Previously known only for the short film Panic Attack!, Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez burst onto the international stage in a big way last weekend with the gruesome remake of the horror classic Evil Dead. While the film received mixed reviews from critics (read our review), Evil Dead defied expectations by handily leading box office sales on its opening weekend.

Evil Dead‘s success puts Alvarez in the enviable position of a first-time feature director whose talents are in high demand. Many are wondering what project he will choose next – and the answer may be more surprising than anyone could have guessed. A currently-unconfirmed rumor states that Alvarez is in talks to write and/or direct none other than Marvel’s Doctor Strange.

Latino Review has shared information that Alvarez and his screenwriting partner, Rodo Sayagues, have met with Marvel executives to discuss a possible future collaboration – though, for the time being, take the report with a major grain of salt. Even if they took a meeting with Marvel, that doesn’t mean that anything will come of it. Still, given what is known about Marvel’s long-term plans and the content of Alvarez’s recent success, it isn’t much of stretch to guess why the duo was approached to talk about Doctor Strange.

As of the moment, Marvel has neither confirmed nor denied the meeting and its implications. Since Alvarez just scored significant genre victory – in steering a supernatural gorefest to box office accolades – Marvel may simply be putting out feelers to gauge the interest of the director in any of its properties.

Doctor Strange is currently one of only two titles for “Phase 3″ – announced to follow The Avengers 2 after 2015. Since Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man is scheduled to enter theaters in November of 2015, Doctor Strange would likely open in the summer of 2016. If Marvel is indeed already scouting directors, it’s coming earlier than expected – possibly to keep the rails greased no matter what happens during the Phase 2 run.

No matter the outcome, Alvarez is a fascinating pick to head up a property as bizarre as Doctor Strange. Panic Attack! shows that Alvarez can definitely pull off huge spectacle even on a shoestring budget, while Evil Dead proves that he is equally adept at conveying supernatural weirdness on a closer, more personal level. A combination of both is absolutely necessary to make a silver screen version of the Sorcerer Supreme work. Can Alvarez and Sayagues rise to the occasion and properly adapt one of the Marvel Universe’s most infamously tricky characters? And given their backgrounds, is Marvel shooting for their first foray into superhero horror?

Until Marvel comments on their meeting with Alvarez and Sayagues (and they may not for some time), anything goes. If they are indeed moving forward on the pre-production of Doctor Strange, it shows that the studio has taken its already proactive moviemaking strategy to a whole new level.

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Phase 3 of the shared Marvel movie universe starts with Ant-Man on November 6th, 2015. Doctor Strange will likely debut in 2016.

Source: Latino Review