Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Loses Director Scott Derrickson

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was officially announced last year, and it offered quite a lot of movies and Disney+ television shows for fans to get excited about. Among the projects announced was Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a long-awaited sequel starring Benedict Cumberbatch's Sorcerer Supreme. According to a new report from Variety, the film has suffered a bit of a setback, as Scott Derrickson has officially departed the project as a director. Derrickson, who directed the first Doctor Strange, will remain a producer on the film.

“Marvel Studios and Scott Derrickson have amicably parted ways on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences,” Marvel said in a statement to Variety, adding, “We remain grateful to Scott for his contributions to the MCU.”

Derrickson confirmed the news in a tweet on Thursday night, saying that he is "thankful" for the collaboration with the studio.

According to the report, Marvel Studios is already searching for a replacement director, as filming on the project is expected to begin in May, and they are not expecting any delays. The film is expected to have a significant link to WandaVision, a Disney+ original series that will follow Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany's Vision. Coincidentally, Derrickson tweeted last month that mandated studio release dates "are an enemy of the art", which had led some to speculate that the tight schedule for both projects was having a negative impact.

Multiverse of Madness will see Benedict Cumberbatch reprise his role as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange, with Olsen reprising her MCU character as well. The film was initially dubbed as Marvel's "first horror movie", comments that were later clarified by studio head Kevin Feige.

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,” Feige said last month. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a horror film, but … it’ll be a big MCU film with scary sequences in it.”

“I mean, there are horrifying sequences in Raiders that I as a little kid would [cover my eyes] when their faces melted. Or Temple of Doom, of course, or Gremlins, or Poltergeist,” Feige said. “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 — because Scott Derrickson is quite good at that — but scary in the service of an exhilarating emotion."

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Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1st, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall of 2020, The Eternals on November 6th, WandaVision in 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022.