With a blockbuster Phase Four on the horizon for Marvel fans, one of the highlights of the epic slate is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The mystical sequel has been described as the first scary film to come out of the MCU, so who better to helm the project than horror directing legend Sam Raimi.
Having previously helmed Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man trilogy in the early 2000s, the director replaced Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson on the film last year. In a pandemic-free world, the scary superhero epic would be hitting theaters in just a few months time, however, COVID-19 delays have forced the film into a March 2022 release.
It's been fourteen years since the director concluded his wall-crawler trilogy in 2007, and the superhero movie landscape is drastically different than it was back then. The success of the MCU has helped move comic book films into mainstream culture, meaning directing one these days is a much bigger deal than it was 20 years ago.
In a recent Q&A for his upcoming film The Unholy, Sam Raimi commented on how directing a Marvel film in 2021, compares to work on one over a decade ago.
SAM RAIMI COMMENTS ON MARVEL EXPECTATIONS IN 2021
As Sam Raimi prepares to release his upcoming horror film The Unholy, the director conducted a Q&A on Reddit surrounding the project. Naturally, Raimi was asked a multitude of questions surrounding his work on the Doctor Strange sequel, to which he offered some interesting comments on producing the MCU epic.
A question from Reddit user carolinagamecomics asked the former Spider-Man (2002) director what it's like to work on a Marvel movie in the early 2000s compared to in 2021. The Marvel veteran explained the added pressure of taking on the film as “There were fewer expectations back then.”
As further Marvel questions continued to fly in, one that caught Raimi's eye asked what it's like to work with legendary MCU producer Kevin Feige. His reply described Feige as “a great producer,” who “knows his characters and story better than anybody”:
"Kevin Feige is a great producer. He knows his characters and story better than anybody. And that's really a great producer's super power."
NO SURPRISES HERE
Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films were released at a time when Marvel was a struggling comic book publisher, and they were doing whatever it took to survive. Part of that process involved selling film rights to their biggest heroes to the highest bidder, including the X-Men and Fantastic Four going to Fox, and Spider-Man swinging over to Sony.
His films were arguably some of the first major superhero blockbusters, and are a critical part of the genre being where it is today, still being looked upon by many as the best live-action take on Peter Parker.
While those films were extremely successful in their time, it's dwarfed by the billion-dollar films that have come out of the franchise in recent years, including some of the biggest films ever put to the cinema.
With Marvel Studios churning out multiple films a year nowadays, it's natural that fan expectations are substantially higher now than ever before, especially as moviegoers await for first theatrical release from them since 2019.
Raimi is sure to be feeling the pressure of taking on the hit global franchise, however, his credentials certainly equip him to handle the film, arguably better than anyone else.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will hit theaters on March 25, 2022.