8/10 The history of the MCU and the Disney empire generally is a history of the struggle between directors and what has effectively become a second studio system. Massive names like Jon Favreau, Edgar Wright, Gareth Edwards, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Joss Whedon and James Gunn have all been dismissed or otherwise undercut from Disney projects in recent years.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness started out telling the same tale. The first Doctor Strange way back in 2016 was written and directed by Scott Derrickson, a longtime fan of the psychedelic comic line who basically had the entire film storyboarded out and ready to shoot just for the job interview. It’s not exactly a masterpiece, but passion shines through, and he was reportedly excited about taking the sequel in a full-on horror direction. Instead, he was fired over those dreaded “creative differences” before he got to write a single draft and kept on as an executive producer so he couldn’t complain about it publicly.
Then this empire with a soul-crushing history of and apparent dedication to being as bland as possible gave the project to Sam Raimi.Continue reading