A couple months ago, it was reported that Community creator Dan Harmon was brought in to help right scenes for additional photography on Doctor Strange. Marvel Studios always does additional photography on its films and it was believed that Harmon, with his extensive background in comedy, had been hired to help with humor.
Comedy was definitely a factor, but when we discussed the addition of Harmon on the Marvel News podcast (episode 36), I theorized that one of Harmon’s other creations—Rick and Morty—was another factor that helped him get the Doctor Strange job. Rick and Morty is an animated comedy that centers on other-dimensional adventures. It’s a different application, but conceptually, there is some overlap with Doctor Strange.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige discussed the hiring of Harmon with Entertainment Weekly and confirmed that Rick and Morty was a factor.
“It is true that he was. He came in, he watched the movie. We are all big fans of his work, clearly. We at Marvel Studios are fans of Community, it’s where we found Joe and Anthony Russo, who came onboard to do Winter Soldier, and of course Civil War, and the upcoming [Avengers] films. So, we’re big fans of that. We’re also fans of his cartoon Rick and Morty, which is about, of course, humor, but I would argue that any given episode of that show has an unbelievably amazing sci-fi concept that could be its own movie. So, really, we just wanted him to watch the movie, and talk to us about it, and give us his opinions on the sci-fi concepts. That was as important to us as any humor that he could add to the movie. And he was very, very gracious in doing that.”
For once, I was right. You can listen to our conversation about Harmon writing additional scenes for Doctor Strange below (that segment begins at 43:41). I love that Feige and director Scott Derrickson made this call, as it shows a willingness to think outside the box and find the right people to help drive home the concepts that are critical to Doctor Strange. I’m sure the film will be better thanks in part to Harmon.
Marvel’s Doctor Strange is in theaters November 4.