Marvel Studios is apparently turning to a familiar face to helm its sequel to its 2016 film Doctor Strange: Sam Raimi. Variety reports that the Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3 director is in talks to helm the film after director Scott Derrickson left the project amidst creative differences last month.
Raimi is largely responsible for the ongoing boom in superhero films after he directed the first three Spider-Man films for Sony between 2002 and 2007. The films, which starred Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, were an enormous hit when they were released, hailed as some of the first good depictions of superheroes in a major motion picture.
The director is also accomplished within the horror genre, having directed The Evil Dead and its associated sequels, as well as 2009’s Drag Me To Hell. The horror connection is fitting, because the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is billed as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “first scary MCU film.”
The movie was announced at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, with Derrickson set to helm the project, only to step away last month over creative differences. In December, Derrickson tweeted that “studio release dates are the enemy of art,” a potential signal that issues had arisen in the pre-production process. Despite that setback, the film is slated to hit theaters on May 7th, 2021, meaning that Marvel would need to get someone locked in for the production quickly. Should Raimi be the one to direct the project, his return to the Marvel universe would be welcome, given that Spider-Man 2 remains one of the best that the superhero genre has to offer.