Since cementing itself as the undisputed box office behemoth of modern Hollywood, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made a concerted effort to both hand more creative control over to the filmmakers responsible for the franchise’s output, while simultaneously taking bigger swings than ever before. On that note, next week’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to up the ante to an entirely new level.
While the major decisions all flow through Kevin Feige and his trusted confidants at the end of the day, director Sam Raimi has stated in no uncertain terms that he was given virtually unrestricted oversight on the Sorcerer Supreme’s upcoming sequel. That’s a million miles away from the leeway afforded to his predecessor, with Scott Derrickson initially dropping out due to “creative differences”.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Raimi highlighted that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is exactly the movie he had in mind, which spells exciting news for old and new fans of the filmmaker’s back catalogue.
“Well, let me say — and this may sound like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth — that Marvel allowed me complete creative freedom. However, it had to follow so many things in Marvel lore, [so] even though I had complete freedom, the previous movies and where Marvel wants to go in the future really directed the path in an incredibly specific way.
Within those parameters I have freedom, but I’ve got to tell the story of those characters in a way that ties in with all of the properties simultaneously. We had to make sure, for instance, that Doctor Strange didn’t know more than he had learned about the multiverse from No Way Home. And yet we had to make sure he wasn’t ignorant of things that he had already learned. So everything was dictated by what had become before.”
It sounds as though a compromise has been reached, then, allowing Raimi to stamp his signature on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, without impacting the overarching narrative of Phase Four, or the MCU at large. Audiences will hopefully be the real winners at the end of the day, should the film live up to its potential.