Scott Derrickson announced his departure from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with a simple tweet earlier this week, much to the shock and dismay of just about everyone. In this time of need, heroes have stepped up to offer condolences and support, including a fellow director who left his own high-profile, Disney-controlled movie.
In addition to non-fired director Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and many entertainment writers, creative force to be reckoned with Phil Lord offered some condolences and also admittance to an exclusive club. Taking to Twitter, here’s what he shared:
You have joined a secret club of punk rockers my friend. Godspeed and love.
— Phil Lord (@philiplord) January 10, 2020
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Alongside Chris Miller, Lord was famously fired from Solo: A Star Wars Story for another spat of “creative differences.” Now, Marvel hasn’t outright said that Derrickson was fired, but I think we all know what “creative differences” means in 99% of the cases. You can’t have failed to notice Kevin Feige trying to downplay the horror aspects of Multiverse of Madness recently as well, while Derrickson himself was pushing the narrative to be a hard PG-13.
Overall, this is pretty terrible news. The first Doctor Strange was alright, more visually interesting than narratively, despite Dan Harmon’s light involvement in punching up the script. Derrickson’s earlier horror movie Sinister was moody and visually dark to the point that I had to turn up the brightness on my old friend’s flatscreen back in the day. It at least had atmosphere to spare, and it used a few Boards of Canada tracks which automatically gave it so much cred from me. I thought the dude’s second stab at a Doctor Strange movie with actual spookiness involved would have been cool, but it seems Feige didn’t feel the same.
Also, the last time Marvel fired a director halfway through production we got Ant-Man, which is such a solidly middling “ok” film that seems stupidly safe. Whelp, prepare for another round of that with the unfortunately pared down version of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that we’re now going to get, directed by…Guy Ritchie, maybe? David Gordon Green? Dean Cundey? Actually, hell yeah, dust off Cundey and let him shoot it like he shot everything in the 80s. See, maybe something good can happen. Just kidding, I’m defeated.