The Scott Derrickson-directed Doctor Strange premiered in 2016 and follows the story of a wealthy but arrogant neurosurgeon, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose career dreams are shattered due to an accident. In trying to heal his injuries from the accident, he forays into the mystical world of magic, spiritualism, and physical and mental healing.
The first movie successfully established the titular character in the MCU, followed by his crossover into other movies of the universe—Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: No Way Home
The director had been onboard for the sequel when it was announced in 2019 by President Kevin Feige. However, Marvel and the director later parted ways due to “creative differences” and the sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, was helmed by the horror genre icon, Sam Raimi.
Derrickson has opened up about why he left the project and if he will work again with Marvel.
In his interview with Empire Magazine, Derrickson called his decision “the hardest decision of my life”. When news of him leaving hit the Marvel Community, a little over two years ago, all kinds of rumors and drama began to swirl. Many theorized that Derrickson wanted to make a genuine horror movie, which didn’t sit well with the studios.
However, he opened up about the reasons for his abrupt departure during the interview, clarifying he had left to take care of his mental well-being.
“I’d been in therapy for a number of years dealing with early childhood trauma. I grew up in a violent neighborhood and in a violent household. Everybody got beat with a belt—or worse. There was a lot of bleeding and fights, to and from school. Ever-present violence was the nature of that blue-collar neighborhood.” Growing up in a rather disturbing era of serial killers and murders in the 1970s, he said “Serial killers were all kids could talk about.”
When addressing his relationship with Marvel Studios, he clarified there is no animosity between them and if given the chance, he’d work there again,
“Contrary to gossip, it was all really amicable [when I left] and I’d work there again. I’m going to the premiere [of Multiverse of Madness] and I’m really looking forward to it, but I feel like I made the right decision. I’ve made the movie I was meant to make, at the time I was meant to make it.”
Currently, the filmmaker has been occupied with his upcoming horror movie, The Black Phone. Based on a short story of the name same by author Joe Hill, the movie was revealed and applauded at the CinemaCon 2022 and would hit theatres in June.
However, what is praiseworthy is that despite being the helming force of such a successful franchise, Derrickson took the decision to step down and take care of himself, which is a rare occurrence in such cases.
Given the mystical nature of Doctor Strange movies, it would not be surprising if the director is back in another sequel or perhaps, a completely new project? The fans might have a lot to look forward to from the filmmaker.
About Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the sequel to the 2016 movie Doctor Strange. The film is directed by Sam Raimi with a screenplay by Jade Bartlett and Michael Waldron.
It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Xochitl Gomez.
The sequel revolves around the dangerous consequences of Doctor Strange opening the multiverse.