Sam Raimi wanted to make the MCU a little “Strange”-r.
The “Evil Dead” and “Spider-Man” director explained during the commentary track of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” that he had to convince Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to include a particularly quirky sequence involving Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). The adversaries have a staredown, with close-ups of their eyes darting back and forth, á la Raimi’s “The Quick and the Dead,” but Feige was skeptical over the silliness of the sequence.
“I think Kevin thought maybe it was a little corny, and he wanted to cut it out,” Raimi said, via Comic Book Resources. “But I said, ‘Please, Kevin, let me have that.’ He went, ‘Okay, fine. Have your corny stuff.’ It was very, very kind of him.”
It’s no wonder that Raimi is already eying his next Marvel film, with the director previously calling the MCU the “world’s best toy box.”
Meanwhile, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” writer Michael Waldron has openly discussed wanting the “Doctor Strange” sequel to feel distinctly like a Raimi film, even without the director penning the script.
“It was always kind of designed that way, that like the first half or so, maybe is a little bit more of a traditional Marvel movie, and then the movie goes off the rails, as great horror movies maybe tend to,” Waldron exclusively told IndieWire. “We tried to deliver on the shock, some of the camp, and some of the stuff that Sam is just so great at. I just became a student of his filmmaking and really learned so much from him and tried to give him something he could succeed with, he and our great cast.”
Waldron continued, “I felt a lot of freedom to go crazy in this movie because it was Sam, and because I know what he’s so great at and he would do it so well. I just gave him the building blocks and some of the specifics of how that stuff goes down, [but it] was straight out of his twisted mind.”
And even Waldron was surprised at what ultimately made it into the film: “It felt like the biggest swing I could possibly take in my first draft and almost the sort of thing of like, ‘Alright, first draft, you can really fire all your bullets and they’ll tell you to pull back and then shockingly, maybe it makes its way in the movie,'” Waldron explained. “I don’t even think in my wildest dreams, even in that first draft, where it’s like, do the craziest stuff possible, did I think we’d be able to do what we ended up doing in the movie. I think what we actually pulled off is crazier than what seemed possible.”