In July of 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con, a sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange was officially announced by Marvel Studios. Director Scott Derrickson had been set to return to direct and write Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, and the movie was given a May 7, 2021 release date. Major news has developed that puts into question a number of aspects about this film.
Filmmaker Scott Derrickson has stepped down from his directorial position on Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness, reports Variety. Marvel Studios has confirmed Derrickson’s departure, citing “creative differences” for the move. The full statement from Marvel Studios reads:
“Marvel Studios and Scott Derrickson have amicably parted ways on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences. We remain grateful to Scott for his contributions to the MCU.”
Derrickson, who wrote the movie’s screenplay, will still hold the position of executive producer on the movie.
Director Scott Derrickson confirmed this news on Twitter and released a brief statement regarding his departure from the movie.
Marvel and I have mutually agreed to part ways on Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences. I am thankful for our collaboration and will remain on as EP.— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) January 10, 2020
WHAT THIS MEANS
Derrickson introduced the Sorcerer Supreme into the MCU in his Doctor Strange film, which was a success both critically and financially. After Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Strange in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, many fans were excited to see how Derrickson could continue Strange’s story in his own sequel. It’s for these reasons that this news is not just unfortunate, but unexpected. Derrickson had praised Marvel Studios for their creative filmmaking process while developing this sequel and he had begun prepping to begin shooting the movie this summer.
One can begin to speculate on why this move happened now and not prior to the announcement of Derrickson coming back to helm the sequel. Marvel and Derrickson were likely on the same page about the general direction that they wanted to take Strange in Multiverse of Madness. However, it’s likely that, over the past few months, the two parties began to disagree on how this sequel’s story would be told. Just last month during a recent panel discussion, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige noted how the movie will not necessarily be a horror movie but will rather have horror elements. Derrickson, whose filmography is primarily made up of horror movies, may have wanted to push the sequel’s boundaries into a horror realm that Feige had not been comfortable with. Nonetheless, reports and interviews will surely be shared in the coming weeks and months regarding what these “creative differences” between Derrickson and the studio actually were.
Derrickson will still serve as an executive producer on Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. This position, which keeps Derrickson attached to the project, gives little to no indication of his on the sequel moving forward. However, it does suggest that Marvel Studios actually did intend to “amicably” let Derrickson go just as they said in their official statement.