In their first few years of producing movies, Marvel Studios seemed to take a somewhat mercenary approach to recruiting filmmakers with very few of the original directors staying on from Phase One to Phase Two. Things changed a bit as they progressed and relationships were built as more filmmakers started returning for sequels. Whether that is because they could afford to pay them more remains to be seen, but generally filmmakers have only had positive things to say about their creative partnership with Marvel in recent years. This week, however, one of the upcoming MCU Phase Four sequels is losing a returning director as Scott Derrickson has dropped out of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The movie was scheduled to start production in May but is not expected to be delayed. Here is what he had to say about it on Twitter:
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.
— N O S ? ? I ? ? ? ? ? ? O ? S (@scottderrickson) January 10, 2020
Additional details about his departure were not made public but there is plenty of speculation out there if you want to dig in. Derrickson and his co-writer C. Robert Cargill had supposedly wanted to make this the MCU’s first true horror film and the title is a clear reference to H.P. Lovecraft. It is possible that Marvel did not want to go all the way with them on this. On the other hand, some have also wondered about the fact that the movie will tie directly into the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision and what compromises that might require.
Just a few months ago, Marvel had also brought on a new writer for the movie in the form of Jade Halley Bartlett (Miller’s Girl). This would seem to indicate a shifting vision but it is unclear who will retain story credit on the movie. Either way, Derrickson and Cargill have already announced that their next film will be a horror movie based on a Joe Hill story. Who would you like to see take over as director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?