Benedict Cumberbatch Was Sad Original Doctor Strange 2 Director Left

Benedict Cumberbatch recalls feeling “sad” when he was told that Scott Derrickson had been replaced by Sam Raimi, but he respected the decision.

In a new interview, Benedict Cumberbatch reveals that he was “sad” when Disney replaced Scott Derrickson as director for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Cumberbatch has been busy of late, with roles in upcoming films including The Power of the Dog, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and the Doctor Strange sequel, among others. While little is known about Doctor Strange 2, it was previously confirmed that Scott Derrickson, who directed and co-wrote the first Doctor Strange film, would not be returning.

Disney replaced Derrickson with Sam Raimi, citing “creative differences.” Raimi, of course, is best known for his work on the original Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy with Doctor Strange 2 marking his first superhero film since 2007’s divisive Spider-Man 3. Leaving along with Derrickson was Doctor Strange co-writer, C. Robert Cargill, who shared Derrickson’s vision for the sequel and similarly cited “creative differences” with Disney as the reason for his departure.

In a new interview with THR, Benedict Cumberbatch discussed his upcoming slate of films and touched on Disney’s decision to replace Derrickson for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While Cumberbatch said he was sad he would no longer be working alongside Derrickson, he remained professional and recognized that such occurrences are not unusual in Hollywood productions. According to Cumberbatch, he was in New Zealand filming The Power of the Dog when Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, called him to share the news of Derrickson’s departure. Read what Cumberbatch said of the news below:

"I was sad to hear about it, but that was not my decision. I completely respected the studio’s decision, and it was done very amicably. The grown-ups called and just talked me through it. And that was that.”

Although Derrickson and Disney experienced creative differences, it seems that the split between the two was amicable, which Cumberbatch’s statement supports. Both Derrickson and Disney had different ideas for the sequel and, since Disney ultimately has the final say when it comes to their films, the best option was for Derrickson to depart. Derrickson himself seems happy with the decision as his departure ultimately opened the door for an opportunity to co-write and direct horror/thriller, The Black Phone, which was also co-written by Doctor Strange writing partner, C. Robert Cargill.

While it would have been interesting to see what Derrickson’s vision for Doctor Strange 2 was, it might be for the best that Sam Raimi took the reins. Doctor Strange 2, although not a horror movie, has been said to feature a number of scary sequences. As Raimi got his start with the cult horror movie, The Evil Dead, which was a unique and campy blend of humor and horror, he might actually be the perfect fit for Doctor Strange 2. Also, as the director of one of the most beloved superhero movies of all time, Spider-Man 2, Raimi is also no stranger to big-budget, effects-driven superhero movies. Audiences will have to wait and see if Raimi truly makes a good fit for Cumberbatch’s caped sorcerer when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases next year.