DOCTOR STRANGE 2 Director Sam Raimi On Marvel's "Mandate" To Introduce Horror Elements To The MCU

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi has confirmed that his sequel will introduce horror elements to the MCU, leaning in to the "spooky, scary" aspects of the comic books.

The original Doctor Strange comic books were firmly rooted in horror (the character debuted in the pages of sci-fi/horror anthology series Strange Tales), and it sounds like the upcoming Multiverse of Madness is going to lean into the "scarier" aspects of the Master of the Mystic Arts' adventures.

Of course, the fact that Marvel Studios hired Sam Raimi to helm the sequel when Scott Derrickson parted ways with the project speaks volumes, and the legendary Evil Dead director has now that confirmed that Kevin Feige's mandate was always to make the first MCU movie to have "elements of horror."

"I think what [Kevin] meant, from my point of view, is that this film has a flavor of horror to it," Raimi explained to Fandango. "I think when the original director, Scott Derrickson, and Kevin promoted the coming of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, they said that it was going to be the first Marvel superhero film that had an element of horror to it. I hope I'm not misquoting them. But even after Scott left the picture due to creative differences, that was still the mandate -- to make the first Marvel film that had an element of horror. So, I kept true to their original statements."

"I think that's what Kevin means, because it is spooky at some times and scary at others," he continued. "It's unknown what you'll find in the multiverse. It's within that unknown that suspense and darkness exists. A tool to titillate the audience's fear. Plus, Doctor Strange in the comics has always dealt in universes and dimensions that were quite spooky, so we tried to bring some of that into this film."

There was a lot of speculation that Derrickson must have stepped away because those "creative differences" stemmed from him wanting to introduce more horror to the script, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

The trailers for In The Multiverse of Madness have already showcased some pretty freaky imagery, so it'll be interesting to see how far Raimi was allowed to take things while working within the parameters of a PG-13 rating.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stühlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. The film is directed by Sam Raimi, and Kevin Feige is the producer. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Eric Hauserman Carroll and Jamie Christopher serve as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Michael Waldron.

The Doctor Strange sequel releases in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2022.

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