Home Entertainment Sam Raimi confirms he’s directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Sam Raimi confirms he’s directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth, it’s official! The man who technically kick-started the modern age of Marvel superhero blockbusters with his Spider-Man trilogy*, is now joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following on from reports in February that Marvel had been in early talks with Sam Raimi, the veteran filmmaker has now confirmed that his officially helming the upcoming (still incredibly titled) Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The upcoming Doctor Strange sequel was supposed to have seen original director/writer Scott Derickson and co-writer C.Robert Cargill would be returning alongside the primary cast led by Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorceror Supreme. However, in January, Derrickson and Cargill both exited the picture due to creative differences. Derrickson, who had been known as purely a horror director before bringing mind-bending visual creativity to Doctor Strange, had been talking up how much more the superhero sequel would lean into the horror aspect. Some suspected that this was the point which Marvel disagreed with.

You would have to think that those suspicions were unfounded though, seeing as how Raimi was also originally a horror guy. The filmmaker shot to fame with the gory and (eventually) campy horror of the Evil Dead films. While working prolifically in TV (including producing Xena: Warrior Princess), he also dabbled in superhero movies with the underrated Darkman in 1990. Raimi would truly enter the pop culture mainstream though when Sony tapped him to helm their Spider-Man trilogy starring Toby Maguire in the early 2000s.

And, in a fortuitous twist, in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, long before there was even the idea of a Marvel Cinematic Universe, much less a Doctor Strange movie, Raimi included a throwaway Easter egg reference to the Sorcerer Supreme. And when asked about it by ComingSoon.net during an interview about his work for Quibi, that’s when Raimi confirmed rather randomly for the first time that he was indeed directing the Doctor Strange sequel.

I loved Doctor Strange as a kid, but he was always after Spider-Man and Batman for me, he was probably at number five for me of great comic book characters. He was so original, but when we had that moment in Spider-Man 2 I had no idea that we would ever be making a Doctor Strange movie, so it was really funny to me that coincidentally that line was in the movie. I gotta say I wish we had the foresight to know that I was going to be involved in the project.

I think Raimi is a fantastic choice to helm Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness given his proven chops with both horror and big-budget effects-driven superhero blockbusters, but I just hope we don’t lose any of the creativity that Derrickson and Cargill brought to the table the first time around. Luckily, Michael Waldron, the showrunner on Marvel’s Loki and writer on Rick & Morty, Community, and HarmonQuest, has been tapped to rewrite the script for the sequel. His body of work – barring the upcoming Loki, which we still know very little of – certainly boasts the type of zany ideas that would really make this movie stand out. And thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s lots of time to get this one just right, as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was recently rescheduled for release on 4 November 2021.

*Sorry, Blade, I know you were earlier, but so few people actually even knew you were a Marvel comic book movie.

Last Updated: April 15, 2020

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