Over a decade of its dominance at the box-office, one question that has persisted regarding the MCU is how much of its movies are the result of the personal vision of individual directors, and how much of what audiences see is a result of expert studio engineering under the directions of MCU showrunner Kevin Feige. C. Robert Cargill co-wrote the first Doctor Strange film with the movie's director Scott Derrickson.

But the duo left the planned sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, midway through production. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Cargill explained that Derrickson originally intended to direct the Doctor Strange sequel, and even pushed back a personal project, the movie The Black Phone, to accommodate his schedule for the MCU film.

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"It was creative differences. [Scott Derrickson] wanted to do one movie, and Marvel wanted to do another movie. So he sat there and said, 'Well shit, I've got this great script that I wrote with Cargill, and I'm really proud of.' We were actually going to go out to other directors for The Black Phone, and Scott was like, he called me up and said, 'Dude, I have to make this movie. It's gotta be my movie, I have to do this. Do you mind waiting until after I'm done with [DoctorStrange 2], and he really wanted to bring me onto Strange as well. But in the event that it didn't happen, he was like, 'Do you mind waiting?' And I was like, 'You know what, if you feel this passionately about it, no. I'll wait a couple years to make this movie.'"

Unfortunately, it soon transpired that the kind of Doctor Strange film that Derrickson intended to make with the sequel was too dark for the MCU. And so, Derrickson left Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Sam Raimi was brought on in his stead to helm the project. According to C. Robert Cargill, Derrickson was torn between the Doctor Strange sequel and The Black Phone, but ultimately choose to make the smaller movie that he had complete creative control over.

"It came down to Scott, and Scott's like, 'Well, I can make this movie that I'm compromising what I wanted to do on, or I could make The Black Phone,' and he goes, 'You know, I want to make a movie with Cargill. I'm gonna go make The Black Phone.' It was, as he said publically, it was a hard choice to leave Strange behind; but it made it easier that he had a movie that he was looking forward to. And then the experience was just so great that we're just are so proud and happy with what we made."

It will be interesting to see how the Doctor Strange franchise deals with the loss of the writer-director duo that defined the character's initial foray into the MCU. Directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness features a lead cast consisting of Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Xochitl Gomez. The film arrives in theaters on March 25, 2022. This news arrives from CinemaBlend.