‘Doctor Strange’ writer Jon Spaihts talks about blowing the Marvel Cinematic Universe wide open

Overnight success takes years. Just ask Jon Spaihts. The screenwriter has two of the most anticipated genre films of 2016 hitting theaters over the next few months. Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt and Doctor Strange, Marvel”s first real foray into expanding beyond the boring mortal plane. Coming down the pipe, the writer also has his hand in Universal”s reboot of The Mummy, a take on Van Helsing, and is working with Guillermo del Toro on Pacific Rim: Maelstrom. All of which would be exciting enough on its own, but Spaihts is also a huge nerd.

One of us. One of us.

With Doctor Strange out now, HitFix Harpy spoke with Spaihts by phone to get an idea of how massive a shift Marvel is making by cracking open the door to the multiverse.

Image Credit: Marvel Entertainment

HITFIX HARPY: Way back in June of 2014, you announced your involvement with the film on Twitter by saying Doctor Strange was your favorite Marvel hero, so it was a good day. Why is Doctor Strange your favorite Marvel hero? 

JON SPAIHTS: I think scale. I've always loved mind-bending fantasy and deep science fiction where you grapple with cosmic ideas and put the world or even universe itself at risk, travel to other planes of existence. Doctor Strange is the very pinnacle of the ladder of superheroing, from the street level heroes at the bottom who are beating up bank robbers to the bigger heroes who are fighting worldly super villains. Then at the top you've got Doctor Strange, who protects the world from wayward gods and from its utter unraveling; to save every life on Earth time after time. I love that cosmic scale. That went hand in hand with some of the most stunning visuals that ever appeared in pages of comics. Psychedelia and beautiful runic graphics and inscriptions. They felt very ancient and very futuristic at the same time. 

Did you have a favorite Doctor Strange art growing up that you were hoping you would be able to incorporate into the film?

SPAIHTS: I have multiple favorites. Too many to choose a favorite. There are very dark undead tales. There's Nightmare. There's Dormammu. There are rival sorcerers. There's great stuff throughout the canon. Really wonderful modern stuff. He's played a big part in a couple of the big story arcs of the last ten years. They're all incredibly enticing.