It's official: Sam Raimi is directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. We first heard reports that the Spider-Man and Evil Dead director was in talks for the project back in early February. However, we never got confirmation that it was a done deal. Now, Raimi has subtly confirmed the news personally.
Sam Raimi is currently promoting his new Quibi series, 50 States of Fright. During a recent interview, the filmmaker was asked about a Doctor Strange reference he included in Spider-Man 2, in which, that name is suggested for Doctor Octopus, but J. Jonah Jameson explains that the name is "taken." In his answer, Raimi confirmed that he is indeed taking on the MCU sequel. Here's what he had to say about it.
"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."
Scott Derrickson directed the original Doctor Strange and had been set to return for Doctor Strange 2, which was officially announced last summer during San Diego Comic-Con. However, Derrickson decided to step away over creative differences. Derrickson remains on board as an executive producer. That left the movie in need of a director, and Marvel Studios turned to Sam Raimi to take the helm.
Sam Raimi has a big history with comic book movies as the director of the original live-action Spider-Man trilogy. Those movies helped cement superhero adaptations as something to be taken seriously in Hollywood, ultimately paving the way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has become a box office behemoth that has brought in more than $22 billion to date. So having Raimi return to the superhero fold is significant. Especially given that he hasn't directed a feature since 2013's Oz the Great and Powerful.
Plot details are largely being kept under wraps for the sequel at this time, but Benedict Cumberbatch will be back as Stephen Strange, with Elizabeth Olsen to appear as Scarlet Witch as well. Benedict Wong will reprise his role as Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor is expected to return as Mordo. It's also expected that Nightmare will be the main villain, but no actor has been announced for the part yet. Recently, Disney had to bump the release date back by six months, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness now set to arrive in theaters on November 5, 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news comes to us via ComingSoon.net.