‘Doctor Strange’ Director Scott Derrickson Exits the Sequel — Who Will Marvel Replace Him With?

Breaking news in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness, the sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange, has lost its director. Learn more about Scott Derrickson‘s exit and what that means for the future of the MCU.

Scott Derrickson wrote and directed ‘Doctor Strange’

Scott Derrickson at the SDCC 2019 Marvel Studios Panel on July 20, 2019
Scott Derrickson at the SDCC 2019 Marvel Studios Panel on July 20, 2019 | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

You may be familiar with Derrickson for his work in the horror genre. He wrote and directed such films as The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, and Deliver Us from Evil. He also wrote and produced Devil’s Knot and Sinister 2. So he may have seemed like an odd choice for Doctor Strange.

Still, what he delivered was a very interesting, yet very different, kind of Marvel film. This was the introduction of mysticism in the MCU, which is an important part of the comics. The movie, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, and Tilda Swinton, soon became a highly regarded one amongst all of Marvel canon.

He was announced as the director of the sequel in 2019

Given how well the 2016 film did, fans presumed a sequel would be on its way. Of course, first Marvel had to get through Phase 3, which was necessary for finishing off the Infinity Saga. After years of waiting, however, we finally got our answer.

Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. Derrickson announced his return as director, while Cumberbatch will, naturally, resume the title role. The movie will also tie-in with WandaVision, the Disney+ series, and star Elizabeth Olsen is set to appear.

Derrickson exits ‘Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness’

After months of small teases on social media, fans still had little real information about the Doctor Strange sequel. However, an Oct. 2019 announcement that Jade Bartlett, not Derrickson, was set to write may have been a tip-off that something was awry in pre-production.

On Jan. 9, 2020, Derrickson wrote on Twitter, “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.” This was a bit of a surprise to many online.

Why did Derrickson leave?

For those wondering why Derrickson left, there could be a number of possible reasons. At the Comic-Con announcement, both the director and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige appeared to be on the same page that the sequel would be “the first scary MCU film.” However, this may have meant something different for each of them as time went on.

The question now remains: Who will replace him? Does Marvel have someone picked out, or are they moving forward without a director for now? As far as we can tell, it’s the latter. And whoever takes over will likely have less of a desire to make a “horror” movie.

More ‘Doctor Strange 2’ news

If you’re a bit disappointed now, or at least worried about what Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness could become, you’re certainly not the only one. But as of now, it appears as though the film will press on, still aiming for that May 2021 release.

And there’s more news about the movie that we’ve caught wind of. Marvel is casting its villains, who are as-yet unconfirmed. However, one source believes that Nightmare will be among them. What we do know is that Feige and co. are going to be eager to give us a distraction amidst the director hubbub, so keep your eyes peeled for more Doctor Strange 2 news in the weeks to come.