Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel Studios' most recent blockbuster movie, was generally well-received by fans and critics alike. The MCU film saw the titular Master of the Mystic Arts thrown through various parallel dimensions alongside teenage powerhouse, America Chavez. Throughout the plot, Dr. Strange and America were pursued by a deranged Wanda Maximoff who wished to kill young Chavez and take her abilities for her own twisted goals.
A somewhat dark-sounding premise, but altogether a fun moviegoing experience, most would agree. This even caught the attention of some prominent higher-ups in the entertainment industry, including George R.R. Martin.
Martin is, of course, best known for writing the series of fantasy novels called A Song of Ice and Fire, which were adapted into HBO's mega-hit original series, Game of Thrones. He's known to love Marvel Comics, something he's never been shy about sharing. In fact, the Hugo award-winning author once cited Stan Lee himself as one of his greatest literary influences.
For someone so enamored by the Marvel Universe, he most certainly has opinions on its film output as well.
Game of Thrones Creator 'Loved' Multiverse of Madness
On his personal website, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin gave his review of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
"These past couple of years, what with covid and all, I have fallen way behind on my movie-going. Which is a shame, since I loved going to movies… in a movie theatre, ideally. Hell, I own a movie theatre. And we have the best popcorn in Santa Fe, still! We did not have DR. STRANGE AND THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, however. Elsewise I might have seen it sooner. Parris and I did finally catch it a few days ago, though, and… I have to say, I loved it."
The author detailed some of his favorite elements of the movie, heaping praise on director Sam Raimi as well as the inclusion of Clea (as played by Charlize Theron.)
"Sam Raimi has always been one of my favorite directors. And Dr. Strange has always been one of my favorite Marvel characters. And this version of Dr. Strange, slipping through portals into surreal dimensions full of floaty things and alternate realities, was the Doctor I fell in love with, way way way back when world was young (and so was I). They even gave us CLEA! I love Clea!"
Martin then went on to recount the story of how he attended the first comic book convention to ever exist and got to meet legendary Marvel artist, and the man who created Doctor Strange, Steve Ditko himself:
"Seeing this movie brought back a cherished memory, of the day I attended the world’s first comicon, in 1964 in Greenwich Village. I was fifteen years old. The whole con was held in one small room in some sort of union hall, with hucksters selling old comics from cardboard boxes along one wall, and the speakers at a podium in the front. Fabulous Flo Steinberg turned up.. and so did Steve Ditko. It might well have been the only comicon he ever attended… but I got to talk to him, and tell him how much I loved his art. Especially on Dr. Strange. Ditko was reserved, maybe a bit shy, but genial enough. He told me that Dr. Strange was his favorite as well. Yes, even more than Spider-Man. He’s still one of the best comic artists who ever picked up a pencil, in my not-so-humble opinion. Anyway… MULTIVERSE woke the sleeping Marvel fanboy in me, and that was a joy. So says a former member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society."
Is George R. R. Martin An MCU Fan?
Given that Martin, by his own admission, hadn't been getting to the movies that often over the past couple of years, it's probably safe to say that he's not a die-hard fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But his love of Marvel and its sense of world-building is clear as day. It's also quite obvious the reverence he holds for the titans of the comic book industry, like Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Seriously, for such a prolific and well-respected author to name Stan Lee as his biggest influence is very high praise. A Song of Ice and Fire has been noted for its world-building and how fleshed out that universe feels to readers. This has translated into the television adaptation. Game of Thrones was considered the pinnacle of appointment viewing for a time and was consistently one of the most popular shows on TV.
And to think that George R. R. Martin was so inspired by the pages of Marvel Comics, with Doctor Strange as his favorite character.
Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+ and will be available for digital and physical home release starting Tuesday, July 26.