Marvel Studios' first sequel to Doctor Strange is still just a ways beyond the horizon, but MCU boss Kevin Feige has begun to tease In the Multiverse of Madness, which will be directed by the returning Scott Derrickson.
“Multiverse of Madness is the greatest title we’ve ever come up with, by the way, which is one thing that’s exciting about it," he said during a recent guest spot at the New York Film Academy.
The title is, of course, a reference to both H.P. Lovecraft and the work of director John Carpenter. While the follow-up has been touted as the first Marvel horror project, Feige prefers to compare it to the jarring imagery of '80s-era cinema that was either directed or produced by Steven Spielberg.
"I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a horror film, but it is, as Scott Derrickson — our director — has pitched it, a big MCU film with scary sequences in it," he continued. "The way, when I was a kid in the ‘80s, Spielberg did an amazing job. There are horrifying sequences in Raiders [of the Lost Ark] that I would, as a little kid, [cover my eyes] when their faces melted. Or Temple of Doom, of course, or Gremlins or Poltergeist. These are the movies that invented the PG-13 rating, by the way — they were PG and they were like, ‘We need another [rating].’ But that’s fun, it’s fun to be scared in that way and not a horrific, torturous way, but in a way that is legitimately scary because Scott Derrickson’s quite good at that. But scary in the service of an exhilarating emotion.”
Following his return in Avengers: Endgame, Benedict Cumberbatch will be reprising the role of Doctor Stephen Strange for the sequel. He'll be joined by Benedict Wong's Wong and Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch. No other casting announcements have been made since the project was announced at SDCC, but we do know that the film is slated to tie into the events of WandaVision on Disney+.
"The next Doctor Strange film, for instance, features some new MCU characters that will be making their debut in that movie," added Feige. "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."
Written by Jade Halley Bartlett, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will begin to scare the pants off of audiences everywhere on May 7, 2021.