Movies

40 Things We Learned from Sam Raimi’s ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Commentary

Marvel Studios

By Rob Hunter · Published on July thirteenth, 2022

Welcome to Commentary Commentary, the place we sit and hearken to filmmakers discuss their work, then share the most attention-grabbing components. In this version, Rob Hunter revisits Sam Raimi’s overdue return to the large display with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.


Sam Raimi‘s last feature film was 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful, and his final horror film was 4 years previous to that. The announcement that he was getting into the director’s chair on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness after Scott Derrickson’s departure got here as nice information for followers of the man behind The Evil Dead… however wouldn’t it be extra Oz or extra Drag Me to Hell? It’s a Marvel film so the answer is apparent, however that didn’t cease Raimi from slipping various horror nods into the good physician’s combat in opposition to evil.

The movie is new to house video after a virtually billion greenback haul in theaters worldwide, and its arrival to disc contains quite a few extras together with our favourite complement of all — a commentary observe. So yeah, of course we gave it a pay attention. Keep studying to see what I heard on the commentary for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness!

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Commentators: Sam Raimi (director), Richie Palmer (producer), Michael Waldron (author)

1. The commentary was recorded on April twelfth, 2022, which was three weeks earlier than the movie opened in theaters.

2. They wish to make small modifications to the Marvel brand for every new film, and this time round it concerned further photos of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen).

3. They needed to open the movie feeling like the finish of a distinct Doctor Strange film. This ponytailed Strange — from Universe 617 — was initially a much better one than the one we’re aware of, however rewrites gave him the deadly flaw of desirous to commerce America Chavez’s (Xochitl Gomez) life for victory.

4. Waldron had full entry to the scripts for WandaImaginative and prescient whereas scripting this movie, however for Spider-Man: No Way Home he discovered “there was a lot of secrecy.” Both play main roles main into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

5. Raimi shouts out Michael Stuhlbarg who “I loved in the Coen Brothers classic, A Serious Man.” Raimi, of course, has lengthy ties with the Coens dating back to 1984’s Blood Simple.

6. Waldron had a cameo as the finest man at Christine’s (Rachel McAdams) wedding ceremony, however he was reduce. “Now you know why they call my editor Bob Murawski ‘The Butcher,’” provides Raimi. He really makes the reduce a short time later at 12:29 on the balcony.

7. The motion that explodes on the streets of New York was filmed on an elaborate soundstage in England as a result of Raimi and others couldn’t go to the precise NYC attributable to the pandemic. Marvel paid for the development of practically 4 metropolis blocks.

8. The large, one-eyed monster is Gargantos, “not to be confused with Shuma-Gorath.” Its eye is definitely modeled on a retina scan of Olsen’s as foreshadowing for the reveal that Wanda is the actual villain.

9. Marvel uber boss Kevin Feige needed the monster’s demise to be gory whereas nonetheless touchdown them a PG-13, and he was absolutely onboard with an eyeball-popping homage to Raimi’s Evil Dead motion pictures.

10. Palmer says the America Chavez character is one they’ve needed to introduce into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for over a decade.

11. We first meet Wanda in Universe 838, and the house relies on her house in WandaImaginative and prescient.

12. Strange and Wanda have a dialog about the apple bushes she’s pruning, however they’re really cherry blossoms. “They were the only thing blooming at the time.” It’s additional sophisticated in that each one of the blossoms are pretend and had been added to the bushes by hand.

13. Early drafts of the script had Wanda behaving like a hero till the third act the place she gave into her disappointment, however revisions moved that character shift to the dark side up far earlier. Raimi prompt they “bring that good stuff forward.”

14. Before Danny Elfman was even introduced on formally as the movie’s composer he gave them conflict drums to play on set (*40*)

15. Early drafts additionally expanded the relationship between Wong (Benedict Wong) and Sara (Sheila Atim) into one thing of a love story, however that was reduce alongside the means.

16. The sorcerer who screws the pooch together with his cowardice whereas below assault by Wanda was referred to as “Weasel Sorcerer” in the script, “which was a source of confusion for some people because they thought it might just be a giant weasel in robes.”

17. They point out that the character of Doctor Strange is the anchor of the MCU’s Phase 4.

18. The snakes that Strange summons at 36:29 are straight out of the comics the place they’re referred to as the Vipers of Valtorr.

19. There are quite a few Easter Eggs as Strange and Chavez fly via the portal together with The Living Tribunal, the Savage Land, and extra.

20. Feige was “very on top of us making sure we made a proper presentation” to the viewers relating to the look of the parallel universe.

21. The fork from Raimi’s Army of Darkness — the one utilized by little Ash to stab human Ash — is seen on Pizza Poppa’s (Bruce Campbell) cart.

