We probably should have seen it coming. On the heels of the news that Scott Derrickson has stepped down as director of Doctor Strange 2, fans began to scour his Twitter account to look for answers as to why. Though the director hasn’t given many details yet, fans seem to have found a few hints as to what’s behind the surprising move.
On January 9, Variety reported that Scott Derrickson would not be directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The director, who helmed the wildly popular first Doctor Strange film, later confirmed via Twitter that he would be staying on as executive producer. However, he didn’t offer any concrete reasons as to why he would not be directing the sequel, aside from acknowledging “creative differences.”
Naturally, fans immediately began to try to figure out exactly what those creative differences might be. And the director’s Twitter account provided a wealth of clues, in the form of some vague (and not all that vague) musings on his frustrations as a filmmaker. On Reddit, fans shared three tweets from December 2019 that shed a bit of light on Scott Derrickson’s frame of mind. One tweet from December 16 seems to hint at his less-than-savory feelings about scheduling:
Studio release dates are the enemy of art.
Another tweet from December 19 seems particularly prescient, given his recent decision:
Most major life choices come with major regrets. It’s unavoidable. But the worst choice is not choosing at all. Hell is sitting down at the crossroads.
And in a final tweet from December 25, Scott Derrickson praises Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s director Rian Johnson for helping him through a recent hard time:
thankyourianjohnson has been trending just two days after he took time out of his vacation to talk with me at length about a personal situation I’m dealing with. An astonishingly good filmmaker, but also an incredibly gracious and incisive human being. Truly grateful for him.
If you’re reading between the lines (and we definitely are), it seems like Scott Derrickson was grappling with both professional and personal doubts in the lead up to his decision. Another Reddit post shone further light on the more creative side of his differences with Marvel -- namely surrounding major script changes and the addition of new characters.
Fans were quick to note that while some believed Scott Derrickson’s decision to leave the film was the result of a battle over its overall tone, it’s likely the Doctor Strange 2 script underwent big changes to accommodate upcoming TV series WandaVision and Loki. And Scott Derrickson may not have been on board with making huge changes to his story to accommodate new characters.
Whatever the reason, it seems that Scott Derrickson has sent shockwaves through the movie industry, if an email he received from Blumhouse’s founder is any indication. The director has yet to indicate what his next steps will be (though it’s safe to say it probably won’t be Cats 2) -- or who will step in to take his place for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which still currently has a release date of May 7, 2021.