Scott Derrickson directed the original Doctor Strange film in 2016 and was set to direct its sequel before leaving the project due to creative differences. According to Derrickson, there really were issues between how he wanted to make the movie and how Disney did.
Speaking during an appearance on an upcoming episode of The Playlist’s The Discourse podcast (via World of Reel), Derrickson briefly touched on his time with the sequel. The director acknowledged that he did leave the project and confirmed that reports of “creative differences” were genuine.
“All I can say is that what we said publicly is exactly the truth,” said Derrickson. “We had real creative differences. You know, the movie I wanted to make and how I wanted to make it was different than–it was just increasingly obvious that we were pulling against each other. And that’s how you make a really bad movie, I think. When the producer or the studio and the filmmaker are making different movies, you end up with a monstrosity and, you know, that’s why I had to bounce.”
Derrickson would have made a “genuine horror film”
The director added that his original version of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would have been an “extreme departure from the first film,” and echoed comments of his from the past by noting that it would have been “a genuine horror film” in a way.
Derrickson had previously mentioned that his aim for the Doctor Strange sequel was to make it a cosmic horror film when it was initially revealed. However, following his split, Marvel Studios chose to go with legendary director Sam Raimi for the film. Released in 2022, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness received mostly mixed reviews, with Raimi’s directing receiving praise.
Despite the mixed reviews and turmoil over directors, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did still perform well at the box office, grossing $955.8 million worldwide and ending the year as the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2022.