In a somewhat shocking turn of events, Scott Derrickson has exited as director of Marvel’s Doctor Strange sequel over “creative differences” with the studio.
Derrickson will remain as an executive producer on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is expected to pair star Benedict Cumberbatch with Elizabeth Olsen‘s Scarlet Witch. Benedict Wong is also expected to return for the comic book sequel after the first film grossed nearly $680 million worldwide. Kevin Feige will serve as producer, just as he does on all Marvel movies.
“Marvel Studios and Scott Derrickson have amicably parted ways on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences. We remain grateful to Scott for his contributions to the MCU,” Marvel said in a statement to Variety, which broke the news.
“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,” Derrickson wrote in a statement on Twitter.
Production is still expected to start in May, and Marvel is already searching for Derrickson’s replacement. The news arrives on the heels of Collider’s scoop that Jade Halley Bartlett had been tapped to write the script. It’s unclear whether she’s receive sole credit or share credit with Derrickson, who co-wrote the first film with C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts. Since Derrickson didn’t mention a writing credit today, only that he’d stay on as an EP, I assume Barlett is receiving sole credit, and perhaps whatever Marvel asked her to write is what led to the “creative differences” with Derrickson. This news came as a surprise to me, so I don’t have any inside info on what went down, but if I hear of anything, you can bet I’ll update this post.
Disney remains slated to release Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021. Derrickson’s post is below. I thought he did a solid job on the first film, so it’s a bit of a bummer that he won’t be back, but then again, it was a bummer when Edgar Wright left Ant-Man, and that film remains my favorite entry in the MCU. Thus, whoever comes in to direct the sequel will get the benefit of the doubt from me.