It's official: Evil Dead and Spider-Man director Sam Raimi will helm the Doctor Strange sequel. Rumours had been swirling about Raimi's involvement, and thanks to an interview with Comingsoon.net, we now understand it's a reality.
A self-confessed fan of the character, Raimi is replacing original Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson on Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. The film will star Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme, whom we last saw in 2019's Avengers: Endgame.
It will be Raimi's first superhero venture since 2007's much-derided Spider-Man 3, and his first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In fact, the movie is one of the key titles in the MCU's Phase Four period, following on the heels of Black Widow (6th November), Eternals (12th February 2021) and Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (7th May 2021).
"I loved Doctor Strange as a kid, but he was always after Spider-Man and Batman for me, he was probably at number five for me of great comic book characters," Raimi said.
"He was so original, but when we had that moment in Spider-Man 2 I had no idea that we would ever be making a Doctor Strange movie, so it was really funny to me that coincidentally that line was in the movie. I gotta say I wish we had the foresight to know that I was going to be involved in the project."
Given that Multiverse Of Madness is being billed as the first all-out horror movie in the MCU, Raimi is well-suited to the job. Back in 1981, he earned notoriety for the ferociously gory horror-comedy Evil Dead, which spawned two sequels.
Trace elements of Raimi's horror background have been found in his comic book movies Darkman and the Spider-Man films. Just think of the terrifying horror hospital scene in 2004's Spider-Man 2, in which Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus is born. In 2009, the director made a majestic return to the horror genre with the diabolically entertaining Drag Me To Hell.
And now, Raimi's friend and muse Bruce Campbell wants in on the action. He's been a mainstay of the director's films since Evil Dead, and, as per his Twitter page, is after a key role in the Doctor Strange sequel.
What do you make of the news? Let us know @Cineworld. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness has now moved to a new release date of 5th November 2021. It's followed by Thor: Love and Thunder, the final MCU Phase Four movie, on the 28th of February 2022.