In an interview, Sam Raimi spoke about the strict guidelines within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how they affected his film.
When Iron Man hit theaters in May 2008, little did cinema audiences around the world realize that they were witnessing the birth of a colossal enterprise that would transform the way films are produced and consumed. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was still being planned under then-Marvel Studios boss Avi Arad since at least 2005. But the genius behind it all is Kevin Feige, current President of Marvel Studios and COO of Marvel Entertainment.
By leaving nothing to chance and planning for many years to come, based on the comic book scheme, those responsible at Marvel Studios created a cinematic universe in which subsequent films were no longer dependent solely on the box office of the previous works, but were dependent on content. While each film can be enjoyed on its own within the MCU, as a whole they create a picture that only insiders can recognize and appreciate. The audience is no longer just an observer, but right in the middle, i.e. part of the whole.
However, this also means that the filmmakers have to operate in an extremely narrow space within the MCU. Not everyone gets along with that and it is also a frequent point of criticism from outside, since it is assumed that the Marvel machine would rob the actual creative people of their creativity. In an interview with Rolling Stone Sam Raimi, director of the upcoming MCU movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, spoke about exactly this type of filmmaking:
“Well, let me put it this way – and this might sound like I’m rambling on about something – that Marvel gave me total creative liberties. However, I had to stick to so many things from Marvel history that while I had complete freedom, the previous films and the direction that Marvel wants to go in the future set the path in an incredibly specific way. I have liberties within these parameters, but I have to tell the story of these characters in a way that connects all of the works at the same time. For example, we had to make sure that Doctor Strange didn’t know any more about the multiverse than he learned in ‘No Way Home’. But we also had to make sure he wasn’t ignoring the things he’s already experienced. So everything was dictated by what came before.”
In our video, we asked the Doctor Strange 2 stars what Marvel fans can expect from the new film.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”: Sam Raimi had to reorient himself in the middle
Raimi also had a specific example with him. In the middle of the writing process for the script, probably also due to the Corona situation, he found out that the plans had changed. WandaVision should now no longer release after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but before it:
“So we had to closely monitor what was happening in ‘WandaVision’ so that we could have a real thread and dynamic for the character development. I haven’t even seen all the episodes of ‘WandaVision’; I only saw the key moments of a few episodes that I was told directly impacted our storyline.”
Also “Spider-Man: No Way Home” should have appeared only after Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) second adventure. The screenplays of both films had to be extensively adapted:
“It was a very messy, wonderful, creative – I don’t want to use the word mess because it sounds unfair – but it was a cascade of ideas. We selected the best of them and, in no time at all, weaved the fabric for this universe. That was actually very exciting.”
Not all filmmakers can cope with this type of filmmaking. Patty Jenkins, acclaimed director of Warner’s “Wonder Woman” films, left the Thor: The Dark Kingdom project due to “creative differences.” Unable to achieve his vision for Ant-Man, Edgar Wright chose to disembark. The actual director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Scott Derrickson, also resigned after being unable to execute his ideas for the film.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” starts in this country from May 4, 2022 in the cinemas.
During his lifetime, Marvel legend Stan Lee was an integral part of every Marvel film. Do you recognize the films by his cameo appearances? Test your knowledge:
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