Sam Raimi On Why He Decided To Helm DOCTOR STRANGE 2 After Response To SPIDER-MAN 3
Sam Raimi has been very open about how much the polarizing response to Spider-Man 3 has weighed on him over the years, and it sounds like he hopes to redeem himself with Multiverse of Madness next year.
It's been nearly fifteen years since we saw Sam Raimi direct a comic book movie, having last helmed the blockbuster Spider-Man 3, which received arguably one of the most polarizing responses in the history of superhero cinema at the time of release, especially coming after the universally acclaimed Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2.
Raimi has been very open about how much the film's "awful" response has weighed on him over the years, even admitting in 2015 that he felt he messed up the film and that it ultimately just didn't work. However, as we've learned through the passage of time, not all of that was entirely Raimi's fault as there was plenty of studio interference to blame for some of the major missteps. Regardless, that didn't stop fans from expressing their thoughts to Raimi wherever he went.
When Spider-Man 4 fell apart due to similar issues with the studio, he opted to take a bit of a step back, helming only two features (Drag Me to Hell; Oz the Great and Powerful) since 2007. But we were all treated to an unexpected surprise in April 2020 when Marvel Studios announced they had hired Raimi for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a move that would bring him on board one of the wildest superhero movies of all-time as well as reunite him with his former executive producer Kevin Feige.
In a recent interview with Collider, Raimi spoke at length about what drove him to ultimately accept the job, and his response suggests the experience may have been somewhat cathartic for him.
"I didn't know that I could face it again because it was so awful, having been the director of Spider-Man 3. The Internet was getting revved up and people disliked that movie and they sure let me know about it. So, it was difficult to take back on. But then, I found out that there was an opening on Doctor Strange 2. My agent called me and said, 'They're looking for a director at Marvel for this movie and your name came up. Would you be interested?' And I thought, 'I wonder if I could still do it.' They're really demanding, those types of pictures. And I felt, 'Well, that's reason enough.' I've always really liked the character of Doctor Strange. He was not my favorite, but he was right up there with the favorites. I loved the first movie, I thought [director] Scott Derrickson did a wonderful job, an incredible job. So, I said, 'Yeah.' They left the character in a great place. I didn't think I would be doing another superhero movie. it just happened."
Plot details are under wraps, but Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as the Sorcerer Supreme, with a confirmed supporting cast comprised of Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch, Benedict Wong as Wong, Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez.
There are also a number of too-good-to-be-true rumors floating around out there about the story and potential cameos, including one that has strongly suggested that the film may reunite Raimi with some of his original Spider-Man trilogy stars... a few of whom are also heavily rumored to appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on March 25, 2022.