WARNING! Spoilers for Doctor Strange 2 below.
The writer of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness reveals how the 1986 sci-fi classic Aliens inspired the brutal fight scene between the Illuminati and Scarlet Witch. Multiverse of Madness marked the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and served as a sequel to 2016's Doctor Strange. The film follows the titular character as he is forced to protect a teenager named America Chavez, who possesses the special and highly-coveted ability to travel through the multiverse. With Scarlet Witch wanting these powers for herself, Doctor Strange 2 sees Wanda chase America through the multiverse so she can use America's powers to reunite with her children.
Conversely, the story of James Cameron's Alien follow-up stars Sigourney Weaver as the iconic Ellen Ripley and centers around a group of marines as they, with the help of Ripley, investigate a colony following a loss of contact. However, even the battle-hardened veterans with the latest weaponry are no match for the aliens that have invaded the colony as they get picked off one by one. This is quite similar to Wanda's own attack on the headquarters of the Illuminati on Earth-838. Doctor Strange 2 sees Scarlet Witch wipe out the entire group (including John Krasinski's Reed Richards, Patrick Stuart's Professor X, Lashana Lynch's Captain Marvel, Hayley Atwell's Captain Carter, and Anson Mount's Black Bolt) in brutal fashion.
Now, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, it was revealed by Doctor Strange 2 writer Michael Waldron that "to find the madness" in the fight scene between the Scarlet Witch and the Illuminati, he took inspiration from the sci-fi film Aliens. Waldron mentioned that he was initially unsure as to whether he'd be able to make the sequence come to fruition. He went on to compare Wanda's impact to that of the Xenomorphs from the 1986 feature, citing that he wanted viewers to be "truly terrified" of the character. Check out his full quote below:
"Yeah, that’s a blast. That’s probably my favorite sequence in the movie. The idea for that was not in my outline; I was writing the first draft and I guess I felt like, as I put it, the movie needed to get drunk. It felt like we’re at the point where I need to find the madness in the multiverse here. I had no idea: Would I be able to use these characters? Would this even be possible? But I knew with Sam [Raimi] that if we did it this way, it would be amazing. And so I wrote it in.
I was watching Aliens a lot as I was writing. Because just tonally this movie is a thriller and a [feature-length] chase. I just love how Aliens goes to great lengths to tell you how badass the space Marines are — and then they just get slaughtered. Then you are really scared of the Xenomorphs for the rest of that movie, and that’s what I wanted to accomplish with Wanda. At the end of that Illuminati sequence. I hope you were truly terrified of the Scarlet Witch. It’s been awesome being in the theater hearing the cheers, then the gasps and the groans. [Laughs] I mean, you know, people were feeling something at the movies. That’s good!"
Waldron's source of inspiration makes perfect sense given that he, along with Raimi, wanted to capture the fearsomely unhinged nature of Wanda's powers, and the similarities between Doctor Strange 2's Illuminati fight scene and the sequences in Aliens are all the more clear because of it. The Illuminati sequence is perhaps the most terrifying sequence in the entire movie as Wanda dispatches each of the members quickly (and quite brutally). Aliens is perhaps the perfect inspiration for the scene (and the movie as a whole) as Wanda is as unrelenting as the Xenomorph for much of the film.
Doctor Strange 2 has received mixed responses from certain sections of the fanbase, though Raimi aficionados have voiced their delight at the amount of freedom he had to put his stamp on the film. However, the violent set-pieces and graphic imagery of the film have sparked debates as to whether the film should have received an R rating. While Doctor Strange 2 was never going to match the level of violence and gore in a film like Aliens, it clearly didn't stop the creative team from pushing the boundaries of the PG-13 restriction and creating yet another distinct entry in the MCU.
Next: Where Wolverine & The Other X-Men Were During Doctor Strange 2
Source: Rolling Stone
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