Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film franchise started up, there has been one unifying theme across most of the movies in its early phases: science. The powers and abilities shown by the heroes of the MCU ranged perhaps from Iron Man’s tech, to Hulk and Captain America’s energy- or chemical-powered transformations, to the alien sci-fi of the Guardians of the Galaxy. It was not until 2016’s “Doctor Strange,” part of Phase 3 and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, did the MCU start delving into magical and mystical plots, something that will be revisited in a sequel slated for Phase 4.
However, the director of the first film will not be carrying on with directorial duties for Marvel cinema’s most magical hero as originally thought. Variety has it that “Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson has decided not to further involve himself in the sequel project, “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” This was confirmed by Marvel Studios in a statement released on Thursday, January 9. The reason given for Derrickson stepping down is a familiar phrase for many other such departures: “creative differences.” The studio however expresses its thanks for Derrickson in bringing Doctor Strange to fruition in the MCU.
For his part, Derrickson sounded out his decision to give up directing “Multiverse of Madness” on his official Twitter account. “Marvel and I have mutually agreed to part ways on ‘Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness’ due to creative differences,” her wrote on the tweet. But Derrickson does have some good news to share, in that he is not completely walking away from the project. Rather, he is staying on as Executive Producer, meaning he will continue to work with the rest of the returning production team and cast, which for the moment guarantees Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong.
The first “Doctor Strange” MCU film was released on October 2016 and made some $680 million on the worldwide box office. Its sequel “Multiverse of Madness” was first announced in July last year at the San Diego Comic-Con. Aside from Cumberbatch and Wong, it has been reported that Elizabeth Olsen will also be joining the cast, reprising his role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch which first appeared fully on 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Jade Bartlett is writing the sequel story, which is being described as the first horror-themed installment of the MCU, with plot connections to upcoming Disney+ streaming series “Wanda-Vision” and “Loki.” The movie will premiere on May 2021.
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