Shortly after director Scott Derrickson exited Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness earlier this year citing “creative differences,” the one name that has repeatedly popped up as his replacement is Sam Raimi, whose work on the original Spider-Man trilogy preceded the comic book movie explosion — and domination of the global box office — by nearly a decade. Now, for the first time, Raimi has seemingly confirmed that he has taken the helm of the movie described by Marvel guru Kevin Feige as “the first scary MCU film” by mentioning his life-long interest in Doctor Strange as a character, and his inclusion of a reference to the Sorcerer Supreme in Spider-Man 2:
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.
What Raimi is, of course, referring to is the scene in which J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) is attempting to come up with names for the new tentacled supervillain (Alfred Molina) in New York City and he suggests “Doctor Strange” before coming up with “Doctor Octopus.”
Michael Waldron (Loki for Disney+) was hired to rewrite the Multiverse of Madness script originally written by Jade Bartlett, presumably to add references to, or make it mesh with, characters and events in the Loki series. Shooting was expected to begin this summer, but with all Marvel Studios productions on hold, there’s no telling when it will kick off.
Little is known about the plot of the movie, but given the title we can expect a wild ride through multiple parallel realities, with possibly multiple Doctor Stranges (Benedict Cumberbatch) battling the cosmic entity Nightmare. The Sorcerer Supreme will have his loyal assistant Wong (Benedict Wong) by his side, and Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), will also appear in the movie.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is slated to open in theaters on March 25, 2022.
Images courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios; Edits by Movie Nooz