In a movie full of wild scenes like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, perhaps nothing stands out more than the fight scene where two different versions of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) fight each other using magical musical notes ripped straight from the pages of music stored in the grand piano of the Sanctum Sanctorum. While some might suspect composer Danny Elfman was behind the entire sequence, the composer tells us it was all Sam Raimi's idea.
"Honestly you'd think it would came from me, but it didn't. It came from them or Sam. I don't know exactly," Elfman says. "I can't tell you the origins, but it was Sam that called me and goes, 'Yeah. I'm going back. I got some more shooting I'm going to do. And I'm doing this sequence and it's going to be the musical battle.'"
Elfman adds that he initially didn't even understand Raimi's request because of how wild it sounded at first.
"I said, 'Sam, honestly, I have no idea what the hell you're talking about. It doesn't make any sense to me at all,'" the composer continues. "So he came back and there was a rough version of it. I go, 'Oh, I see. Literally. You're saying literally musical notes are flying, not metaphorically,' And there was a lot of experimentation because we really didn't know how to play it. So I think I wrote at least three versions of that scene."
Late in the process, Elfman recalls Kevin Feige bringing in some notes, telling the rocker to use some classical music moviegoers might recognize.
"Just before the final version, there was a point where I had some different famous classical music flying at each other. And in the 11th hour, Kevin Feige jumped in. He goes, 'Danny and Sam, you guys. Let's make it Bach versus Beethoven. Simplify it down,'" Elfman concludes. "I said, 'Yeah. Great. Let's do that,' And I did another version. Got it just under the wire into the dub literally before the movie shipped. It was just weeks ago it seems like we were doing that piece and it ended up where it is today. So it was just a crazy concept and a lot of experimenting on how to make it work."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now showing exclusively in theaters around the world. What'd you think about the sequel? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!