Scott Derrickson quit Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on Thursday, due to creative differences. At San Diego Comic-Con last July, Marvel president Kevin Feige revealed Phase 4 of the MCU. One of the key moments of that presentation was the announcement of the sequel starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Along with the actor, and co-star Elizabeth Olsen who will play the Scarlet Witch, Derrickson joined them on the stage. During his time with the microphone, he promised the film would be Marvel’s first “horror movie.” (Sorry, New Mutants.) However, it may not be that simple.
During an appearance at the New York Film academy, embedded below, Feige walked back that assertion. He said that the sequel would be “a big MCU film, with scary sequences in it.” He compared the film to Raiders of the Lost Ark which, while an action thriller, had horrifying and grotesque moments. While we have no idea what the specific creative differences are, the amount of horror in the movie could be it.
Of course, it could also be the hard release date the film has for May 7, 2021. Just last month, Derrickson tweeted that hard release dates “are the enemy of art.” He even engaged ‘angrily’ with a fan who replied, “so is endless tinkering.” He asked, “what potentially great art has that ever ruined?”
Scott Derrickson Quit Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness But ‘Amicably’
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr
It’s pretty clear that Scott Derrickson quit Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but he and Marvel Studios say the decision was mutual. Derrickson said so in a statement on Twitter. Marvel studios also painted the decision this way. In a short statement to Variety, who first broke the news, the unnamed spokesperson said the studio is “grateful” to the director for his work. Interestingly, while movies shuffle directors often, it’s rare at Marvel Studios. Most famously, Edgar Wright left the studio over studio rewrites demanded for 2015’s Ant-Man. Peyton Reed stepped in, the film was a hit, and it spawned two sequels.
So, even though Scott Derrickson quit Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness over creative differences, he will remain an executive producer on the film. Whether this is just a credit-in-name-only or not, we’ll not know until well after the film comes out.
The problem, it seems, are that some directors are not fond of making films via a committee. Perhaps one of the reason Martin Scorsese things Marvel movies aren’t cinema is because they aren’t a singular vision. Because they are telling different stories in a connected universe, these films can’t be that. Feige himself said that the next Doctor Strange film will be a lynchpin for the future of the MCU. Also, it will connect to the WandaVision series, a first for the studio.
Still, Marvel Studios can make careers. Before Captain America: Civil War, Joe and Anthony Russo were sitcom directors. Three movies later, they left Marvel Studios able to write their own tickets in Hollywood. With so much A-list talent in front of the camera, the biggest franchise machine in the industry might become a place where “young” talent behind the camera can break through.
Come Hell or high-water, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness comes out on May 7, 2021.
What do you think? Are you upset that Scott Derrickson quite Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? What do you think the creative differences were? Share your thoughts, theories, and whether or not you want a true Marvel horror film in the comments below.
Featured image by Marvel Entertainment
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.