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After a shocking departure, Marvel’s biggest Phase 4 film might’ve found a fantastic new director

Published Feb 6th, 2020 12:43PM EST
MCU Phase 4
Image: Marvel Studios

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I’ve now told you a bunch of times that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the sequel to Doctor Strange that’s set to premiere in May 2021, is shaping up to be one of the most exciting MCU Phase 4 adventures. That’s due in part to the fact that the film is confirmed to have direct ties to two highly-anticipated Disney+ shows, including WandaVision and Loki, and it’ll introduce a hero we’re expecting. Moreover, several reports claimed that Marvel is looking to add other superheroes to the film, as it’s currently casting Miss America and Clea roles. Other rumors said that Deadpool, X-Men, and even alternate versions of the existing Avengers could appear in the movie, which makes sense since Strange is exploring the multiverse. And let’s not forget that the biggest twist of Phase 4 might happen in the sequel, a plot decision that supposedly alienated Scott Derrickson and drove him to leave the project. The departure of the original Strange director appears to be Marvel’s biggest problem with Multiverse of Madness, but now it looks the studio may have fixed the problem in the best possible way.

An unconfirmed report said a few days ago that work ethic as well as creative differences, including the surprise evolution of Wanda into the villain of the film, are what prompted Marvel to part ways with Derrickson. The decision came as a huge shock to fans, but Marvel didn’t expect any production delays for the sequel, which should start shooting later this year.

We now hear that Marvel is negotiating with none other than Sam Raimi to take over the project, which would be a huge win for the film and possibly other MCU creations. Variety says that Raimi is in talks to direct the film, though Marvel has yet to confirm anything. The report also notes that Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor will reprise their roles from the first movie, joining Benedict Cumberbatch for the sequel. Elizabeth Olsen will also be in the movie as Wanda, of course, but Rachel McAdams won’t return to play Strange’s colleague and former lover Christine Palmer.

Raimi would be a perfect fit for a movie that might provide key plot details for the bigger Avengers storyline. His Spider-Man trilogy that ended well before the MCU became popular with Marvel fans is still highly praised. On top of that, he has also helmed plenty of horror films, including The Evil Dead trilogy. That’s an important detail to consider because Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is expected to be a horror story of sorts. In fact, the leak that said that Wanda will be the main villain also claimed that Derrickson wanted to kill Wong and Palmer early in the film and turn Nightmare into the main antagonist.

Choosing Raimi over a less experienced director would also mark a departure from Marvel’s playbook in recent years. The studio hired talented directors who didn’t really have any huge blockbusters under their belts before joining the MCU, including Joss Whedon, Anthony and Joe Russo, James Gunn, Ryan Coogler, and Taika Waititi. That said, Raimi’s involvement in Multiverse of Madness is yet to be officially confirmed.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.