It might sound like a mystical mistake, but it seems that Marvel‘s planned Doctor Strange sequel – touted at last year’s SDCC as the studio’s first ‘horror’ movie within its universe – might have hit a slight supernatural snag with the announcement that director Scott Derickkson is leaving the project of those old ‘creative differences’. However the departure seems reasonably friendly with Derrickson staying on as an Executive Producer.
The sequel, with the full title Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness, was seen to be a chance for the studio to spread its creative wing in a new direction and perhaps embrace some more surreal and thought-provoking aspects, though it wouldn’t lack any of the ‘superhero’ aspects of its companion pieces (indeed, the Loki tv show for Disney+ is said to have a connection to the film)
The film is due for release in May 2021 and is still due to begin lensing this summer to keep that intended release date, with trade-publication Variety saying Marvel is already looking for a new director to come on board, likely as soon as possible. It’s not the first time a Marvel movie has lost its director, the Thor and the Ant-Man franchises have also seen last-minute switches or departures. Like Star Wars, which had the same problems, there has long been a delicate balance between the wishes and visions of an individual director and the bigger, larger canvas controlled by the studios, in this case by Kevin Feige.
Derrickson announced his decision via twitter on Thursday evening, without elaborating. (See below). Marvel issued an equally brief comment to Variety: “Marvel Studios and Scott Derrickson have amicably parted ways on ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ due to creative differences, we remain grateful to Scott for his contributions to the MCU.”
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.
— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) January 10, 2020