Sam Raimi has been confirmed to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The Evil Dead filmmaker has inked a deal with Marvel to take the reins of the sequel starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role, following Scott Derrickson's departure as director.
Raimi shared the news while promoting his new Quibi series, 50 States of Fright. Speaking at a press conference, he said: "I loved 'Doctor Strange' as a kid.
"He was always after Spider-Man and Batman for me.
"He was probably number five for me for great comic book characters. He was so original."
Raimi admitted that when he was filming 2004's Spider-Man 2, he would never have predicted he would go on to helm a Doctor Strange film.
Pointing out the reference to Doctor Strange in the movie — which starred Tobey Maguire as the web-throwing superhero — when Daily Bugle Editor in Chief J. Jonah Jameson (J K Simmons) and his colleague Ted Hoffman (Ted Raimi) come up with a name for Spider-Man's arch-enemy, which ends up being called Doctor Octopus, he continued: "When we had that moment in the Spider-Man movie, I had no idea we'd be making a Doctor Strange movie.
"So it was really funny to me also, coincidentally that line was in the first Spider-Man movie ... I wish I had the foresight to know I was going to be involved in the project."
Derrickson, who stepped back due to "creative differences", has taken an executive producer role and had already given Raimi the seal of approval.
He tweeted: "I've worked with Sam Raimi. One of the nicest people I've known in the film business, and as a director, a true living legend. What a great choice to take over Doctor Strange."
I’ve worked with Sam Raimi. One of the nicest people I’ve known in the film business, and as a director, a true living legend. What a great choice to take over Doctor Strange.— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) February 6, 2020
Production was due to kick-off this May, with a release for the same month in 2021. However, with studios closed because of the coronavirus restrictions in place, that date has now moved to November 5, 2021. — BANG