After a car crash ends his career, snarky neurosurgeon Doctor Steven Strange claims the title of Master of the Mystic Arts and protects Earth from other-dimensional threats. Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness follows the events of Avengers: Endgame as Spiderman: No Way Home (and probably Loki) as a friend-turned-enemy interrupts Doctor Strange's research of the Time Stone, unleashing unspeakable evil. Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige (Spiderman: Homecoming, Avengers: Civil War) has said the Disney+ series WandaVision would directly set up the film, with Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Age of Ultron) reprising her role of Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch. Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness continues Wanda's ownership of what makes her unique and the accountability of her life experience that began in WandaVision.
The writer behind all this madness, Michael Waldron (Heels, Loki), has skyrocketed in recent years as a writer in Hollywood. His career began as an assistant for Dan Harmon on Community, which would lead him to an Emmy for his season four work on Rick and Morty. All this hard work paid off for Waldron, and he is now the head writer on Marvel's Loki, writing the eight-episode Starz series Heels, a Star Wars project with Marvel head Kevin Feige, and has scored an overall deal with Disney.
If he wasn't busy enough, Michael drops all this today and joins Bleeding Cool's Jimmy Leszczynski for a chin wag about his upcoming dimension-twisting adventure, writing for and with Sam Raimi, and what's going on with all those Infinity Stones.
What about these Checkov's Infinity Stones in the first episode of Loki, are they going to pay off and spill over into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
Micheal Waldron: That's a lot of Infinity Stones. That's true, but they are useless there in the TVA, so I don't know. Is that gun loaded or not? We'll see.
You dodged the question about Mephisto hiding in Loki; what about this movie?
Waldron: Yeah, he is there too. Doctor Strange and the Mephisto of Madness.
Is it true that you had to start the script over due to the Covid lockdown?
Waldron: Well, there was just, Covid allowed us more time. Sam (Raimi- The Evil Dead, Spiderman) and I were suddenly- the production got pushed. Sam and I had a chance to say, 'All right, let's just- now we have the time to make this thing more our own.' And sort of, you know, if we were starting over from scratch, what kind of story would we want to do here? That was nice to have that luxury with Sam, to get to really figure that out.
Sam Rami has a very distinct style, and he always has a few very distinct gags or in his visual language. Are you writing with an eye for Sam's style or putting in his type of gags? Is it a collaborative effort?
Waldron: It's totally collaborative. In some cases, yes. In some cases, I delight him. 'Oh yeah, you want to do that.' And in other cases, he's kind of like, 'No, get out.' you know you don't ..nobody knows where to put the Sam Raimi flourishes better than Sam. So I know better than to try and say, 'Here's where you can do a big exciting push-in.' But I try to write in a way that is visually interesting, but other times just give him a blueprint and let him show up and be a genius.
The word on the street is that this is a new creative direction for the MCU, unlike anything we've ever seen. Did you say that?
Waldron: I Think I did say that once, and everybody was like, 'Everybody always says that.' But it is Sam Raimi making a movie in the MCU. So I do think we know the way the camera moves in a Sam Raimi movie is distinct and is really cool. So I think he has; it's going to feel like a very unique cinematic experience.
I'm pretty sure you did say that Doctor Strange will be a cross between Indiana Jones and Anthony Bourdain. Indiana Jones, I can relate to. Is Bourdain a personal hero or inspiration to you?
Waldron: Yeah, I love Anthony Bourdain. I just, he's an intellectual, but also has his own kind of scoundrel tendencies and everything and just not afraid to be a little bit of an acerbic, smart ass in the same way that Steven Strange is. But yet remains likable throughout it. And so yeah. I think he was just a good reference point for me.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on March 25, 2022. It is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Xochitl Gomez.
Keep up with Loki, the TVA, and with Micheal Waldron's work on Loki, airing Tuesday nights on Disney +. Make sure you check out Heels which premieres August 15th on Starz.