It's been a long time since fans have seen Doctor Strange lead his own solo film. In fact, it has been five years at this point—six by the time Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases. It's about time for him to grab the spotlight once again.
The sequel to Doctor Strange is one of the most highly anticipated projects for many Marvel fans, and not just because it's been a long time since the first. The film promises to be one of the biggest and most important MCU films in Phase 4, taking a deep dive into the multiverse storylines that are taking center stage.
Doctor Strange's next adventure has certainly been through rough times. Having lost its original director and writers, the movie literally started from scratch to become what it is going to be next March.
One of the things that was touted about the sequel was that it was going to be more horror-focused than before. After Derrickson left the project, it wasn't quite known if that direction was still on the cards. But then Marvel got director Sam Raimi on board—and luckily horror is his bread and butter.
Not only that, but Raimi has a very distinct style and way of making movies. So, how will his world blend with that of Doctor Strange?
SCARIER TONE FOR BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH'S DOCTOR STRANGE?
In an interview on the Friends From Work podcast, Michael Waldron, the head writer for Loki and writer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, was asked about what the blending of Sam Raimi and Doctor Strange’s worlds could be like—especially when it came to the horror aspect of everything.
According to Waldron, the horror element has always been there. He mentions that while Benedict Cumberbatch's first Doctor Strange isn’t a horror film, “there is like this sort of spookiness throughout it.”
“Yeah, I mean I think you know that’s obviously something that Scott Derrickson, the director of the first movie, does so well...obviously that influence, you feel it in the first one. Even though it's not a horror movie, there is like this sort of spookiness throughout it. It’s part of what makes that movie work so well and everything."
Continuing on, Waldron addressed how all of that informed their process on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. One of the biggest things was how “COVID gave [him] and Sam more time to make it [their] own thing.”
"So when we came onto this one, we were...I felt so fortunate...the work he’d done on the first one, the work that he and the previous writer on the second one, Jade Bartlett, you know they've done some work on the second one, and it’s like you just dive in. In this case, COVID just gave me and Sam more time to make it our own thing...It’s cool, I’m glad that there was the chance to maybe push in a slightly scarier direction. Just because Sam does that so well."
THE SCARIER MULTIVERSE TALE
From the sounds of it, it would seem that the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring Doctor Strange sequel will certainly be keeping at least some of its scarier elements—though how many of those remain from Scott Derrickson isn't known. Though, if the current writing team did truly start from scratch, then it may be entirely from the minds of Sam Raimi and Michael Waldron.
Horror obviously isn't the only thing on their minds. For those that have been watching WandaVision and Loki, it's pretty clear how much of the MCU is building towards Strange's next adventure. In fact, Wanda Maximoff herself is set to play a key role alongside the good doctor—potentially in search of her two children.
Hopefully, she ends up being more of a good force than an antagonistic one, as it is a bit hard to nail down where Wanda is mentally after everything she did in Westview.
There's plenty more to the sequel, including a horrific multiverse villain, a brand-new hero in America Chavez, and what is sure to be an insane number of surprises. If only March 2022 could arrive sooner.