Live: Amazon Event Wednesday Probe Crashes Into Asteroid Prime Day 2: Oct. 11-12 Tesla AI Day Hurricane Ian Satellite Images Save on iPad Pro Refurbs Apple Watch Ultra Review EarthLink Internet Review
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Doctor Strange 2 just lost its director

Scott Derrickson, director of the first Doctor Strange, has dropped out of the sequel.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the sequel to the Marvel hero's 2016 origin story, has just lost its director. Scott Derrickson, whose horror credits (The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister) may have proved useful for the new movie's promised trippy gothic exploration of Strange's magical powers, has stepped back to an executive producer role.

Marvel attributed his departure to "creative differences," according to Variety Thursday.

"Marvel Studios and Scott Derrickson have amicably parted ways on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences," Marvel said in a statement to Variety, adding, "We remain grateful to Scott for his contributions to the MCU."

Derrickson confirmed his departure on Twitter. "Marvel and I have mutually agreed to part ways on Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences. I am thankful for our collaboration and will remain on as EP," he wrote Thursday.

The movie's production will reportedly still go ahead in May, with the search for a replacement under way. While it's disappointing Derrickson won't return to direct the sequel, having found huge success with the first outing, this isn't the first time a Marvel movie's director has dropped out mid-development.

Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Shaun of the Dead) was initially going to direct the first Ant-Man in 2015, but he too dropped out due to creative differences. Peyton Reed stepped in instead, and the movie still became a success with critics and earned over $500 million at the box office.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will pair up Benedict Cumberbatch's sorcerer with Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch. Its release is slated for May 7, 2021.