Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was an exciting romp through alternate realities that saw the greatest magic users in Marvel battle for the fate of the multiverse. Director Sam Raimi told a thrilling story that was made incredibly fun to watch thanks in no small part to his personal style, which shone throughout the film's 2-hour-6-minute runtime.
Many have compared the style of the film to Raimi classics like Evil Dead and Army of Darkness, especially when the film focused on occult themes. With Raimi's style does come a certain level of camp and corniness, which fans of his films love and detractors frown upon. It seems, at least for a certain scene in the Doctor Strange sequel, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was in the latter camp.
Some recent commentary from Sam Raimi points to a specific scene that Feige wasn't entirely keen on keeping in the film.
Kevin Feige Found Mordo Introduction Corny
In the Audio Commentary for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, there's a conversation between director Sam Raimi and Screenwriter Michael Waldron that discusses Feige's grievance. This comes thanks to a scene where, on an alternate Earth, Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Stephen Strange first encounters an alternate version of Baron Mordo as the pair share remarks:
Sam Raimi: "And here we meet alt Mordo."
Michael Waldron: "I love how you shot this, Sam. Shot this like The Quick and the Dead, the two gunfighters facing off. Fun to watch you put this scene together."
As Waldron remarks, Mordo enters the scene like a bandit from a western and calls back to Raimi's previous film, 1995's The Quick and the Dead.
Sam Raimi: "Thanks. And I think Kevin thought maybe it was a little corny, and he wanted to cut it out. But I said, 'Please, Kevin, let me have that.' He went, 'Okay, fine. Have your corny stuff.' It was very, very kind of him, generous."
Michael Waldron: "I'm glad you won."
Raimi admits that Kevin Feige initially found the scene corny and wanted to remove it, but the director stood his ground. Eventually, the Marvel Studios head relented and allowed Raimi's western-style faceoff.
Kevin Feige Strict Regarding MCU Filming
While it's humorous to think that the scene was nearly cut from the movie simply because Feige found it corny, there's another interesting implication from this commentary. Even though it's obvious that—as the head of the studio—he would have a large level of influence over the MCU films, this conversation sheds some light on just how much power Feige holds over the directors of MCU films.
Whereas other studios and franchises seem content to provide a wide birth to directors, Feige exercises very precise control over what's allowed into the MCU. At this stage in what is the largest film franchise in history, it's clear that the reins are held tight to ensure both continued quality and a cohesive style.
As the MCU continues through Phase 4 and begins raising a new generation of Avengers, it's perhaps more important than ever that the studio remain vigilant and not grow complacent. The projects on the slate now could very well determine whether the franchise can remain the titan it is in the aftermath of the Infinity Saga. It's clear that so far they've had great success both in terms of critical and popular acclaim, and much of that can surely be attributed to Feige's steering of the ship.