Sam Raimi Has Bad News For Marvel Fans

By Nathan Kamal | 1 month ago

sam raimi

When it was announced that Sam Raimi would be taking over directorial duties from Scott Derrickson for the Doctor Strange sequel way back in February of 2020, it was met with wild excitement from Marvel fandom. No shade to Derrickson, who is a talented and dependable director, but Raimi’s return to superhero films in general and to Marvel specifically is a pretty big deal. After all, he is the director who basically codified modern comic book films with Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire. And once the press started buzzing that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was going to be the first Marvel “horror” movie, people got even more excited. As the creator of the Evil Dead series of films, Sam Raimi is one of the modern masters of the horror genre. Could we be getting some Evil Dead in our Marvel Cinematic universe, like peanut butter in our chocolate?

Bruce Campbell Evil Dead

Sadly, Sam Raimi has decided to let Marvel fans down early and hard. In a recent interview with Fandango, the director of The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness shot down any rumors that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would include any Evil Dead references. Like, at all. Here’s that exchange:

Fandango: Kevin Feige has teased that fans of Evil Dead II will be very happy when they watch this film. What does he mean by that? Please tell us that someone is getting a chainsaw arm in this film, Sam!

Sam Raimi: [laughs] That’s the one thing I can tell you that does not happen! I think what [Kevin] meant, from my point of view, is that this film has a flavor of horror to it.

That is a bit of a disappointment, considering that Sam Raimi is being given essentially pop culture’s biggest sandbox to play in with the ever-expanding MCU Multiverse concept and that there is no shortage of iconic iconography from his own films. But given that he was very reticent in the interview to give any kind of detail that might be a spoiler or be responsible for any leaks (after all, Disney already has to deal with Mark Ruffalo and his loose tongue), Raimi’s definitiveness on this seems pretty final. Although Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has indeed teased that there might be some Evil Dead references or Easter Eggs, we can probably assume that was just that: a tease. 

On the other hand, Marvel Studios is certainly not above having their employees fudge a bit about the truth when it comes to upcoming plot points. Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield has spoken of his delight in straight-up lying to people that he would not be appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home after it was “suggested” he do so. Could this be another case? Would Sam Raimi lie to us in this way?

Difficult to say. Whether or not Sam Raimi is genuinely saying there will be no Deadites in the background of the Scarlet Witch’s magic battles or any chainsaw hands, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will undoubtedly be filled with innumerable cameos and references. It has been confirmed that we will be seeing multiple Doctor Stranges (or should it be Doctors Strange?), and the rumors of an Iron Man variant with a famously toothy smile have been swirling for months. There seems to be some doubt whether we will actually get the requisite Bruce Campbell cameo (and who exactly he might be playing), but for now, we will just have to accept we won’t get Ash Williams in the MCU.