In news that’s going to be the talk of twitter tonight, Scott Derrickson, the director of Marvel’s Doctor Strange and who was set to pick back up the reins for its sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, has quit per Variety.
Marvel released a statement tonight to Variety to get ahead of the news:
“Marvel Studios and Scott Derrickson have amicably parted ways on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences,” Marvel said in a statement to Variety, adding, “We remain grateful to Scott for his contributions to the MCU.”
The dreaded creative differences! Something we haven’t actually seen at Marvel Studios since the huge Edgar Wright/Ant-Man split. While I’m sure Borys over at THR will probably get the scoop on the exact whys, this is a pretty rare blow for Kevin Feige‘s basically perfect franchise machine. Derrickson came on as a part of the Phase 3 class, which included Taika Waititi, Ryan Coogler, and Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck and the potential of greater filmmaker imprint on what was quickly becoming a stale Marvel house-style. The results of which are debatable, but there’s no doubt that critical consensus for that third phase of films was mostly stronger.
Derrickson himself came in to the budding Doctor Strange franchise noted for his horror chops, with films like Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose under his belt. And while the initial entry really didn’t make much use of that skillset, the sequel was indeed intended to be more of a Marvel “horror film”, pairing Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Stephen Strange with Elizabeth Olsen‘s Scarlet Witch, and even launch out of the events of the upcoming Wandavision television series on Disney+.
Could that need to cross-medium synergy been a breaking point? Was there something else at issue? More to come, I’m sure. But in the meantime, Marvel will keep on, and will likely announce a replacement rather quickly in order to meet their expected May production start-date. Derrickson, for his part, will remain an Executive Producer on the film.
A unexpected twist for your Thursday night, and this tweet from December takes on a newly ominous air (thanks to our own Taimur Dar for the catch):
Studio release dates are the enemy of art.
— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) December 16, 2019