Sam Raimi Had To Beg To Keep A Doctor Strange 2 Scene

Sam Raimi returned to direct a Marvel feature when he signed on for Doctor Strange 2, but he had to beg to keep a scene from being deleted.

By Dan Lawrence | Published

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In the post-credits of Marvel’s Doctor Strange, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo vows to end the days of all Sorcerors. It was a given then that Mordo would return in the Sam Raimi-directed sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. However, Baron Mordo was reintroduced into the world of Marvel in an unexpected fashion and Sam Raimi reportedly had to beg to keep the character’s first scene in the film in, according to The Direct.

The scene in which Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Stephen Strange comes across Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo takes place in an Alternate Universe from the one in which the majority of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe takes place and is presented much like a Western stand-off according to both Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi and screenwriter Michael Waldron, with Raimi speaking during audio commentary of the film about how he begged Kevin Feige (the overlord executive producer of all MCU content) to keep the scene as it is in the final cut of the film; “I think Kevin thought maybe it was a little corny, and he wanted to cut it out. But I said, ‘Please, Kevin, let me have that.’ He went, ‘Okay, fine. Have your corny stuff.’ It was very, very kind of him, generous.”

Kevin Feige is of course well renowned for being the man behind a lot of the MCU’s narrative direction and success. The caveat that comes with that is that often directors have a certain set of constraints they must work with when helming an MCU movie. However, Feige’s subservience to the director’s vision, in this case, is perhaps an example of how letting a director put his own stamp on an MCU film can lead to great success at the box office, which after all is the MCU’s bread and butter. Doctor Strange in the multiverse of Madness is the second highest-grossing film of 2022 so far worldwide at the box office, with a return of over $900 million. This stunning return means the Sam Raimi-directed film sits behind only Top Gun: Maverick at the box office this year and prior to the Tom Cruise release, the reality-bending superhero flick was the second highest-grossing film in the pandemic era behind Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Sam Raimi will feel further vindicated that he was able to keep scenes such as the Baron Mordo introduction in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness now that the film is following up its box office success with successes on streaming. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness debuted on Disney+ the same day as the finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but that didn’t stop the movie from becoming the most-watched Marvel offering on Disney+ after five days of being on the service. Further proof in the pudding that Kevin Feige letting Sam Raimi’s creativity flourish was a prudent decision. However, whilst knowing what to keep in a film is important, it is also important to know what to cut out. GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT writes how original drafts of the film saw Nightmare as the film’s lead antagonist and The Wasp as a member of the ill-fated Illuminati that succumbs to Scarlet Witch’s wrath, both key plot changes that undoubtedly would have altered the overall complexion of the final film. Hoping to follow the box office success of Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, will be the July release Thor: Love and Thunder, directed by the equally visionary Taika Waititi.