DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS Was Rewritten "From Scratch" When Sam Raimi Was Hired
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron (Loki) has revealed how he was enlisted for the sequel, confirming it was rewritten from scratch, and Sam Raimi will take us on a "ride."
Scott Derrickson was originally set to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but "creative differences" led to the filmmaker parting ways with Marvel Studios. However, what we didn't realise is that C. Robert Cargill's screenplay was completely thrown out and rewritten when Sam Raimi and Loki Head Writer Michael Waldron boarded the sequel.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Waldron - who has clearly earned Kevin Feige's trust because he'll also pen the script for his Star Wars movie - revealed that he was approached to rewrite the Doctor Strange sequel right as work on Loki was wrapping up.
"How do we just make a movie in two months?" Waldron recalls thinking. "But COVID quickly descended upon us. We’re not shooting now until November. So I got to spend my 2020 on Zooms with Sam Raimi. Not too bad." He went on to acknowledge the foundation Derrickson had laid while noting that he and Raimi started "from scratch."
Waldron would go on to elaborate on what he wanted to bring to the Sorcerer Supreme's MCU return.
"He's Indiana Jones in a cloak to me. He's a hero who can take a punch. That's what made those Harrison Ford heroes so great. Those guys get their asses kicked," the writer explained, teasing his plans for the hero. "Look at Stephen Strange in the first movie. He's really getting beat up but he's very capable and everything. I can tell you that it's a ride...very Sam Raimi. The film is incredibly visually thrilling. John Mathieson our DP, who shot Gladiator and Logan — I think the look of it is going to be unlike anything you've seen in the MCU before."
It certainly sounds like Waldron has a good grasp on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and you have to believe he found some fun ways to tie the movie into his work on Loki.
Time will tell on that front, of course, but this version of the sequel is clearly going to be vastly different to whatever Derrickson and Cargill had planned (if rumours are to be believed, then it would have been the MCU's first horror movie with Nightmare as the main antagonist).
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to be released in theaters on March 25, 2022.
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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness rumours!
8. There Could Be Some Crazy Cameos
The expectation is that Doctor Strange in the Mulitverse of Madness will include visits to any number of alternate Earths and timelines, and with Sam Raimi at the helm, many fans have been keeping everything crossed that Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man could make a surprise appearance.
That's one popular theory online, but The Direct shared a wacky scoop not too long ago claiming Tom Cruise has been enlisted to play Tony Stark from another Earth (he was up for the lead role in Iron Man before Robert Downey Jr. landed the gig).
This is certainly an interesting rumour, and Cruise has been in the UK shooting the latest Mission: Impossible movie meaning it could work logistically. We're sure the actor wouldn't turn down a cameo like this one, but until we hear something from more reliable sources, it's best not to get too excited.
However, stranger things have happened in the MCU over the years...
7. Doctor Strange Is Getting A New Costume
Marvel Studios has always done a great job with the costumes worn by the Marvel Cinematic Universe's biggest heroes and villains, but it sounds like big changes might be in store for Doctor Strange. While the Sorcerer Supreme has looked pretty cool up until now, it seems Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi has some ideas of his own.
According to Discussing Film, "one source just teased to us that the crew have designed a new, comic accurate look for Doctor Strange himself."
We don't have any further details when it comes to what that might look like, but it's no secret that Raimi is a huge fan of Steve Ditko's artwork. In Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi gave Strange his yellow gloves from the comics, but they had vanished by the time Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame rolled around.
This feels like the right move from Strange, especially as he's likely fully embraced his role as Earth's Sorcerer Supreme after everything that's happened in the MCU these past few years.
6. Big Plans To Reintroduce Ghost Rider
There have been rumblings that Marvel Studios has plans for Ghost Rider in the MCU for a while now, but a recent report from That Hashtag Show indicated that he'll debut in this sequel.
We don't have any details beyond that, but if it's true that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is leaning into Sam Raimi's horror roots, then this could be a fitting place for Johnny Blaze to show up (especially if Mephisto is, in fact, the sequel's lead villain).
Sony's Ghost Rider movies sucked, but the character has always looked incredible on screen. A rebooted version is long overdue, and this could be a stepping stone for much bigger things.
