Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Danny Elfman)

The first of the MCU's big 2022 summer releases, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" brings the Master of the Mystic Arts back to the big screen for a successful second solo venture. Original director Scott Derrickson left the project over creative differences, but horror legend Sam Raimi took over the project, bringing many of his iconic touches and homages to his previous films along with him. The film pushes into significantly darker, horror-inspired territory, while also maintaining some of the psychedelic and colorful style of the first film. Along with the change in director, Raimi brought along one of his collaborators, and somehow who is no stranger to either horror or superheroes--Danny Elfman. Elfman does utilize Giacchino's central theme for the titular hero, though sadly this theme disappears in the second half of the film. Replacing it is a new identity for Strange, and an accompanying heroic fanfare for America Chavez. The other major musical player is Wanda. Here Elfman digs back into his score from "Age of Ultron", where he first established a theme for the Scarlet Witch's debut. Here he returns to that established thematic core heavily, also adapting Wanda's melody into a dark waltz that follows her fairy-tale villain role in this story, ultimately giving a large scale orchestral battle, infused with horror cluster chords, and some musical cameos from previous franchise composers on the arrival of certain secret character reveals. 

Although the film overall won't rank too highly on my list of favorite MCU films, and I felt the story didn't do justice to Wanda's arc as developed in "WandaVision", but overall it was a fun start to the summer blockbuster season, and it's always a treat when a director's signature style is able to still shine beyond the Marvel formula. Marvel Music's official album featured a strong selection of cues, and a few additional cues were added as a streaming bonus weeks later (as they contained some musical spoilers). Overall, the film is a visual treat, so I just wanted to play with the artwork, and offer ten new/alternate front covers to pick from.

Cover 1 uses the film's secondary central poster, and I tend to gravitate towards art that showcases the central characters/imagery from the film--though this often means a much busier image and sometimes more editing to make it all fit. Fortunately here, I was able to patch together three or four alternate versions of the same poster to get the widest textless version, the trick was figuring out where to crop things and arrange the text.

The second cover uses the Real-D poster. I had to widen out the sides a smidge and add a bit of cushion to the bottom, but otherwise this was pretty straight-forward. I ended up just using mainly the wallpaper version, which unfortunately cut out America from the bottom of the image, but keeping her would have had too much dead space on the sides of the image.

Cover 3 is an alternate take on the official album cover, using the film's main poster. My biggest issue was the lower text credit, so I fixed that, and added the soundtrack credit. I ended up using part of the cover art (which features a different arrangement of the background (Strange himself it slid up further in the image)) as this compressed the image vertically, but I then needed to use a textless version of the full poster to cover over the lower half, but these two were quite different, so I had to blend them together to hide the effect. 

The fourth cover features an IMAX poster, which I had to patch together to remove existing text and the big IMAX credit at the top of the image.

Cover 5 uses the Dolby Digital teaser poster of Strange in the shattered Sanctum. The art itself is unchanged, though I had to recreate the 'Doctor Strange' part of the title, using a similar font that I then manually edited the nodes to get it to match up to this custom font--all this so I could actually make a custom color, as all the official titles are in white, and I needed a darker color to pop against the sky. 

The sixth cover uses the 4DX poster. I widened the sides a bit and scooched Kamar-Taj up a bit, but otherwise the image is mostly unaltered, though I slightly re-colored it to include a bit more blues.

For Cover 7, I combined two teaser banners, each is slightly different, with one showing the effects of the Dark Hold, and the shattering of the multiverse. I basically overlapped the two images, kept most of the main image and added in bits and pieces of the "dark" alternate to spice it up a bit.

The eight cover uses a cool painted poster, that is a mix of comic book and old grind-house artwork. The trick here with such an intricate image was the composition and balance. I ended up shifting the Wandas from the top of the image down to the bottom, which shifted the weight of the image to the proper thirds, I then had to blend that part onto the image below, and paint out any extraneous bits that were still lingering from the scene below.

Finally, Covers 9 and 10 use two digital poster by UK artist Matt Ferguson. Editing was pretty simple, just cleaning things up and applying new text.

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