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Marvel's Doctor Strange 2 gets Spider-Man's Sam Raimi as new director

The director confirms he'll take on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

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Benedict Cumberbatch will be joined by WandaVision's Elizabeth Olsen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The Disney Plus Loki series will factor in as well. 

Marvel

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness starring Benedict Cumberbatch finally has a new director in Sam Raimi. He takes on the role after the surprise departure of Scott Derrickson, who directed 2016's Doctor Strange.

Raimi confirmed his involvement as director for Marvel's Doctor Strange 2 while promoting his new Quibi series 50 States of Fright. "I loved Doctor Strange as a kid," Raimi told journalists on a conference call Tuesday. "He was always after Spider-Man and Batman for me. He was probably No. 5 for me for great comic book characters. He was so original." 

Raimi is best known for creating the Evil Dead horror series, as well as directing Sony's original Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire. Ironically, there's even a Doctor Strange reference in Spider-Man 2, which Raimi directed in 2004.

The moment Raimi refers to happens when Daily Bugle newspaper Editor in Chief J. Jonah Jameson (played by J.K. Simmons) and paper employee Ted Hoffman (Ted Raimi, Sam's brother) brainstorm names for Spider-Man's new nemesis, whom they eventually call Doctor Octopus.

"When we had that moment in the Spider-Man movie, I had no idea we'd be making a Doctor Strange movie," Raimi said. "So it was really funny to me also, coincidentally that line was in the first Spider-Man movie … I wish I had the foresight to know I was going to be involved in the project."

Back in January, Derrickson stepped back from directing Doctor Strange 2 and into an executive producing role due to creative differences. In February, Derrickson responded positively to the idea of Raimi replacing him as the director on the upcoming movie.

"I've worked with Sam Raimi. One of the nicest people I've known in the film business, and as a director, a true living legend," he wrote. "What a great choice to take over Doctor Strange." 

Originally, the sequel to Doctor Strange was scheduled to begin production in May, aiming for a May 2021 release date. That date was later moved to Nov. 5, 2021. But with temporary studio closures due to concerns over spreading coronavirus, that final release date is now set for March 25, 2022.