Doctor Strange 2 director Sam Raimi says everything about the film ‘went on too long and became a little too intense’

Sam Raimi talks about the moviemaking process of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film will open in theatres on May 6.

Relief was just starting to wash over director Sam Raimi the morning after the premiere of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film, which opens in theatres Friday, has been a headlong sprint for the 62-year-old, who took over two and a half years ago after Scott Derrickson departed the project over creative differences. Raimi had a script to retool but an unmovable shooting timeline to meet.
“Every part of this moviemaking process has been great, but every part of the process went on too long and became a little too intense,” explained Raimi, speaking by Zoom from Los Angeles. “I love the writing but the writing never stopped. Michael (Waldron) was writing the script all throughout the production. And the shoot was great but then we had to do reshoots. Also because of COVID, things got stretched out.”
“But it’s been great,” added Raimi.
Even if his reentry was rushed, Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which kicks off Hollywood’s summer movie season, has heralded the return of one the movies’ most beloved genre filmmakers. Raimi crafted the microbudget horror landmark The Evil Dead (and its more comic cult-classic sequels, The Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness) before his Spider-Man films, with Tobey Maguire, helped pave the way for the superhero era that followed.
And, somewhat miraculously, the latest Doctor Strange is an identifiably Sam Raimi film, full of playful horror, clever comic touches and bonkers flashes. He brings some madness to the multiverse.
Q: This film bears many hallmarks of your work: Bruce Campbell, a book of the dead and even, briefly, shots from a demon’s point-of-view. Do you feel like you smuggled a Sam Raimi film into a Marvel movie?
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Raimi: I was really trying to make a Marvel movie, first and foremost. I guess everyone does things their own way, without trying to specifically make it something other than what it was. I was really just trying to follow the characters from the previous Marvel movies and storylines from Wandavision had led into and where all the Avengers movies had led into. But also try to open up the multiverse as Marvel had requested of writer Michael Waldron for future adventures.
Do you feel that these films, like any other kind, should bear the fingerprints of their filmmakers?