However, he ultimately left in early 2020 in an "amicable" split according to Derrickson himself, citing "creative differences."
Doctor Strange co-writer C. Robert Cargill elaborated on the situation back in May 2021 (via CinemaBlend), saying "[Scott Derrickson] wanted to do one movie, and Marvel wanted to do another," but the specifics remain unclear.
Scott Derrickson on His Doctor Strange 2 Exit
In a recent interview, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson got candid about why he ultimately backed out of directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Speaking on an episode of The Playlist's The Discourse podcast, Derrickson revealed "what we said publicly is exactly the truth," adding as he got into development on Doctor Strange 2 "it was just increasingly obvious that [he and Marvel] were pulling against each other:"
“All I can say is that what we said publicly is exactly the truth. We had real creative differences. You know, the movie I wanted to make and how I wanted to make it was different than–it was just increasingly obvious that we were pulling against each other."
"That’s how you make a really bad movie," Derrickson continued, explaining that is why he "had to bounce:"
"And that’s how you make a really bad movie, I think. When the producer or the studio and the filmmaker are making different movies, you end up with a monstrosity and, you know, that’s why I had to bounce.”
He called his version of the MCU sequel an "extreme departure from the first film," being a "genuine horror film of sorts."
Despite leaving the project, Derrickson remains friends with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, lamenting, "There’s no bad blood:"
“Yeah, I went to the premiere. I’m still friends with Kevin [Feige] and everything with me and Marvel is really cool. They invited me to the premiere and I went. And I’m friends with Sam [Raimi]. I love Sam, so there’s no bad blood over that.”
Will Scott Derrickson Ever Return to the MCU?
Now that Doctor Strange 2 has come and gone, fans have begun to wonder if Scott Derrickson would ever think about coming back to the super-powered brand.
It has become clear the director still thinks highly of the Marvel Studios brass and has even gone on to sing the praises of Sam Raimi's version of the movie he was initially set to direct.
The director has found success in the years since his MCU departure, heading back into the world of horror he is so well known for with hit films like The Black Phone.
Because of this, the filmmaker is not (at least outwardly) forlorn for his days working within the MCU.
The original Doctor Strange film truly was a passion project for Derrickson. In an interview with Comicbook.com he said as such, remarking "[he] didn't make Doctor Strange because it was a Marvel movie," he made it "because it was specifically the Doctor Strange comics, which [he] loved:"
"I didn't make 'Doctor Strange' because it was a Marvel movie or because it was a comic book movie. I made it because it was specifically the 'Doctor Strange' comics, which I loved, and had really strong, powerful feelings about, and felt like I was the right filmmaker to adapt that,"
And Benedict Cumberbatch's super-powered sorcerer looks to be heading in a bit of a different direction with his future movies, leaning more into science-fiction rather than the mystical and supernatural elements the director seemed to love.
Of course, never say never, but because of this, it certainly feels as though Scott Derrickson is done with working with the MCU.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+.