Sam Raimi barely watched any of the MCU movies before he began working on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
Doctor Strange 2 is a month away from releasing in theaters and fans are excited to see what Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange has been up to. Fans already know that Strange will be facing the consequences of his actions from Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) where he helped Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man with a spell that backfired.
Now, Strange will end up traveling with Wong and America Chavez into the Multiverse and stopping the new threats that place the Marvel universe in danger. This won’t be Raimi’s first Marvel movie as he directed Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy which is one of the reasons why Kevin Feige sought Raimi to direct the movie after Scott Derrickson left.
At the time, Raimi had only seen a few MCU movies and an interview with Fandango unveiled the story of how the director only watched five movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe before working on Doctor Strange 2:
Fandango: “My first question comes with a short story. A couple of weeks ago, I sat with Elizabeth Olsen and her husband at the Critics Choice Awards. I told Lizzie that I’d be speaking to you, and I asked her for a good question that I could kick off our conversation with. She said, “Ask him how familiar he was with ‘the new Marvel’ when he was approached for this film.” The new Marvel meaning the Marvel Cinematic Universe, everything from Iron Man on. So that’s my first question to you, by way of Lizzie Olsen.”
Sam Raimi: “Well, since you got to give a short story, I’m going to give a two-part answer. I had seen Iron Man, the first Avengers, Black Panther and Doctor Strange, and little clips of the other movies. They’ve made 28 movies. I’ve only really seen four or five, so I’ll say not that familiar. That’s part one. By the way, I loved what I saw, but not that familiar. But part two is I was a giant fan of the Marvel comic books of the ’70s and ’80s and into the ’90s. So, I was super familiar with the characters, and their stories, and their interactions. That’s what the Marvel movies are based on. So that’s my answer.”
For an MCU movie, this is quite shocking that Raimi didn’t see Avengers: Infinity War (2018) or Avengers: Endgame (2019) before starting work on the project. While there are a lot of the MCU movies — 28 to be exact — that doesn’t mean that Raimi needed to watch all of them before working on the Doctor Strange sequel, but it would have made sense to have seen most of the bigger films such as the Captain America trilogy, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy, all of the Avengers movies.
Even though Raimi has a lot of knowledge about the characters, that knowledge isn’t helpful if he isn’t aware of all the events that happened in the MCU. While Marvel will make sure Doctor Strange 2 won’t have any continuity errors, fans shouldn’t expect many callbacks to previous MCU films as Raimi wouldn’t have known those small details due to his limited knowledge of what has previously happened.
While Raimi did watch a few of the best MCU movies, the director definitely missed the chance to understand more of the MCU before jumping into the project. It will be interesting to see how different the movie feels from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases in theaters on May 6, 2022.
More on Doctor Strange 2
Doctor Strange 2 is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange in the main timeline, but he will also play other variants in the movie such as Zombie Strange, Defender Strange, and Strange Supreme.
The movie will also star Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), Wong as the Sorcerer Supreme (Benedict Wong), Mordo, (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Rintrah (Adam Hugill), Charles Xavier/Professor X (Sir Patrick Stewart), and potentially other characters from the Marvel universe.
The MCU is just beginning to add more superhero teams into the Marvel universe because now, the Avengers need all the help they can get. It is only a matter of time before we see the Young Avengers, Illuminati, Defenders, Midnight Sons, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and the Thunderbolts enter the MCU.
Do you think Sam Raimi should have watched more Marvel movies before working on the movie? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Phase Four has started off with a lot of content for Marvel fans to look forward to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On Disney+ you can expect more episodes of Moon Knight on March 30, Ms. Marvel on June 8, and She-Hulk to debut this year. For movies, Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness comes out on May 6, followed by Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8, and of course, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on November 11.