Sam Raimi Confirms He's Directing 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness'

Benedict Cumberbatch
Marvel Studios

The original 'Spider-Man' director is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel giveth -- finally announcing that a Doctor Strange sequel is in the works and will be "the first scary MCU film" -- and Marvel taketh away: Scott Derrickson, who directed the first movie, stepped down earlier this year due to "creative differences."

But now Marvel giveth again: Sam Raimi, the man behind the original, Tobey Maguire-starring Spider-Man trilogy, is directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Raimi confirmed the good news himself.

First, a bit of context: Raimi makes the confirmation while discussing a particularly kismet joke in 2004's Spider-Man 2. J. K. Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson is trying to come up with a catchy name for Dr. Otto Octavius. One suggestion: Doctor Strange. "That's pretty good," Jameson says. "But it's taken!"

"When we had that moment in Spider-Man 2, I had no idea that we would ever be making a Doctor Strange movie," he told Coming Soon. "It was really funny to me that coincidentally that line was in the movie. I wish we had the foresight to know that I was going to be involved in the project."

ET has reached out to Disney and Marvel Studios for confirmation.

As for what enticed Raimi to Strange? "I loved Doctor Strange as a kid, but he was always after Spider-Man and Batman for me," he explained. "He was probably at number five for me of great comic book characters. He was so original."

It was previously revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch's Sorcerer Supreme will be joined by Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch for the follow-up. (Her upcoming Disney+ series, WandaVision, will lead directly into The Multiverse of Madness.) As for the scariness of the sequel, Raimi has proven himself a master of the genre with titles such as The Evil Dead and Drag Me to Hell.

Now, the big question: Will Doctor Strange 2 include the ultimate crossover? After all, Simmons returned to the role of J. Jonah Jameson in last year's Spider-Man: Far From Home, with Raimi giving Marvel "my greatest blessings." "I love J.K. and I'd love to see more of him," he told ET.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters Nov. 5, 2021.