Marvel's latest cinematic adventure, Doctor Strange, has been another critical and financial success for the studio - even surpassing Iron Man's box office takings. Of course, a significant part of that success must be attributed to director Scott Derrickson. Transferring the trippy, often nonsensical, world of Stephen Strange to the silver screen would have been a daunting task for even the most experienced filmmaker, but Derrickson managed to craft a film that looked great and had a distinctly different feel to other superhero jaunts.
Scott Derrickson first came to prominence with Blumhouse's low budget horror Sinister, and another director whose career has followed a similar trajectory is the man behind Warner Bros.' upcoming DCEU entry, Aquaman, James Wan. Wan has some considerable pedigree when it comes to modern horror; not only did the director kick-start the Saw franchise - and arguably the gore-focused horror sub-genre as a whole - he was also responsible for both Insidious and The Conjuring.
With the Marvel and DC rivalry raging as fiercely as ever among fans now that the companies are duking it out on the big screen rather than just the comic world, it's comforting to see that there is still camaraderie between directors, as James Wan recently took to Twitter to congratulate fellow horror-to-superhero filmmaker Derrickson on his success with Doctor Strange.
Congrats to @scottderrickson for his incredible achievements. Whose career I've admired and emulated. From low budget horror to tentpole.
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) November 27, 2016
Whilst one director congratulating another - even if they do stand on opposing sides of the superhero pantheon - perhaps isn't too surprising, the development is somewhat more significant given reports earlier in the year that James Wan was looking to exit the production of Aquaman. The rumors came in the wake of both the mixed reaction to Batman V. Superman and the ongoing director issues with The Flash and were swiftly denied by Wan himself.
With fellow Blumhouse graduate Derrickson showing how to effectively make the step-up from, as Wan puts it, "low budget horror to tent pole", and the Saw director himself openly claiming to emulate Derrickson, it's possible that any misgivings he may have had about tackling Aquaman have been assuaged by the success of his colleague's first foray into superhero territory.
With that said, it's possible that some of the more partisan participants in the Marvel/DC rivalry could interpret Wan's comments - added to the previous Aquaman exit rumors - as an indication that the director is looking to jump ship on the relatively less successful DCEU and head on over to Marvel for a job on one of their many upcoming features. It's far more likely, however, that Wan was simply paying tribute to a respected fellow filmmaker.
Source: James Wan (via Twitter)
- Doctor Strange (2016) release date: Nov 04, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019