Earlier this year, Marvel Studios revealed a major shuffle to their release schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the studio now confirming that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be hitting theaters on March 25, 2022. The most recent update on the project had a November 5, 2021 release date. This is only one update that the project has undergone this year, as director of the original film, Scott Derrickson, was originally set to direct the sequel, only to exit the project and have director of 2002's Spider-Man and 1981's The Evil Dead Sam Raimi confirmed as the director.
The coronavirus emerged late last year but it wasn't until late February and early March that it began taking its toll on the entertainment industry. In February, Mission: Impossible 7 halted production in Italy due to the number of cases of the virus while March saw the upcoming James Bond film, No Time to Die, delay its April release, despite seemingly nearing completion of post-production. From there, a chain reaction ignited that impacted nearly every movie and TV production and release, which coincided with movie theaters around the world shuttering their doors.
While there's no end in sight for when the pandemic could subside, these likely won't be the last release date updates for highly anticipated projects, though some studios have pulled their films off the release schedule entirely.
Despite there being no confirmed plans of Derrickson collaborating with Marvel Studios in the near future, he was quick to point out that these delays should be seen as a good thing for projects.
“The pushing of all these big tentpole release dates will increase their overall quality — more time for script & production design development," he shared on Twitter. “Blade Runner looks so amazing because Ridley Scott & his team took a year during the 80-81 actors & WGA strikes to perfect the visuals.”
While fans were disappointed that Derrickson left the project, they were excited by the idea of Raimi stepping in to helm the picture, due to his successes not only with superhero films but also in the horror realm. Making this event even more interesting is that, back in 2004's Spider-Man 2, J. Jonah Jameson made reference to Doctor Strange at a time in which there weren't any interconnected franchises. Raimi has since confirmed that this was nothing more than a coincidence.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be hitting theaters on March 25, 2022.
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