It's understandable when creative types get nervous about sharing their work with an audience, particularly online where reactions can come fast and fierce. But while random voices on social media can either raise spirits or crush dreams, for many it's the critics' reactions to a new book, comic, show of movie that really matters.
So when a film holds steady over a several month period with a 90% Freshness Rating on the Internet's leading review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes, you might think those involved in making the movie might want to bask in the positive reaction, if only a little bit.
That's not the case, however, for Scott Derrickson, the director who helmed Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange." Despite the near universal acclaim and massive box-office success his and star Benedict Cumberbatch's Marvel Cinematic Universe debut has achieved, Derrickson has not read any reviews for the film. Nor does he intend to.
"I kind of put the blinders on," Derrickson told CBR during a discussion about the film's Blu-ray release. "Once I saw that the reviews were all positive, I didn’t read them. I just saw it was 90-something percent on Rotten Tomatoes and the box office was huge. At that point, I just kind of turned it off and tried to not pay too much attention to it for my own, I think, mental and emotional health."
"I can only assume, and based on some of the Twitter feedback, that people got an experience that went beyond their expectations, and that was always the idea," the director continued. "It was to create characters that they cared about, that had ideas that had some weight and some significance, and that would be a visceral experience beyond what they’d experienced before in a movie. It seems, based on what little feedback I have paid attention to, it seems like that happened."
In addition to positive reaction from film critics, "Doctor Strange" has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Visual Effects category. The Benedict Cumberbatch-led film will face off against “Deepwater Horizon,” “The Jungle Book,” “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
“Doctor Strange” arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD February 28, 2017 and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.