During a screening of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige and filmmaker Sam Raimi surprised viewers. With WandaVision, Loki, What If…?, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, all address the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s multiverse premise, the sequel to director Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange was clearly one of the most anticipated films of the year. The film follows the titular sorcerer as he tries to save the universe-jumping America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) from a terrifyingly familiar multiversal danger. Multiverse of Madness also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, in addition to Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Gomez making her MCU debut.
Derrickson was set to direct Multiverse of Madness until he dropped out owing to creative issues. This, combined with the film’s horror genre ambition, led Marvel Studios to request the services of Raimi, who previously collaborated with Feige on the original Spider-Man trilogy. Raimi is most known for the initial live-action Spider-Man films, which starred Tobey Maguire and ended with Spider-Man 3 in 2007 after Sony abandoned plans for a Spider-Man 4. Raimi returns to the superhero genre after a sabbatical from feature films with Multiverse of Madness.
While Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas all around the world, Feige, Raimi, writer Michael Waldron, producer Richie Palmer, and composer Danny Elfman surprised a few lucky Hollywood fans. On Saturday, Redditor tnashty released a video of the group thanking the crowd and expressing their excitement for the long-awaited sequel at the “first theatre of paying customers.”
Marvel’s performers and creatives have a history of surprising fans during screenings, whether it’s Tom Holland popping in on people seeing No Way Home or Oscar Isaac presenting Disney+’s Moon Knight. Marvel Studios and colleagues continue to value the fanbase and appear to be acutely aware of its demands and needs, as evidenced by Multiverse of Madness. The picture sticks to Marvel nostalgia in a number of ways, from cameos, dialog, and allusions to earlier productions to memes brought to life, thanks to a script created by Waldron. However, Multiverse of Madness is arguably much more startling than a visit from Feige and Raimi in Hollywood.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been described as “very much a Sam Raimi film.” The movie is packed with the director’s trademark camp and takes the MCU in a new direction with horror. Despite its PG-13 rating, the picture is terrifying and nasty in ways that fans might not expect. Aside from the reshoots and last-minute cameos, this film symbolizes Marvel Studios’ willingness to take risks and empower creatives to work within their comfort zones. “It doesn’t matter if they pay you 22 million dollars for a movie,” Raimi says in the video above. “It’s really not any different than being paid 22 billion dollars for a movie.” To refresh your memory, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently in theaters.