Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange remains one of the most unusual origin-story movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even when you consider that movies like Thor and Ant-Man dabble in Asgardian politics or quantum physics, the mystical surrealism that Derrickson needed to master in order to bring the character to life on screen. And so it makes some sense that Derrickson’s favorite scene in the movie involves The Ancient One, and not Strange, as he just admitted.
Derrickson participated in a watch party on social media (sponsored by ComicBook) and commented on the movie as fans watched along. And when Doctor Strange got to the death of The Ancient One – spoiler alert, I’m sorry – the director admitted:
It’s a deeply emotional scene. The last lesson passed down from a teacher to a student. And Tilda Swinton ends up being the ideal choice to play an ethereal, knowledgeable being like The Ancient One on screen. There’s so much about her character that we still don’t know, and it’s kind of a blessing when we saw her resurface in Avengers: Endgame thanks to time travel. I also feel like she can contribute to the Doctor Strange sequel, because magic! But you knew, in this scene, that Strange would continue to learn from The Ancient One even long after she was gone, because her wisdom was that influential.
Contained in the scene is a moment that Scott Derrickson says is pivotal to Doctor Strange working as a film so they spent an inordinate amount of time on it.
And in case you had any doubt about how wonderful Tilda Swinton was, in person, Derrickson had this to add:
Now you want to see the scene for yourself, don’t you? Us, too. We got you covered.
All of this makes us depressed that Scott Derrickson is not at the helm of next year’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness. His passion for the character is evident, but something happened behind the scenes, and Derrickson decided to move on. The rumors are that he will be replaced by Sam Raimi, who is a brilliant choice. But given the coronavirus delays ravaging the industry, we don’t know yet how Marvel’s production and release schedule will be affected. We will report more as we hear it.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.