The director who helped turn 2016’s Doctor Strange into one of the MCU’s weirdest entries has reportedly dropped out of the promised sequel, according to Variety. Scott Derrickson — whose credits also include Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and the Keanu-led remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still — will, alas, be passing the reins to as-yet-undisclosed filmmaker when it comes to the further adventures of Benedict Cumberbatch’s surgeon-turned-sorcerer.
As per Variety, Marvel and Derrickson “amicably” parted ways, though the reasoning for the split is the old line about “creative differences.” Derrickson will stay on as executive producer, while the film, whose current Rick and Morty-ish title is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, remains poised for released on May 7, 2021, i.e., in a mere year and change. Shooting is scheduled to start in May, and it reportedly involves our hero — who, remember, is actually named Dr. Strange (first name Stephen) — hanging with Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, who herself is about to get her own Disney+ show alongside Paul Bettany’s Vision.
Presumably this will all work out well; remember when Edgar Wright dropped out of the first Ant-Man mere weeks before it began filming? That turned out okay. Before Doctor Strange 2 hits theaters, we’re due three more MCU Phase 4 titles: Black Widow in May, The Eternals in November, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings next February. And of course, after that comes Untitled Spider-Man: Far from Home Sequel.