Straight-shooting video game & entertainment news

Early concept art for Doctor Strange 2 leaves fans feeling robbed

Scott Derrickson's original plans for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness were said to be much, much darker.

early concept art doctor strange fans robbed
Different doesn't always mean better but the original plans for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness definitely sounds interesting, to say the least.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was one of last year's highest-grossing films, pulling in nearly a billion dollars at the global box office against a $200 million budget. But, while Benedict Cumberbatch's return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe following his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which premiered half a year prior and pulled in close to two billion dollars, many fans felt like something was missing from the film, and we might finally know why.

Sam Raimi wasn't the initial choice to direct Doctor Strange 2. The first film's director, Scott Derrickson, another horror movie stalwart, was supposed to be at the helm again to do the follow-up. However, due to creative differences (if you ask Kevin Feige) and the need for a mental health break (as per Derrickson), the Sinister director vacated his role and remained on the board as an executive producer only.

This meant Sam Raimi only had two years between 2020 and the film's release in 2022 to put his own stamp on the film while making sure that Kevin Feige greenlit the entire thing.

early concept art doctor strange fans robbed
A proper collaboration between Sam Raimi and Scott Derrickson would result in a proper Cosmic Horror entry for the MCU.

Make no mistake, there's nothing wrong with Raimi's efforts, but over the past few months, we're starting to find out what Derrickson originally had planned for the sequel. Someone on Reddit went ahead and compiled all of the legitimate information they could about the potential plot for Derrickson's Doctor Strange follow-up, and it could've made for a very different film.

Basically, the gist is that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would be a Cosmic Horror film presumably inspired by HP Lovecraft's Mountain of Madness. More importantly, instead of featuring The Scarlet Witch as the main villain, Derrickson's original plans were to bring in Nightmare and delve much deeper into Stranger's psyche.

We've since gotten confirmation of some of the details rounded up by the said user and the several concept arts for the film that have popped up over the past few days confirm what could've been a drastically different take on one of last year's biggest hits.

early concept art doctor strange fans robbed
Given the way that the early concept arts are getting praise, Kevin Feige might want to start taking notes for the next Doctor Strange film.

The gloomier version of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has gotten plenty of praise online. Some fans even go as far as to exclaim that audiences got robbed by what was supposedly a "better" version of the film. It's unclear how the plot of Doctor Strange 2 would've gone if Derrickson didn't leave, but the images show Wong, Mordo, and Wanda Maximoff helping Strange make sense of what's happening to the multiverse.

Ultimately, this is all water under the bridge. Derrickson's Doctor Strange 2 is a potentially good film and it could even better than Raimi's version. At this point, it's just a shame that we can only imagine what the film would've looked like if Derrickson stayed on. Nightmare is an actual Doctor Strange villain that would've made for a more compelling storyline than a corrupted Wanda. While we're glad Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was interesting enough to pull Raimi out of his hiatus and return to directing superhero flicks after Spider-Man 3, we can't help but wonder about what could've been.

Hopefully, we'll get a proper compromise for Doctor Strange 3 and see both Raimi as well as Derrickson work together to mesh their ideas for a proper Lovecraftian horror entry for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

early concept art doctor strange fans robbed
Doctor Strange 3 isn't expected to premiere until the latter half of the current decade.

Doctor Strange 3 isn't expected to premiere anytime soon. Most likely, it will be a part of Phase 7 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after The Multiverse Saga ends with the delayed premiere of Avengers: Secret Wars on May 1, 2026. The last we heard, Secret Wars will take a page out of Endgame's book but feature the multiverse instead of time travel.

Related Topics


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5904

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Comparison List (0)