Despite Deadpool’s rather unique Oscar campaign, there were only two superhero movies nominated for an Academy Award this year, and one was Marvel’s Doctor Strange for Best Visual Effects. And while Doctor Strange might not have been anyone’s pick for Best Picture, the film wholly deserves the nomination for Visual Effects if only for its wild, drug-fueled SFX.
Doctor Strange was directed by Sinister’s Scott Derrickson, and throughout the production, Derrickson would mention how the film’s visual style would be unlike most other Marvel films. Citing the classic and trippy artwork of Steve Ditko, the first trailer for Doctor Strange showcased a truly stunning take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sending Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange flying through spiritual realms and dropping from multi-dimensions. While the visuals weren’t enough to make Doctor Strange one of the best Marvel films in the Cinematic Universe, it did distinguish the film visually from the pack.
Doctor Strange’s visuals have a strong basis in the kaleidoscope artwork of Steve Ditko, whose original comic book panels clearly influenced the trippy special effects and outer dimensions seen in the film.
However, among the film’s Inception-esque, collapsing visuals, there were allusions to peyote-fueled drug trips, harnessing psychedelic imagery to conjure up Marvel’s mystical dimensions.
While Deadpool might not have seen an Academy Award nomination this year, Doctor Strange will be competing against films like Deep Water Horizon, Jungle Book, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for the Visual Effects Oscar.
The 2017 Academy Awards will broadcast February 27, 2017.