Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were shocked to learn last night that Scott Derrickson is exiting Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In a statement by Marvel and then confirmed by Derrickson later on Twitter, it was said that the decision came down to “creative differences.” At least, that’s what they’re saying at the moment. After all, “creative differences” is always the canned answer when something like this happens.
Despite the news though, the Doctor Strange sequel is still on schedule to be released on May 7th, 2021, according to Variety. And while that’s a little over a year away, Marvel needs to find a replacement soon to keep the release date. Movies of this size take a long time to make, especially with something like this that relies heavily on visual effects. The post-production alone will take months to fine tune and you never want to rush visual effects shots. Just ask Cats director Tom Hooper.
Every release for Marvel is big, of course, but this will be the first sequel since Avengers: Endgame and the first film, also directed by Derrickson, grossed nearly $680 million worldwide back in November of 2016. With an early summer premiere, Marvel is no doubt expecting Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to do big business, so hopefully things can get back on track soon.
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Personally, I was disappointed by the first Doctor Strange. While it was a visually stunning film, the story of an egomaniacal rich guy who suffers a personal tragedy and must learn to overcome his personal demons is something we’ve seen a few times within the superhero genre.
But Benedict Cumberbatch is terrific in the titular role (remember when they wanted Joaquin Phoenix?) and with the sequel sounding like it’s going to be the MCU’s first horror effort (which makes Derrickson’s exit all the more curious), I’m expecting great things from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.