Strange and yank him in the face of a zombie recalls some of the specific behaviors Ash goes through when fighting the dead in Raimi’s horror-comedies. Demon of Death 2 and Army of Darkness. Fans have specifically called that series because of the way it made Madness’s Multiverse feels very different like a Raimi project.

Dead Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) controls a cloud of the angry souls of the damned and turns them into a cloak in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Image: Marvel Studios / Disney

But Waldron said Raimi was initially hesitant about whether he wanted a horror comic book series involving the dead. He said: “I had it completely in Sam’s mind the whole time. “I watched all of his movies. I tried to really listen to the lines in his movie, because I wanted it to sound like a Sam Raimi movie. But Sam wasn’t interested in getting in and just playing hits. Sam doesn’t come in and say, I need you to give me a zombie. And in fact, when I presented the idea of ​​Dead Strange to him, there was a part where he really hesitated, because he didn’t want it to sound like he just said it. I want to do my Sam Raimi. ”

Waldron says that Raimi didn’t agree with the idea until it became clear that it was part of Doctor Strange’s larger themes, ignoring what everyone else told him about the rule and doing whatever what he thinks is necessary to achieve his goal. “So when we could justify it that way, Sam was on board,” Waldron said. “It’s loved Okay, now let’s have some fun, let’s really get on with it. ”

Some overall aspects of Madness’s Multiverse especially weird, like the universe where everyone is made of paint. When asked if the film would give him and his co-writers the freedom to get weirder with the multiverse frenzy in Loki season 2, Waldron laughs again.

“I don’t know if I can go any weirder than we went in season 1,” he said. “We have got a crocodile drinking from a kids pool. That feeling is like the strange peak of Mount Everest! I think there’s a lot of opportunity there. We’re always looking to get ahead of ourselves, but hopefully it’s always driven by character. And yes, I learned through this movie again, no idea is too crazy. You could write Stephen Strange in possession of his own corpse, and maybe you would shoot it dead. That encourages me to be bold, which is good.”

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