It’s less than a month before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness makes its way to theaters nationwide on May 5. The premiere will also be a debut of sorts for its director, Sam Raimi. Raimi is certainly no stranger to superhero movies — his original Spider-Man trilogy remains a hallmark for the genre to this day — but the Doctor Strange sequel marks his debut into the extensive Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Raimi could be forgiven, then, if he felt the need to one-up the franchise’s latest effort, Spider-Man: No Way Home —after all, the movie not only featured the character he helped to bring to life, it literally stars Tobey Maguire as the exact version of the Wallcrawler that Raimi directed and co-wrote. If that wasn’t enough, the marquee character of Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange, is featured prominently in No Way Home. One might imagine Raimi is champing at the bit to one-up the blockbuster with his own take on the hero.
Raimi has assured everyone this is not the case.
As far as any rivalry between the two films, Raimi told Fandango,
“this is the first time that characters from our universe will go out into the multiverse and experience other universes. So, it’s going to be a continuation, but that, I think, is one of the biggest appeals. Finding other realities, and how they rhyme with our own, or how they are completely the opposite, or variations thereof. I think therein lies the interest of this picture.”
Raimi remained predictably mum on any specific surprises, but trailers and marketing materials certainly imply viewers are in for a view of the infinite variety of the multiverse in a way they haven’t experienced in No Way Home or Loki. Whether those surprises will be as fan-fulfilling as the No Way Home Spider-troika remains to be seen.
In any case, viewers can most definitely count on seeing Strange, Wong, and Elizabeth Olsen’s Wand — fresh from her multi-sitcom reality-bending stint on Wandavision — teaming up for the first time, along with the newest MCU addition, America Chavez.
Raimi also confirmed that fans can expect to see some elements from the other genre he’s proven his mastery of — horror — to show up in Doctor Strange. “Doctor Strange in the comics has always dealt in universes and dimensions that were quite spooky, so we tried to bring some of that into this film,” Raimi admitted.
So do we get an Ash cameo? Bruce Campbell was literally just there, on set, in an as-yet-undisclosed role. All Raimi would say was, “I can’t answer that question either. I’m not allowed to.”
Fans will find out on May 5 when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits the big screen.