Back in February, it was first reported that Spider-Man/Evil Dead legend Sam Raimi was in talks to possibly direct the first Doctor Strange sequel for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That came after original Multiverse of Madness director Scott Derrickson parted ways with the project, citing the usual “creative differences” that have typified Disney’s dismissals of various directorial talents from tentpole films over the last decade, and Derrickson quickly wished Raimi well on Twitter. Still, we had nothing that amounted to an official confirmation of Raimi’s involvement, until now.
In an interview with ComingSoon about his new Quibi series 50 States of Fright, Raimi was asked a question about dropping a Doctor Strange reference into 2004’s much-loved Spider-Man 2, still considered one of the best superhero movies of all time by many, Paste included. In answer the question, Raimi confirmed that yeah, he’s taking on Doctor Strange himself, in what can be assumed to still be Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
“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,” Raimi said, with amusing candor. “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.”
With that confirmation out of the way, we can get back to wondering what a Raimi-directed Doctor Strange might look like. With Derrickson reportedly butting heads against Disney and Marvel execs who seemed resistant to the idea of a full-on “cosmic horror” entry into the MCU, how much leeway will Raimi have to work with? If given free rein, how much Evil Dead or Drag Me to Hell would Raimi want to insert into this universe? And beyond the storyline and thematic questions, when would filming on Multiverse of Madness be able to get underway? With pretty much every film on Disney’s calendar being pushed far back at the moment, one has to wonder how far a project like Multiverse of Madness will be postponed.
Still, whenever it finally gets underway, it will be fascinating to see the results of a Marvel project that features the series’ most prominent directorial acquisition in quite a while.