We're not banking on this one panning out, but remain optimistic that it could...
We're hoping that the title isn't a misdirect and that this movie will take us on a crazy trip through the Marvel Cinematic Universe's version of the Multiverse. As we've mentioned, that means visiting alternate realities, and there are a lot of rumours out there about which worlds the Sorcerer Supreme will touch down on.
Now, we may have confirmation of at least one of those realities thanks to a listing on the Spotlight talent agency, Unlike IMDb, this isn't a site that random people can make changes to, and one of their clients, Jon Prophet, has been listed on there as "New Yorker 616" in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
"616" is definitely a number that should ring a bell; the main Marvel Universe where the original versions of iconic superheroes like Spider-Man, the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four call home.
This means Strange would most likely cross paths with the comic book versions of familiar characters. Given the ever-changing nature of the Marvel Universe, we'd be willing to bet that we'll see the classic versions of Earth's Mightiest Heroes from back when Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby were calling the shots.
4. Chris Evans' Two Surprising Roles
Recently, Variety reported on plans for Chris Evans to return to the MCU, and Giant Freaking Robot claims to know which two roles the actor will play. Yes, you read that correctly: two!
According to the site, which reported on Don Cheadle's The Falcon and The Winter Soldier role before the actor himself confirmed the news, Evans will return as Captain America in the Doctor Strange sequel. However, he'll reportedly be playing the "Captain HYDRA" version of Steve Rogers from the Secret Empire storyline.
As for the second role, it's said he'll don his old Fantastic Four uniform to play the Human Torch again. That's a bonkers idea, but it might be fun to return to that world ahead of the MCU reboot.
Unfortunately, this is another relatively unreliable source for news, but it weirdly makes sense. There have been plenty of big rumours we've discounted over the years because they sound ludicrous, only to see them actually be proven correct. As a result, we're not writing this one off just yet!
3. The MCU's Illuminati
Another interesting rumour from Giant Freakin Robot claims that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will finally bring the Illuminati into the MCU.
The members we'll see here are reportedly Professor X, Mister Fantastic, and Namor the Sub-Mariner. While we could believe that the latter would show up, it seems way too soon to add Charles Xavier and Reed Richards to this shared world. After all, there are still no sign of mutants, while Mister Fantastic's introduction is best saved for Fantastic Four.
Seeing Strange decide he needs to bring together a group like this would be no bad thing, though, and it's possible an alternate version of these characters will be revealed as villains at some point.
We'll see, but here's hoping the Illuminati show up sooner rather than later, eh?
2. An Unexpected New Ally For The Sorcerer Supreme
There's a lot we don't know about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but the title itself drops one big hint about how Sam Raimi's sequel will play out! We know Elizabeth Olsen will return as the Scarlet Witch, of course, while Xochitl Gomez is playing the dimension-hopping America Chavez.
However, it seems she won't be the only character in this movie with the ability to travel between worlds. According to The Direct, Adam Hugill (1917) is set to play Rintrah.
The magically powered Minotaur hails from the planet R'Vaal and, as noted, can travel from his dimension to others. In one storyline, he helped the Sorcerer Supreme repair his Cloak of Levitation (thanks to his master, Enitharmon the Weaver). Thanos did appear to damage Strange's cape in Avengers: Infinity War, so that's one likely possibility for how Rintrah will be used here.
Strange once even managed to possess Rintrah to fend off some formidable enemies, so we're definitely intrigued to see just how weird things get in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Leaked concept art appears to have confirmed his role too.
1. Speed And Wiccan Return
There were rumblings about Speed and Wiccan being in this sequel before WandaVision even arrived on Disney+, and some digging into Julian Hilliard and Jett Klyne's social media posts have indicated that Billy and Tommy will be part of proceedings.
It makes sense given how things ended for the Scarlet Witch in that Disney+ series, and the premise of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness being Wanda tearing through the Multiverse searching for her children is one that makes sense. By the time all is said and done, we're banking on them being aged up into their superhero personas.
It's possible Marvel Studios will wait until Hilliard and Klyne grow into the roles, of course, but something tells us that there are big plans in place for Speed and Wiccan.
We'll see, but don't be surprised if the search for Billy and Tommy is confirmed in the eventual trailer...