22. Raimi’s son Lorne Raimi did some second unit and take a look at footage work on the movie.

23. Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) first seems is a shot filmed virtually like a Western standoff, and Feige “thought it was a little corny.” He needed Raimi to chop it, however the director stood his floor. Early drafts noticed him launched sooner in Universe 616 — the universe the place the majority of the MCU movies happen, and whereas hinted at in earlier movies is just now confirmed — the place he was in pursuit of Wanda/Scarlet Witch and ended together with his beheading.

24. The Sands of Nisanti — used right here to mute Strange’s powers quickly — are straight out of the comics the place they’re utilized by the character of Nic West (performed right here by Stuhlbarg).

25. The shot(s) at 54:08 displaying Wanda rising from the ground in two totally different universes as the digicam slowly turns was created on the day by Raimi. “Sam has a habit of making those things look easy, those crazy shots.”

26. “She’s not a villain,” says Raimi, “she’s suffering.” That’s clearly the vibe the movie goes for, however hoo boy do I disagree — Wanda/Scarlet Witch is completely a villain in the movie and causes quite a few deaths. He provides that Olsen is a genius in her portrayal right here as “she knows she’s not playing a bad girl, just someone who loves too deeply.”

27. Waldron provides a shout out to Brian Michael Bendis and Jonathan Hickman for his or her work on a primary draft of the script and talks about his personal problem in discovering the proper stability of large swings. One of his greatest was to convey in the Illuminati — after which have Wanda kill all of them off. He discovered some inspiration in a rewatch of James Cameron’s Aliens and seeing these space marines get massacred. An early model of the scene included the alternate Wasp shrinking and flying in direction of Wanda solely to be clapped and squished between her fingers.

28. The massive aid of Wanda on the wall at 1:02:15 isn’t a visible impact and is as a substitute an actual half of the manufacturing design.

29. The hover-chair utilized by Professor X (Patrick Stewart) is modeled on the one in animated sequence. Feige prompt that Elfman work the animated present’s theme into his intro theme as effectively.

30. When Raimi pitched Wong on his character’s journey in the movie he strongly implied that Wong would die going off the cliff. Wong ultimately caught on to Raimi’s sense of humor.

31. Feige informed them as a lot as he beloved listening to Black Bolt’s (Anson Mount) title talked about in early conversations, he wasn’t certain that Wanda was highly effective sufficient to defeat him as all he must do is open his mouth. Raimi riffed immediately “what mouth?” This clearly made it into the script.

32. The massive statue in the foyer of the Illuminati is patterned after Xena: Warrior Princess, a present that Raimi referred to as house for some time, starring “the great Lucy Lawless.”

33. They ask casually if folks suppose Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch) is definitely killed right here. “Go see The Marvels to find out… that’s a joke, that’s a joke!”

34. Most of the Illuminati council scene was filmed individually with the totally different actors as they weren’t actually collectively.

35. Waldron realized he had written himself right into a nook having Strange stranded in one other universe with no technique to bounce back to a distinct one, however he and Palmer come across the “Dead Strange” concept as an surprising answer.

36. Raimi worries that audiences will probably be confused about the souls of the damned and why they’re attacking Dead Strange, however he needed the character to have his personal antagonists.

37. The finale involving the eventual defeat of the Scarlet Witch by leaping into the household house so her youngsters can see her monstrous conduct was all Raimi’s concept.

38. Olsen gave her all in each scene, and at one level Raimi informed her he was afraid to ask for one more take as a result of of it. She replied that on the subject of appearing she is a bottomless effectively of emotion and that she was able to go once more. So they did.

39. Strange acquires the third eye as a result of he used the Darkhold and dream-walked in his personal corpse.

40. They don’t point out Scott Derrickson or the “creative differences” that led to his departure.

Best in Context-Free Commentary

“I’m not crazy about the ponytail.”

“You made our villain a human being.”

“It was quite unsettling to walk around the set eating your lunch.”

“Kevin wanted to make it a spooky film.”

“Mmm, look at those pizza balls.”

“And what studio did we shoot this on?”

“If it’s in the comics it’s automatically cool.”

“Kevin cast John because the fans had a dream of who the perfect Reed Richards would be.”

“He said ‘Get me a leg on a broom!’”

“Michael, you wrote so much of this movie during production. Post-production too.”

“His face is disgusting.”

Final Thoughts

My full ideas on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may be discovered in my evaluation, and a rewatch with the commentary observe confirms these emotions. The script reaches a bit too excessive with its character asks, however the movie succeeds all the similar thanks in massive half to Raimi’s abilities as a filmmaker. It’s an typically enticing movie with some entertaining visuals and beats torn straight out of the horror style. The commentary observe falls in line with that revealing three creatives with sturdy pursuits and a script that was primarily nonetheless being written throughout the manufacturing. It’s observe for flick.

Read extra Commentary Commentary from the archives.

Related Topics: Commentary Commentary, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since earlier than you had been born, which is bizarre seeing as he is so rattling younger. He’s our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists ‘Broadcast News’ as his favourite movie of all time. Feel free to say hello in case you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.

Back to top button