You may have heard the rumors that Evil Dead and Spider-Man director Sam Raimi is taking over the director’s chair in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson left the sequel project in early January according to Variety, who also reported that Raimi is now “in talks” to take up the mantle.
At the time of this writing, nothing has been confirmed yet, but the news is worth getting excited about. Accomplished actor and frequent Raimi collaborator Bruce Campbell commented over Twitter that the pick of Raimi for the job is “not strange at all.” Puns aside, Sam Raimi has an important track record when it comes to superhero movies. Older fans will remember Raimi’s 2002 adaptation of Spider-Man, which brought the web-slinger to the big screen for the first time and helped launch the superhero movie trend. That’s kind of a big deal. Take into account Raimi’s other directing credits and his quirky, dryly humorous style, and it really isn’t strange at all to picture him leading the Doctor Strange sequel.
To ease any worries over the shift in leadership, most of the major names in the cast will be reprising their roles, excluding Rachel McAdams, who won’t be returning as Strange’s colleague, Christine Palmer. Both Benedicts–Cumberbatch and Wong–will return, as well as Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo. There will even be an appearance by a certain Elizabeth Olson as Scarlet Witch, who was known to interact with Doctor Strange in the comics.
Some are saying this could be a turning point in the direction Marvel is taking its films in terms of crew and leadership. The studio has spent the better part of two decades handing off their projects to indie and unknown directors–James Gunn in Guardians of the Galaxy and Taika Waititi in Thor: Ragnarok just to name a couple. This system brought several noteworthy creatives into the mainstream and proved that superhero movies can be a profitable career move for “serious directors.” Putting horror legend Sam Raimi on Doctor Strange would prove that, and also give Marvel an opportunity to let the look and feel of their movies evolve and vary.
All of that aside, Sam Raimi is himself a comics fan, particularly of Steve Ditko, co-creator of both Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. His appreciation for the material and the fanbase would undoubtedly come through on the screen in a Doctor Strange sequel just as much as it did in his Spider-Man trilogy. It’s hard not to get excited about what kind of film we would get if Raimi takes the job.
And yes, there is that throwaway Doctor Strange reference in Spider-Man 2, and we absolutely appreciate the irony now. And we’re looking forward to the inevitable Bruce Campbell cameo in a Raimi directed Doctor Strange film.
-Written by Cory Mason