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WIRE Buzz: Doctor Strange 2 conjures Loki writer; Bronx Zoo pays Witcher tribute; Creepshow

By Josh Weiss
Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange

The potential replacement of Scott Derrickson with Sam Raimi isn't the only major shake-up for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Marvel Studios project has tapped a brand-new screenwriter, Loki showrunner Michael Waldron.

He replaces the film's original scribe, Jade Bartlett, and may even tie the film into the events of Loki, which stars Tom Hiddleston and arrives on Disney+ next year. We previously knew that Multiverse of Madness was going to connect to WandaVision (it hits the streaming platform this December), but with so many creative changes behind the scenes, that all could change.

Per THR's report, "bringing in both a new director and a new writer could point to a broader reworking of the project than previously thought."

Michael Waldron Doctor Strange

C. Robert Cargill, who co-wrote the first movie's screenplay with Derrickson and Jon Spaihts, took to Twitter to inform fans that he and Scott were didn't get the chance to write a draft for Multiverse of Madness.

"Whatever they are working with now isn't derivative of our work," he wrote. "I am of course very excited to see where they take Stephen next."

It is believed that one of the major points of contention was how scary the movie should be. When it was first announced at SDCC 2019, the sequel was described as the MCU's "first horror movie." Since then, Kevin Feige has sort of dialed that back, stating: "I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a horror film." He went on to compare the spell-casting follow-up to the iconic genre films from the 1980s like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Poltergeist.

With "Multiverse" being the operative word here, fans are theorizing that the second Doctor Strange movie holds massive implications for the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who knows, Strange's ability to travel between different dimensions and realities could be the perfect way to introduce the X-Men and Fantastic Four — two classic Marvel properties now owned by Disney.

"The next Doctor Strange film ... features some new MCU characters that will be making their debut in that movie," Feige has said. "You won't expect or won't guess who it is, but we found a cool way to make it work because we want to make a particular type of movie there. And there was a character we always wanted to do something who we think will fit really well there."

Derrickson, who left the production in early January (although he's staying on as a producer), recently voiced his support for Raimi taking over the directing job.

Right now, it's unclear if Doctor Strange 2 will still make its intended release date of May 7, 2021.

The Witcher TV series has become such a large pop culture icon, that even the Bronx Zoo is tossing a coin to the high-profile Netflix adaptation.

Posting on Twitter, the zoo announced that it intended to celebrate Valentine's Day 2020 by naming one of its resident cockroaches "Horse" in honor of Geralt's equine companion, Roach.

"This Valentine’s Day, we think it’s only fair that we name one of our roaches 'Horse' in honor of Roach the horse. Horse + Roach 4 ever. #TossACoinToYourMadagascarHissingCockroach #NameARoach @witchernetflix," wrote the Bronx Zoo in its tweet.

A second season of The Witcher is already in the works at Netflix. Last month, the streaming platform announced that Season 1 of the fantasy series (which stars Henry Cavill in the title role) was the "most-binged debut" of any Netflix original released so far, including Stranger Things.

Season 2 of Shudder's Creepshow reboot is gonna be even creepier because the animatronic used for the Creep (the show's famous decaying host) just received a detailed "facelift" from showrunner Greg Nicotero.

"The 'Creep' getting a wee facelift for Season 2. Added lips to give him a smile function. Prep begins in a few weeks, then filming in Atlanta in March," wrote Nicotero on Instagram, using the hashtags #creepshow #season2 #animatronics #knbefxgroup.

“For me, Creepshow has been a true labor of love,” said Nicotero when the series was renewed back in October. “To be able to pay tribute to George A. Romero’s visionary project and have the show so embraced by fans everywhere is humbling to this horror kid from Pittsburgh. I couldn’t be more pleased and look forward to continuing the series with more ghoulish delight."