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Sam Raimi, the director who brought Spider-Man to the big screen in 2002, is in talks to take over as director for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, according to Variety, and confirmed by Deadline. Raimi would take over for the sequel's original director, Scott Derrickson, who also helmed the first film, Doctor Strange. Derrickson departed Multiverse of Madness in early January over creative differences with Marvel Studios.
Raimi has a slew of genre bonafides behind him. From 2002-2007, he was responsible for bringing Spider-Man to the big screen. The trilogy was a commercial and critical success with the 2002 tablesetter becoming the first film to earn $100 million in its opening weekend. Raimi is also well known for his work on The Evil Dead and The Grudge franchises.
Variety also reports actress Rachel McAdams (Dr. Christine Palmer) will not be returning to the sequel. It had been previously reported that McAdams may reprise her role as Dr. Stephen Strange's colleague and former romantic interest. There was no cited reason why McAdams won't be reprising her role.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will see the return of Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme. He will be joined by Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch. The events of the film will tie in to the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision, also starring Olsen. Actors Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor will return in their respective roles as Wong and Karl Mordo. The sequel was announced at this year's SDCC.
As reported by Collider, the up-and-coming Hollywood writer Jade Halley Bartlett is penning the script for the film. Bartlett's past work blends comic, thriller, and horror elements. A perfect fit for what Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has teased about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, promising fans a blend of '80s Spielbergian horror and the characteristic weirdness that simply comes with the territory of being Dr. Stephen Strange.
Variety notes that Derrickson will stay on for the sequel as an executive producer. Production is reportedly still set to begin this May. SYFY WIRE has reached out to Disney for comment.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled for a May 7, 2021 release.