Actor Bruce Campbell has shed some light on the reported reshoots for Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and it confirms that production may have been in more troubled than initially thought. In a video interview with Game Informer, Campbell confirmed that Marvel Studios itself demanded some of the reshoots, and also revealed that the plot changed so significantly that some scenes may be ditched entirely. The interview is confirmation that Marvel Studios may not have been happy with legendary director Sam Raimi’s initial take on Doctor Strange 2.
Rumors have persisted for months that there were problems during production. When reshoots were announced for Doctor Strange 2, fans speculated that the film was in serious trouble. Bruce Campbell, who appears to be confirming that he did work on the film, also seemingly confirmed the studio wanted Sam Raimi to make changes. He stated, “Sam [Raimi] has had to add scenes that [Marvel Studios] told him he had to shoot, and he’s removed scenes that no longer apply. So until May rolls around I don’t think Benedict Cumberbatch even knows if he’s in this movie or not.”
Below is the full video interview with Game Informer, which is a pretty entertaining watch from start to finish. His comments on the Doctor Strange 2 reshoots, however, come at around the 2:20 mark.
The film, due to release in theaters on May 6, marks Sam Raimi’s first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). He had previously directed the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy, which pre-dated the MCU and was released by Sony between 2002 and 2007. The films are still highly regarded by fans, with Spider-Man 2 in particular regarded by many as one of the best superhero films ever made. Raimi’s reputation as a visionary director made him a perfect fit for Marvel movies, and fans were excited to see his take on Doctor Strange 2, which would continue the Spider-Man: No Way Home multiverse storyline.
Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Doctor Strange (obviously), now having to deal with a fracture in the multiverse set into motion with the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. The positive reception to that film has heightened expectations for Doctor Strange 2, especially when it was teased that multiple Marvel characters from other film franchises may be appearing. That is one of the likely reasons for some of the reshoots, which have been going on for months. “The Marvel guys, they make eight of these movies at the same time, so they’re always updating storylines,” Campbell noted. However, reports that scenes were still being reshot as late as last month – just weeks before the film is set to open – indicate there could be a larger problem.
Sam Raimi hasn’t directed a film since 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful for Disney. The layoff would naturally make a studio nervous, but a director of Raimi’s caliber and ability should have made that a non-issue. That makes the news that Marvel is forcing Raimi to do reshoots – with changes Raimi may not necessarily want – very troubling. The problems with production, however, actually pre-date Raimi even joining the film. Scott Derrickson, who directed the first Doctor Strange film, was all set to direct Doctor Strange 2 before “creative differences” caused him to quit.
Benedict Cumberbatch himself had discussed the Doctor Strange 2 reshoots issue, which persisted since cameras first rolled in the fall of 2020. He claimed the reshoots were due to the pandemic and his own work schedule on the Netflix film The Power of the Dog. Still, despite the challenges, Cumberbatch called the experience rewarding. In addition to Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen returns as Wanda Maximoff, as does Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Xochitl Gomez will also appear as America Chavez.