Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson has taken to Twitter to announce his departure from the upcoming sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Just when Marvel fans thought they had the next few years of their life planned out for them…it seems Hollywood has thrown another curve ball, that may alter an entire multiverse. It was only last year that Derrickson joined Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, and the Doctor himself Benedict Cumberbatch (1917), on stage at San Diego Comic Con to announce his return to the franchise for the sequel.

At the event, they revealed the new title and logo for the series. Doctor Strange in the Madness of the Multiverse, that captured the imagination of Marvel and sci-fi fans alike. Derrickson took the mic and authoritatively declared that “we’re gonna make the first scary MCU movie.” It seemed like the perfect fit for the auteur with horror flicks on his resume, such as Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. However, it seems that Derrickson will only get to fulfill his superhero horror dream in an alternate reality or dimension.

Today, Derrickson took to Twitter with an announcement that has rocked the film world. The director tweeted, “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.”

Doctor Strange And What’s Brewing in the MCU

This is far from the first time that a director and Marvel have parted ways over “creative differences.” Edgar Wright (Baby Driver) was the original mastermind behind Ant-Man, while Patty Jenkins (Monster) was at the helm of Thor: The Dark World, before leaving for greener pastures with Wonder Woman. So, there is a track record for high-profile departures. However, Derrickson’s departure may be even more notable because of the significance that Doctor Strange in the Madness of the Multiverse seemed to have on the future of the entire Marvel cinematic universe.

doctor strange Cumberbatch and Derrickson
Benedict Cumberbatch and Scott Derrickson collaborating on ‘Doctor Strange’ set – Jay Maidment/Marvel

In recent years, movie audiences have been subtly introduced to the cosmic idea of parallel dimensions and different planes of existence, with releases such as Ant-Man and the Wasp, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, and last year’s blockbuster, Avengers: Endgame. The promise of following Strange through multiple dimensions and possibly encountering alternate versions of the popular MCU heroes and villains, is only equaled by the promise of experiencing jump scares not yet found in Marvel’s filmography. With the departure of Derrickson, it will be interesting to see if the studio chooses another director with a horror background, or if they intend to go in another direction with The New Mutants on the horizon.

Put a bookmark in this story, because it should give insight into the larger picture at Marvel Studios. As we enter into the fourth phase of the MCU, their cinematic world is expanding exponentially. Not only are there dozens of interconnected films in the pipeline, these films will have to share a continuity with the upcoming lineup of Disney+ TV shows.

Feige has bragged about the connection between Doctor Strange 2 and WandaVision. It’s possible that there were simply to many balls to juggle and Derrickson felt that his own vision was being muted. Grab your popcorn, because it will be worth watching to see what directors are ready to play ball in such a confined sandbox. There is certainly a lot more to come on this story…

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled for a May 7th, 2021 release. What do you think of Derrickson leaving the franchise? Let us know in the comment section below!

Source: Variety