Director Scott Derrickson has parted ways with Marvel Studios on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness due to "creative differences". Derrickson, who directed 2016's first Doctor Strange movie, broke the news on Twitter.
The film's expected May start date isn't expected to change as a result of Derrickson's departure, and Marvel is already looking for another director, according to Variety. Here's Derrickson's announcement and explanation:
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.January 10, 2020
As Derrickson says, he remains a part of the project as an executive producer. This is likely a pivotal movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: it follows on from the upcoming Disney Plus WandaVision series, teaming up Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) with Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). We also know it ties into the Loki TV show.
As the title suggests, too, it's the MCU's first foray into the multiverse, which potentially opens up a whole array of alternate history scenarios. Not much else is known about the movie, though a scarier tone was teased at San Diego Comic Con 2019, and Wong (Benedict Wong) will almost certainly return.
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The MCU has had two other notable directors drop out in the past. First there was Patty Jenkins, who left Thor: The Dark World and later made Wonder Woman with Warner Bros instead. Then there was Edgar Wright, who left Ant-Man in 2014 after being attached to direct it since the earliest days of the MCU. You could also count the firing of James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which Disney later reversed.
These things happen with big blockbusters, though: just look at how Star Wars has dealt with director changes. The Rise of Skywalker switched from Colin Trevorrow to JJ Abrams, and Solo parted ways with the 21 Jump Street team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, only to get Ron Howard instead.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases on May 7, 2021, and it's one of four MCU movies coming in 2021. It's joined by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings earlier in the year on February 12, a third Tom Holland Spider-Man movie on July 17, and finally Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5.
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