The Pros and Cons of Sam Raimi’s “Doctor Strange” Sequel

Just when we thought that Marvel was done with any behind the scenes drama involving the hiring/firing/resigning of their directors, Phase 4 had a wrench thrown into the gears when director Scott Derrickson stepped down from directing the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Citing creative differences, many fans read between the lines and alleged that Derrickson wanted to go out all with cosmic/Lovecraftian horror, while Marvel wanted their usual approved-by-committee product.

While fans speculated the reasons on the internet, it seems  the Marvel was regrouping and have just announced that Evil Dead and Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi is taking over the project.

Given his track record, this is obviously very exciting news for many, but as something is gained, something else is always lost.

There’s no doubt Raimi will deliver a memorable and interesting film, but we also have to acknowledge the potential issues that might come from it.  So let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of this decision:

PRO – Legend of Both Genres
It almost seems like a complete no-brainer that Marvel would pick Raimi, since his work in both horror and superhero films is nothing short of legendary.

Not only did he create one of the coolest movie heroes ever in Bruce Campbell’s Ash, but he also helped launch the superhero craze in the early 2000s.

This also means we may just get a Bruce Campbell cameo in the MCU!

His Spiderman films remain memorable to this day, due to their creativity and unyielding passion.  There’s a reason that, despite being more comic book accurate, The Amazing Spider-Man films have largely been forgotten and overlooked.

Raimi’s versions were certainly a bit cheesier, but he created his own little fantastical world that remember them so much more.

CON – Micromanagement
Marvel has a bit of a reputation for clashing with directors (and actors) who don’t adhere to the “Marvel Approved” final product.  Long before Derrickson’s departure, we saw the same thing happen to both Edward Norton and Edgar Wright.

Ant-Man wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t the most memorable. Had Edgar Wright stayed on, we would have gotten a much sharper and wittier film, with a stronger redemption arc, as Wright wanted Lang to be an actual criminal at the start. But Marvel instead wanted him to be a “good guy” the whole time and thus lost a great director over it (among other things of course).

Not to be excluded, Raimi previously found himself in a similar situation when Sony pressured him to include three villains in Spider-Man 3, a film that he regrets he couldn’t have done better.

And with Marvel already having lost the director of this project for similar reasons, we can’t overlook the possibility that Raimi might get micromanaged into another mediocre sequel.

PRO – Another Shot at Spider-Man 3
If Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness does well, Sony may just give Raimi another chance at Spider-Man and allow him to direct the follow up to Far From Home.

Given the recent tie-ins with Morbius and Venom, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that we could get a Raimi directed film where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man faces one or both of these villains.

Fans have had this in the back of their minds already, since they spotted Michael Keaton’s Vulture in the Morbius trailer.

In a franchise that’s already shown what it can do with crossovers, this would be an amazing and momentous event in superhero cinema (yes it is cinema, Mr. Scorsese), and this Doctor Strange sequel might just be the catalyst that makes it happen!

CON – No Worldbuilding
Raimi’s hands will certainly be tied in some respects, as he navigates the corporate wishes and desires of Marvel, but they’ll also be tied in the sense that he’s coming into a franchise that’s already very well-established.

We’ve seen Doctor Strange in his own film, as well as Infinity War and Endgame, so at this point his character, and that world are already established.

Honestly, Raimi’s over the top sense of humor may not lend itself to Doctor Strange’s witty (and very British) dry humor.

Part of what made Raimi’s Spider-Man films brilliant (at least the first two) was that he was able to come in from the very beginning and create his own fantastical world that was definitely over-the-top, but in awesome Sam Raimi, Evil Dead manner.

Here, he won’t have as much a chance to do this, so he may not be logistically able to give audiences all that we want from a Raimi directed superhero horror film.

PRO – Back in the Game
It may be surprising, but Sam Raimi hasn’t actually directed a film since 2013’s Oz the Great  and Powerful.  While he’s done a little TV work (including directing an episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead), it seemed that this once iconic director had all but retired from his craft.

But now with him back doing what he does best (and a slew of upcoming projects listed on IMDB), this might be the start of another Raimi Renaissance!

Oz was released to a lukewarm reception, thus the last truly great film of Raimi’s was 2009’s Drag Me to Hell. So he’s about 11 years overdue.

CON – Derrickson’s Doctor Strange 2
As previously mentioned, you can’t ever gain something without first having to give something up.

And with audiences getting Sam Raimi’s vision of the first MCU horror film, it means we’ll never get to see Scott Derrickson’s, and that’s truly a shame.

Even if Raimi’s is absolutely brilliant, it still would have been really cool to see what the original director would have done.

He had already created a fascinating world with the first Doctor Strange, and when Marvel gave him the green light to go full horror, many fans were excited to see how he would incorporate his dark and disturbing style we saw in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, and Deliver Us From Evil.

Raimi’s brand of horror has always been of the more comedic nature, which is honestly more fitting for Marvel’s overall tone.

But for diehard horror fans who were hoping to see something unsettling and maybe even scary, Derrickson’s version would have been the one to deliver that.

But in the interest of keeping the glass half full, perhaps he’ll return to horror and give us another awesomely creepy and demonic story!

How could would it have been to see Doctor Strange take on a villain as creepy as Bughuul?!

What do you think of Sam Raimi taking over the project?  Would you prefer his vision or Scott Derrickson’s?  Let us know in the comments below! And for more reviews, rankings, and other fun horror content, follow Halloween Year-Round on Facebook and Twitter!

 

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