Ahead of Loki’s highly-anticipated premiere on Disney+, showrunner Michael Waldron has opened up about the process of rewriting Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness through the pandemic. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Waldron confirmed that following Scott Derrickson’s exit, he and director Sam Raimi had to start the sequel “from scratch.”
“I knew I wanted to stay in the family,” Waldron said being enlisted onto the Doctor Strange sequel, while Loki was about to start shooting. “I felt like Loki was in a great place and I was eager for what the next challenge would be.”
He continued, “How do we just make a movie in two months? [He recalls thinking]. But COVID quickly descended upon us. We’re not shooting now until November. So I got to spend my 2020 on Zooms with Sam Raimi. Not too bad.”
Waldron went on to share that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was inspired by a number of films including Indiana Jones, who he thinks is somewhat similar to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange. He also continued to tease that the sequel is going to be something that fans haven’t seen before in the MCU, describing it as “very Sam Raimi,” and an “incredibly visually thrilling,” film.
“He’s Indiana Jones in a cloak to me,” He said. “He’s a hero who can take a punch. That’s what made those Harrison Ford heroes so great. Those guys get their asses kicked. Look at Stephen Strange in the first movie. He’s really getting beat up but he’s very capable and everything. I can tell you that it’s a ride…very Sam Raimi. The film is incredibly visually thrilling. John Mathieson, our D.P., who shot Gladiator and Logan—I think the look of it is going to be unlike anything you’ve seen in the MCU before.”
Described as the first MCU horror film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sees the return of Benedict Cumberbatch as he reprises his role as Dr. Stephen Strange. This time the Sorcerer Supreme will be joined by Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlett Witch, portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen who is coming off from the critical success of WandaVision. The sequel is expected to tie into the events from WandaVision, Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The sequel will also feature MCU alums Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams, who are reprising their roles as Karl Mordo, Wong, and Dr. Christine Palmer, respectively. It will also feature the introduction of the live-action debut of fan-favorite Marvel hero America Chavez., who will be portrayed by newcomer Xochitl Gomez (The Baby-Sitters Club).
The film is directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy) from a script written by Emmy-winning scribe Michael Waldron (Loki). It is executive produced by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently slated to debut on March 25, 2022, as part of Marvel Cinematic Universe’ Phase 4.