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Benedict Cumberbatch Rewrote ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Scenes: ‘It Needed to Get Darker’

Cumberbatch appreciates that director Sam Raimi and screenwriter Michael Waldron were supportive of his ideas.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch

Getty Images for Disney

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” put Benedict Cumberbatch’s magic-wielding Marvel hero back in the superhero spotlight when it opened in theaters this past spring. After the universe-jumping success of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” fans were eager to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe keep expanding beyond the boundaries of our reality. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” delivered that in a big way, taking fans on a visually stimulating journey through the multiverse (with plenty of cameos thrown in for good measure).

Many attributed the creative success to Sam Raimi, who returned to directing superhero movies after effectively reinventing the genre with his “Spider-Man” trilogy in the 2000s. The source material combined comic books and horror in a way that seemed perfect for the “Evil Dead” director, and he took full advantage of the opportunity to play in the Marvel sandbox. But he was far from the only important creative voice on set.

In a new interview with Prestige Online, Benedict Cumberbatch revealed that he made contributions to the sequel’s script in addition to starring in it. When Doctor Strange had to face off against Sinister Strange in the sacred timeline, the actor had some suggestions to make the battle more intense. Raimi and screenwriter Michael Waldron were so impressed with his ideas that they let him rewrite the scenes.

“I got to write some of those scenes,” Cumberbatch said. “I suggested that it needed to get darker at a point. There was a slightly more saccharine version at one stage and I’m really happy with the way it evolved. Sam Raimi was so game for it and Michael Waldron really supported me to write it as well. We turned what was a very small combat between the two into a sort of very bizarre and inventive battle in that moment. I really loved it. It was how the original was pitched to me a long while back when Scott Derrickson was still working with us: Strange would meet versions of himself. It was something I wanted to lean into. We could have gone even further, and maybe it will go into the future.”

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