Scott Derrickson, the director of popular movies such as Hellraiser: Inferno, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and Doctor Strange, stepped down as the director of the “strange” sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in January of 2020, citing “creative differences.” According to Herodope, the director wasn’t seeing eye to eye with studio executives.
Scott Derrickson, director of Doctor Strange, was originally attached to the sequel but left over “creative differences” with Disney.
Since his exit as director of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) film, Marvel fans have had their own speculations on the exact reason why he left, and their speculations seem to be right on the nose.
When Scott Derrickson stepped down as director, Sam Raimi took his place. Raimi started over with Michael Waldron to create a film with a touch of horror added, and the two solidified Wanda as the movie’s main antagonist in a continuation of her story in the Disney+ miniseries Wandavision.
Derrickson explains that his version of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would be a straight-up horror film and much darker than the version created by Sam Raimi.
The “creative differences” referred to by Scott Derrickson when he dropped his involvement with the film were more specifically referring to his intention to add a wider scope of horror to the movie. Derrickson wanted to make a fundamentally darker movie than the studio was in agreeance to produce.
Though Sam Raimi’s manifestation of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did incorporate some elements of horror, Scott Derrickson said that his version of the movie would have been an “extreme departure from the first film” and a “genuine horror film”. Marvel, not really being known for its production of horror movies, simply didn’t align well with his vision.
Derrickson reportedly said, “The movie I wanted to make and how I wanted to make it was different … it was just increasingly obvious that we were pulling against each other”. He went on to say that when such strong differences are present between the studio heads and the filmmaker, you’re in danger of making a terrible movie.
When Scott Derrickson began seeing the clear separation between his ideas and those of the studio, he knew it was time to move on to something new. It seems that Derrickson made the right choice, too, as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness went on to gross more than $955 million worldwide, making it the fourth-highest moneymaker of 2022.
Scott Derrickson insists there’s no bad blood with Marvel, and the company invited him to attend the premiere of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
It’s understandable that Scott Derrickson didn’t want to put his name on a movie that was made with two different ideas at play. The struggle would undoubtedly be visible to fans of the MCU, and there could have been some tough repercussions of a failed film on his record.
Regardless of his choice to back out of the director role in the movie, Scott Derrickson says that there is no “bad blood” between him and Marvel. He is also quick to claim Sam Raimi as a friend, and Derrickson was invited by Marvel to the premiere of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2022.
Scott Derrickson is now working on a new movie titled The Gorge, starring Miles Teller (Top Gun: Maverick), Anya Taylor-Joy (Split), and Sigourney Weaver (Alien). The movie will eventually be released on AppleTV+ and is expected to be a romantic action film.