Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens on Friday, May 6, and marks the first time director Sam Raimi has returned behind the camera for a film since 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful. In interviews, Raimi discussed his time away from and told The Associated Press that he spent that time working to “recalibrate my sense as a director.” He, too, got back in touch with gardening.
“I was hiding out, producing work from young filmmakers, trying to relearn new ways of doing my work so I wouldn’t become obsolete,” he said. “I spent a lot of time thinking about my garden. So when they called me in for this movie, I was really ready to get back in it. I was hungry to do another movie.”
Speaking to Collider about this as well, Raimi said he “didn’t come close” to directing any movies after Oz the Great and Powerful. “I needed some time off after that to get hungry again, learned about film, took some lessons, did some gardening,” he said, adding that he grows avocados, among other things.
Also in the AP interview, Raimi said he didn’t expect superhero movies to explode in popularity the way they have since Raimi’s Spider-Man premiered in 2002.
“I never expected it to take off in this gigantic way and become so insanely popular. I recognized that in the work of Stanley and Steve Ditko and all the Marvel writers and artists there were so many movies to make. But I never thought I would be making a movie about Moon.” Knight, for example, one of his secondary or third-tier characters, or Doctor Strange, who I think was a second-tier character, and having such success with them. It took off beyond anything I imagined,” he said.
Multiverse of Madness was originally going to be directed by Scott Derrickson, who made the first film, but dropped out due to creative differences with Marvel. Raimi later came aboard.
In addition to Benedict Cumberbatch as Strange, Multiverse of Madness stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stühlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. The film is expected to have a massive opening weekend,
big enough to pass The Batman to see a new record for 2022.
GameSpot’s Multiverse of Madness review rated the film an 8/10.
“Despite the unevenness of presentation, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a fresh and fun take on the MCU and, hopefully, a hopeful indication of things to come,” said reviewer Mason Downy. “While Phase 4 certainly hasn’t been shy about taking risks and playing around with styles and genres thus far, Multiverse of Madness represents Marvel’s most extreme departure from the mold in some key ways (while, unfortunately, it’s deeply indebted to the formula in others.) It feels exciting to think of the MCU becoming less prized with its toys and allowing more directors to start pulling at the seams.”