Following WandaVision, one of the biggest letdowns for fans was the lack of any sort of appearance by Doctor Strange despite reports that he was for sure going to show up. Feige later revealed that the studio had actually finalized a deal for Benedict Cumberbatch's Sorcerer Supreme to drop in on the Disney+ show, but ultimately decided not to move forward with it for the sake of the story.
So now, fans are left waiting for their next adventure with the strange Doctor. Thankfully, they won't need to wait long, as Strange plays an integral role in the upcoming Disney+ animated series What If...?. Of course, after that, there's his next solo outing.
Capitalizing on the core ideas of a multiverse that seems to be the center of the MCU's fourth phase, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sets out to take those ideas to crazy new heights. Promising not only that, but a continuation of Wanda's story after the fall of Westview, and even the introduction of a brand-new character in America Chavez.
Of course, Strange's sequel film wasn't always like this. In fact, before it was in Director Sam Raimi's hands, it was to be made by the same director as the first film: Scott Derrickson.
Besides the vague and general "creative difference" response given at the time of separation, not much is known as to why Derrickson made the jump that he did. Now though, fans can finally get a better idea of why things played out how they did.
A STRANGE SEPARATION EXPLAINED
In an interview with Cinemablend, co-writer of the original Doctor Strange film C. Robert Cargill discussed why Marvel Studios parted ways with both himself and Scott Derrickson when it came to Sorcerer Supreme's sequel.
The first thing Cargill said was what everyone in the world heard when it initially happened that "It was creative differences." Thankfully, he went on to elaborate, and paint a clearer picture.
"It was creative differences. [Scott Derrickson] wanted to do one movie, and Marvel wanted to do another movie."
At the same time as the development of Strange's sequel was going on, both Cargill and Derrickson were working on a script for a movie called The Black Phone—a film that actually went on to become Scott Derrickson's next film, set to release in January 2022. It was a movie Derrickson was very proud of, with Cargill remembering the Director claiming "It's gotta be my movie, I have to do this."
"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 [Doctor Strange 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.’"
As for who ultimately made the call for Derrickson's break from Doctor Strange and Marvel, Cargill firmly stated "It came down to Scott."
"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."
While Derrickson may no longer be directing the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, he will still be credited as an executive producer.
A NIGHTMARE DEPARTURE
When Scott Derrickson's departure from the film was initially announced, it shocked everyone. The last person that fans expected to leave was the Director, who continually and openly showed his passion for the character under his care. At the time, only rumors and assumptions were there to provide fans with an idea as to what happened as vague words from the studios simply weren't enough.
So it's nice to see that, all-in-all, the separation seemed honest, happening for a legitimate reason on both sides of the table. There's no denying that had Derrickson's original vision come to fruition, fans would be in for a very different Doctor Strange film.
Originally, Derrickson claimed to have wanted to feature the villain Nightmare in the project, alongside diving deeper into the horror elements that the Director specializes in. It looks like many of those ideas never made it into the new version of the film. In fact, Doctor Strange may be up against an entirely different, but equally terrifying, villain when his movie rolls around next March.