Kevin Feige’s Evil Dead II Tease Revealed in Doctor Strange 2

Posted 2022/05/08 6 0

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

With horror legend Sam Raimi directing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, many Evil Dead fans were excited to see Raimi bring his characteristic style to the franchise. A March edition of Empire Magazine included an interview with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige where he said of Doctor Strange 2, “You will see just how Sam Raimi it is, in ways that will make Evil Dead II fans very happy.”

Since Feige wanted Doctor Strange 2 to feel like a Sam Raimi movie, many fans guessed that the film would include a cameo by Bruce Campbell as Ashley Joanna Williams and that’s how Evil Dead would factor into the film’s narrative. Instead, Raimi relied heavily on the special effect techniques that are so tied to his name because of Evil Dead and Evil Dead II to create an atmosphere well-suited to the Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen.

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is as much about Wanda Maximoff’s growth as a character as it is about Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). The film picks up at the end of WandaVision, with Wanda becoming Scarlet Witch. At a press conference for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness earlier this week, Olsen commented, “With WandaVision, I got to become anything and everything, and really, really grow [Wanda] into a woman. And leading her to [accept] that she is this mythic woman. That is her destiny.”

And director Sam Raimi brought all of his horror knowledge to helping Olsen evolve her character in a way that she found empowering, taking Wanda Maximoff to the next level as Scarlet Witch.

Sam Raimi Brings Evil Dead Style to the MCU

Raimi is known for the B-movie style of 1981’s Evil Dead, starring his friend and frequent collaborator Bruce Campbell, and his practical special effects. The film was a “sleeper hit” thanks to Stephen King, who breathed new life into Evil Dead after he gave it a rave review at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival (and then helped Raimi secure funding for Evil Dead II). Any Deadite will tell you that one of the most notable aspects of the Evil Dead franchise is the “shaky cam,” used during scenes involving the unseen force in the woods (now known as the Kandarian demon). He is also a fan of using Dutch angles, a way of tilting the camera along the X-axis to tell the movie viewer that they should be feeling unsettled or apprehensive. Doctor Strange 2 is no different, except Raimi now has expensive film equipment.

To build on the mystique of the Scarlet Witch, Raimi used all of his horror director tricks. Dutch angles. Check. Evil Dead franchise scenes in which the “unseen force” appears as fog or “shaky cam” or snake-like forest vines. Check. Creepy fog moving toward a creepy house. Check. Possessing yourself. Check. Then having to fight yourself. Check. Even Ash Williams’ yellow Oldsmobile gets its cameo appearance (not to mention Bruce Campbell himself).

All the Sam Raimi classics are re-imagined to fit the Scarlet Witch’s Darkhold powers. As Wanda is subsumed by the Scarlet Witch, she is more willing to use the Darkhold — compared to the Necronomicon in Marvel Comics — to dream walk into alternate universe’s Wanda’s consciousnesses and possess their bodies. Raimi showed this onscreen was a red fog creeping toward the Westview home of a Wanda with twins. In Doctor Strange 2, as the fog creeps closer, the alternate universe Westview home appears haunted so that that universe’s Wanda is forced toward a reflection. Once Wanda looks into a reflection, Scarlet Witch can possess Wanda and play mom until the other version of herself takes back control.

To defeat the Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange of Earth-616 must do something that he never thought her would do. But there isn’t a better director than Raimi to be at the helm.

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