It feels like a lifetime ago that Scott Derrickson left the project that would become Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Since director Sam Raimi jumped aboard the upcoming Marvel Studios film, it has taken on a new life of its own but the memory of what Derrickson could have done still lingers.
In a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Mike Reyes sat down with the Doctor Strange writer C. Robert Cargill, who was set to return for the sequel alongside Derrickson until creative differences with Marvel led to their departure, and Cargill offered some insight into what went down behind-the-scenes.
“It was creative differences. [Scott Derrickson] wanted to do one movie, and Marvel wanted to do another movie. So he sat there and said, ‘Well shit, I’ve got this great script that I wrote with Cargill, and I’m really proud of.’ We were actually going to go out to other directors for The Black Phone, and Scott was like, he called me up and said, ‘Dude, I have to make this movie. It’s gotta be my movie; I have to do this. Do you mind waiting until after I’m done with [Doctor Strange 2], and he really wanted to bring me onto Strange as well. But in the event that it didn’t happen, he was like, ‘Do you mind waiting?’ And I was like, ‘You know what, if you feel this passionately about it, no. I’ll wait a couple of years to make this movie.’”
Cargill went on to elaborate on this a bit more during the interview. He doubles down that Doctor Strange 2 was no longer going to be Derrickson’s movie, but he was fine with moving on.
“It came down to Scott, and Scott’s like, ‘Well, I can make this movie that I’m compromising what I wanted to do on, or I could make The Black Phone,’ and he goes, ‘You know, I want to make a movie with Cargill. I’m gonna go make The Black Phone.’ It was, as he said publicly, it was a hard choice to leave Strange behind, but it made it easier that he had a movie that he was looking forward to. And then the experience was just so great that we’re just are so proud and happy with what we made.”
Seems like Cargill didn’t get too far into the writing process on Doctor Strange 2, going on to say that he only wrote a few pages outlining where to go, and the only person that saw them was Derrickson himself. What these two madmen were cooking up will never be seen, but it would surely have been a worthy follow-up to their hit 2016 film.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is being directed by Sam Raimi and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Benedict Wong (Wong), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) as well as Xochitl Gomez (The Baby-Sitters Club) as America Chavez.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set for release on March 25th 2022.