Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson says he didn’t return to direct Multiverse of Madness because he was looking to make a very different movie than what Marvel Studios wanted.

Speaking on an episode of The Playlist’s The Discourse podcast, via World of Reel, Derrickson explained how creative differences ultimately caused him to step away from directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

“All I can say is that what we said publicly is exactly the truth,” Derrickson said. “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.”

Scott Derrickson wanted Doctor Strange 2 to be a ‘genuine horror film’

Derrickson was attached to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness when the sequel was initially announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. Prior to that, Derrickson told IGN he potentially wanted to include Nightmare in the film and intended to use the villainous character to explore the Nightmare Realm.

In 2020, Marvel Studios announced Derrickson left the project due to creative differences. The Evil Dead’s Sam Raimi was tapped to take over directing duties a few months later, while Derrickson went on to make 2022’s The Black Phone. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was released in 2022 to mixed reviews, though the film did make over $955 million at the worldwide box office.

Derrickson further said that his version of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would have been an “extreme departure from the first film” and would have been a “genuine horror film of sorts.”

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