Outside of Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch both participating in Avengers: Endgame’s climactic battle and attending Tony Stark’s funeral, the two heroes haven’t crossed paths, but that will soon change thanks to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Following the events of the Disney+ series WandaVision, the next chapter of Wanda Maximoff’s story will unfold in the Doctor Strange sequel. Earlier this month, Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron compared Stephen Strange to Indiana Jones, but as far as this upcoming movie as a whole goes, Elizabeth Olsen thinks Multiverse of Madness is more scary than the adventures starring the fedora-wearing, whip-wielding protagonist.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe actress shared these thoughts while appearing on a recent episode of Vanity Fair’s Little Gold Men podcast, noting that there’s no question that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will definitely feel like a Sam Raimi offering. In Elizabeth Olsen’s words:
I think it’s scarier than Indiana Jones. I think it definitely feels more Sam Raimi than that. So maybe that was the goal, but it definitely became something darker I think. ... Yeah, not like [Raimi's] western [work]... Yes, the horror genre feeling of constant fear and thrill and misleads and playing with camera, playing with how the perspective of the depth of field in order to make the audience feel more anxious... I think it's more than like a glossy Indiana Jones movie. Which I love Indiana Jones, but I feel like it has a darker thing going on.
Back in July 2019, then-Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Scott Derrickson said he wanted the movie to be the first “scary” entry in the MCU, although the following December, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige clarified that Multiverse of Madness wouldn’t be a full-blown horror film. Derrickson later vacated the Multiverse of Madness director’s chair and Sam Raimi of the 2000s Spider-Man trilogy fame succeeded him, but in Elizabeth Olsen’s eyes, there will still be plenty of darkness on display that surpasses the scares the Indiana Jones movies have delivered over the decades (side note, let’s not forget that Harrison Ford is reprising Dr. Henry Jones Jr. for Indiana Jones 5).
Looking at the man’s body of work, from The Evil Dead to Spider-Man 2 (I’m specifically thinking of the scene where Doctor Octopus’ arms kill those doctors while Alfred Molina’s Otto Octavius is unconscious), Sam Raimi is definitely a director who knows his way around darkness and frights. So while Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness won’t fully rest within the horror genre the same way Ant-Man is undoubtedly a heist movie, it does sound like this will be one of the more intense MCU offerings, perhaps pushing that PG-13 rating more than most other movies in this film franchise have.
As for how Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will specifically deliver scares, that remains to be seen, although when you’re a sorcerer exploring other dimensions and realities, it stands to reason that you’re bound to come across more disturbing things besides Dormammu and his Dark Dimension. Multiverse of Madness also sees the return of Benedict Wong’s Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo and Rachel McAdams’ Christine Palmer, whil Xochitl Gomez will debut as America Chavez. Along with WandaVision (which saw Wanda Maximoff discovering her true potential and officially gaining the Scarlet Witch title), the sequel also connects to the currently-running Loki series and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness works its magic in theaters on March 25, 2022, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for updates on its progress and other news about upcoming Marvel movies.