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Nearly two decades ago, Evil Dead filmmaker Sam Raimi helped propel the superhero movie genre to new heights with Spider-Man, and he continued to guide Tobey Maguire’s Web-Slinger in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3. Fast-forward to earlier this year, it was reported that Raimi was being lined up to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and now he’s confirmed that he landed the gig.
Sam Raimi mentioned that he’s officially aboard the Doctor Strange sequel during a press junket for his upcoming Quibi horror anthology series, 50 States of Fright, which CinemaBlend attended. When the Doctor Strange reference thrown into Spider-Man 2 was mentioned, Raimi said the following:
I loved Doctor Strange as a kid, but he was always after Spider-Man and Batman for me, he was probably at number five for me of great comic book characters. He was so original, but when we had that moment in Spider-Man 2 I had no idea that we would ever be making a Doctor Strange movie, so it was really funny to me that coincidentally that line was in the movie. I gotta say I wish we had the foresight to know that I was going to be involved in the project.
So while Doctor Strange wasn’t at the top of Sam Raimi’s superhero list growing up, he was nonetheless a favorite, hence why that reference to the Sorcerer Supreme was thrown into Spider-Man 2. For those who need a refresher on that movie, Doctor Strange was one of the names that Daily Bugle employee Hoffman suggested that the now-eight-armed Doctor Octavius should be called, only for J. Jonah Jameson to note that it was taken, as you’ll see below.
Of course, a lot has changed in the superhero movie world since Spider-Man 2’s release. Now only is the genre more popular than ever, but Doctor Strange finally made his theatrical debut in late 2016, with Benedict Cumberbatch’s iteration of the character returning in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Now the stage is being set for the MCU’s Master of the Mystic Arts’ fifth appearance, and Sam Raimi has finally confirmed that he’ll be the man helming that adventure.
Originally the plan was for Scott Derrickson, the man who helmed Doctor Strange, to reprise his directorial duties for the sequel. However, in January, it was announced that Derrickson was stepping down as director due to creative differences, although he’s still attached to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as an executive producer.
While no specific plot details for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have been revealed yet, in addition to Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor reprising Wong and Karl Mordo, respectively, this movie will also include Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch. Furthermore, both the WandaVision and Loki shows on Disney+ (which is offering a seven-day free trial) will tie into The Multiverse of Madness. Rachel McAdams is not expected to return as Dr. Christine Palmer.