After directing Tobey Maguire in the Spider-Man trilogy, filmmaker Sam Raimi is set to return to Marvel for the first time in a decade when he helms Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the sequel to the 2016 movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch. It's an interesting journey for Raimi, who help modernize the superhero movie formula that has since been perfected by the juggernaut that is Marvel Studios. And while it's taken a decade for Raimi to rejoin the superhero game and make a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he's been eager for the opportunity for a while now.
In an old interview with Raimi conducted in 2015, the filmmaker told The Week that he would be happy to make a Marvel Studios movie.
"I think they're so complete now, Marvel. They probably don't need me anymore," said Raimi. "But if they needed me? I'd love to. It's great to be wanted."
It's been a long time coming, but Raimi is finally getting the chance to dip his toe into the MCU (and beyond) with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It's fitting that he's tackling the other major character from Steve Ditko's storied legacy; Ditko brought both Strange and Spidey into the Marvel Universe many decades ago.
This will also mark Raimi's first big screen movie since he directed Oz the Great and Powerful for Disney in 2013.
Marvel has massive plans for the sequel to Doctor Strange, as it will continue to expand the franchise in ways we've only glimpsed so far in the MCU. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige offered a tease for fans while speaking at the New York Film Academy last year.
“Multiverse of Madness is the greatest title we’ve ever come up with, by the way, which is one thing that’s exciting about it,” said Feige. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a horror film, but … it’ll be a big MCU film with scary sequences in it.”
He added, "I mean, there are horrifying sequences in Raiders [of the Lost Ark] that I as a little kid would [cover my eyes] when their faces melted. Or Temple of Doom, of course, or Gremlins, or Poltergeist. These are the movies that invented the PG-13 rating, by the way. They were PG and then they were like, ‘We need another [rating].’ But that’s fun. It’s fun to be scared in that way, and not a horrific, torturous way, but a way that is legitimately scary ... but scary in the service of an exhilarating emotion."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to premiere in theaters on May 7, 2021.
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