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Sam Raimi Opens Up About His Approach To Directing Doctor Strange 2

Sam Raimi, who took on directorial duties for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" following the departure of Scott Derrickson, who directed the first film, has faced his share of criticism. Much of it came from his 2007 film, the final one of the "Spider-Man" trilogy he helmed starting in 2002 with Tobey Maguire as the lead. It did badly enough that Raimi chose to leave the franchise and Sony rebooted the movies with Andrew Garfield in the lead of "The Amazing Spider-Man" in 2012 (via Collider). The negativity resulting from the movie's bad press left an indelible mark on the filmmaker.

Raimi has only directed a few more movies since then: 2009's "Drag Me to Hell" and 2013's "Oz the Great and Powerful" (via Variety). He's been busier as a producer, but the question remains: Why would he want to return to the punishing world of superhero films with such a high-profile project for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? In a new interview with Collider, he has opened up about his return.

Raimi says that the challenge of doing another superhero movie brought him back

Raimi confessed that he faced some difficulty at the prospect of doing the "Doctor Strange" sequel, but the challenge motivated him. "I didn't know that I could face it again because it was so awful, having been the director of Spider-Man 3," he told Collider. But his agent called him, saying Marvel wanted a director for the movie, and Raimi's name came up. Did he want to do it? 

"And I thought, 'I wonder if I could still do it.' They're really demanding, those types of pictures," Raimi said. "And I felt, 'Well, that's reason enough.' I've always really liked the character of Doctor Strange. He was not my favorite, but he was right up there with the favorites. I loved the first movie, I thought [director] Scott Derrickson did a wonderful job, an incredible job. So, I said, 'Yeah.' They left the character in a great place. I didn't think I would be doing another superhero movie. it just happened."

Raimi also said he allowed a certain amount of improvisation on his set. Explaining why he'd allow this in such a high-stakes film, he pointed out that acting is always based on what the actors bring to the role. "Every time the actor steps in front of the camera, everyone's making everything from scratch. So just for me, because that's my point of view, another improvisation, a different take, something unexpected, something thrown at the actor for them to respond to live on camera, is exciting. It's just a continuation of that same process," he explained.

On March 25, 2022, fans will get a chance to see how that process looks like in the finished product, "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness."