After the success of the original Doctor Strange, the film’s director Scott Derrickson was fully on board to direct the sequel as well. Somewhere along the way, Derrickson had a falling out with Marvel over how dark he wanted the sequel to be. Derrickson left the project, and Sam Raimi was brought on in his stead to helm the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Screenwriter Michael Waldron was also brought on to retool the film’s script for Raimi. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Waldron explained that he started the script over “from scratch,” and created his own take on the Sorcerer Supreme that Waldron likens to celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.
“I gravitated toward [travel documentarian and chef] Anthony Bourdain. Strange is an elitist as a neurosurgeon and a sorcerer. Anthony Bourdain was a man of the people, but there was that intense intellect. You always felt like he could eviscerate anybody with his words at any time. But yet, Anthony Bourdain never really punched down. That was the first ingredient in the stew for Doctor Strange… Anthony Bourdain had been everywhere, seen everything. What surprises you at this point? I think for all of the heroes in the MCU, in a post-Endgame world, how do you rally yourself to fight the stand-alone movie villains after you fought Thanos?”
Despite being one of the newest heroes to join the MCU, Doctor Strange as played by Benedict Cumberbatch has quickly established himself as one of the MCU’s most important players. Not only did he have a key role in the legendary battle against Thanos, but Strange is now seen as the go-to guy to deal with any magical or extra-dimensional problems that may arise.
This is what leads to the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in which Cumberbatch will be seen in the lead alongside Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch. For Wanda, the events of WandaVision ended with her embracing her reality-altering powers. But it seems her use of those powers has led to the barriers between different universes breaking down, and the Multiverse itself is in danger. Enter Doctor Strange, who, according to Waldron, will get knocked about quite a bit as he struggles to deal with a collapsing Multiverse.
“[Doctor Strange is] Indiana Jones in a cloak to me. He’s a hero who can take a punch. That’s what made those Harrison Ford heroes so great. Those guys get their asses kicked. Look at Stephen Strange in the first movie. He’s really getting beat up but he’s very capable and everything. I can tell you that it’s a ride…very Sam Raimi. The film is incredibly visually thrilling. John Mathieson, our D.P., who shot Gladiator and Logan-I think the look of it is going to be unlike anything you’ve seen in the MCU before.”
Directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Xochitl Gomez. The film arrives in theaters on March 25, 2022. This news originated at Vanity Fair.