The Marvel Cinematic Universe is returning to theaters in May with the debut of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Unlike the first Doctor Strange movie, Multiverse of Madness isn't being directed by Scott Derrickson, as he exited the Marvel film before the start of production. Spider-Man and Evil Dead director Sam Raimi was ultimately brought in to replace Derrickson on the film.
Both Marvel and Derrickson cited creative differences for the amicable split, with Derrickson heading over to Blumhouse to make his new horror film The Black Phone. Fans always wonder if "creative differences" is a code for some deeper issue, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has made it clear that there is no ill will between the studio and Derrickson, and that they truly just envisioned different movies.
"We love Scott and I think Scott feels the same," Feige told Empire in the magazine's upcoming issue (via Slashfilm). "Nobody believes it, but it was just creative differences."
There have been rumors that Derrickson wanted to make a Doctor Strange movie that played more like a full-on horror film than a comic book blockbuster, with some relating the director's vision to A24 films like Hereditary. According to Feige, that wasn't the case.
"There's been some thought that that was the creative difference with Scott and Marvel, and it was not. Because we love that idea. The intention was that Strange would guide us into a much creepier side of the world."
Derrickson would've had to adjust his vision for Doctor Strange 2 if he wanted to make it with Marvel. With The Black Phone, he was able to bring his Joe Hill adaptation to life the way he wanted. That ultimately led him and creative partner C. Robert Cargill to focusing their efforts on the new horror movie.
"It came down to Scott, and Scott's like, 'Well, I can make this movie that I'm compromising what I wanted to do on, or I could make The Black Phone,' and he goes, 'You know, I want to make a movie with Cargill. I'm gonna go make The Black Phone,'" Cargill told Cinemablend last year. "It was, as he said publically, it was a hard choice to leave Strange behind; but it made it easier that he had a movie that he was looking forward to," Cargill said. "And then the experience was just so great that we're just are so proud and happy with what we made."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives in theaters on May 6th.