It was first revealed in February that Sam Raimi was in talks to direct ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ and the director has confirmed that he has officially signed on. Raimi previously helped kick-off the modern superhero film stampede by helming ‘Spider-Man’ (2002), ‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004), and ‘Spider-Man 3’ (2007). He planned to direct a fourth film with Tobey Maguire, but that was scuttled when Sony decided to reboot the franchise with director Marc Webb and with Andrew Garfield assuming the role of Peter Parker.
Raimi has an affinity for Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, having slipped an Easter Egg into ‘Spider-Man 2′, in which Ted Raimi’s character suggests “Doctor Strange” as a moniker for the newest villain on the scene, Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), which J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson dismisses saying that the name was already taken.
“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.”
The first ‘Doctor Strange’ (2016) was directed by Scott Derrickson, who announced in early January that he was leaving the sequel due to creative differences. He had publically criticized the studio-mandated release date and the fact that he was being forced to incorporate elements from the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is known that the Disney+ TV series ‘Loki’ and ‘WandaVision’ will set up ‘Multiverse of Madness’, and ‘WandaVision’ star, Elizabeth Olsen will co-star as Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlet Witch in ‘Multiverse of Madness’.
Benedict Cumberbatch will return as former surgeon Doctor Stephen Strange. Benedict Wong will also be back as Strange’s ally Wong, and it is expected that Chiwetel Ejiofor will also be back as friend-turned-foe, Mordo. Rachel McAdams will NOT return as surgeon Dr. Christine Palmer. Michael Waldron, who wrote ‘Loki’, will pen this screenplay from scratch, as Derrickson had not begun work before his departure. There are MANY rumors that other characters from the Marvel comics will be introduced in this picture, including the villain Nightmare, and heroes such as America Chavez, Doctor Voodoo, and Namor the Sub-Mariner, but of course, none of that has been confirmed and probably won’t be.
What do you think about Sam Raimi stepping into the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper? Personally, I still consider ‘Spider-Man 2’ one of the best superhero movies ever, so my hopes are high that he can work the same “magic” with Doctor Strange.
‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ was recently rescheduled due to the coronavirus shut-down. It is now slated to hit theaters on November 5, 2021.