There were a lot of reasons to be excited when we heard that Sam Raimi would be taking over Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness after the previous director Scott Derrickson stepped away from the project. Not just because he was part of the 1-2-3 punch of Blade, X-Men, and Spider-Man that helped kick off this era of superhero films, but because of what kind of movie this new Doctor Strange film would be. Doctor Strange 2 will be a horror film, that's what we were told by Kevin Feige on the Hall H stage back at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, and Raimi cut his teeth in the horror genre. Feige recently spoke to Empire about bringing Raimi onto the project and that fans of Evil Dead II specifically will be really happy with this one.
"We want it to be a Sam Raimi movie," Feige tells Empire. "We would give notes like, 'This action is cool – you're competing with Avengers and Spider-Man, no problem – but don't forget the Sam Raimi parts.' You will see just how Sam Raimi it is, in ways that will make fans of Evil Dead II very happy."
Feige and Raimi had worked together before on the first three Spider-Man movies, so there was already a connection there before they even started talking about Doctor Strange 2, and Feige recalled that he wasn't even sure that Raimi would want to do the film.
"Our executive producer, Eric Carroll, and Richie Palmer [producer] were calling around to see who was interested, and Sam's agent said, 'What about Sam Raimi?'" he recalls. "We thought, 'That would be incredible, but there's no chance of that.' But he wanted to come in and meet. And in the first meeting, it was amazing to reconnect with him, and see his enthusiasm to jump back into this world."
As for Raimi, he hasn't directed in some time. His last big theatrical launch was back in 2013 with Oz the Great and Powerful, which underperformed at the box office, and the underrated Drag Me To Hell that also didn't do very well numbers-wise. Since then, Raimi has directed a few TV shows, including an episode of Ash vs Evil Dead and a short, but this is his big-screen return.
"I have missed directing," he says. "It's really the only thing I know how to do. I couldn't be a stockbroker or a banker or a plumber, and I'm thrilled to be working with my old friend Kevin Feige."
In Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stühlbarg, and Rachel McAdams.
The film is directed by Sam Raimi, and Kevin Feige is the producer. Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Eric Hauserman Carroll, and Jamie Christopher serve as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Michael Waldron. "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" releases in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2022.