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Doctor Strange 2 Director Sam Raimi Almost Quit Superhero Movies Forever

With the debut of a second trailer for "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness" ahead of the Super Bowl, the excitement for the return of the Bleecker St. sorcerer is at its height. The movie, which will be the second standalone movie for Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), will see him come to terms with the long-lasting impact of his time-warping in Marvel's last movie "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

Moreover, the movie will have ties with several other Marvel entities that have shown up both on Disney+ and in the theaters. From "WandaVision" to "What If...," the movie will weave in several elements — ranging from characters and storylines — in its magical cape. Above all of this, the trailers also promise an exploration into the darker, more horrific crevices of the multiverse which, so far, have remained unseen in Marvel movies.

To ace this tricky combination of spooky and superhero aspects, the movie needed a splendid director. After Scott Derrickson, who helmed the first "Doctor Strange" movie, parted ways with the franchise over creative differences on the second movie (via Twitter), the director's chair sat vacant until Sam Raimi stepped in.

The director of the first "Spider-Man" trilogy, Raimi is known for his trailblazing effort with the film that introduced Tobey Maguire as the web-slinging superhero. But after being called to take on the daunting task of "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness," Raimi was haunted by some ghosts of the past.

Criticism of Raimi's Spider-Man 3 made him almost walk away from superhero movies

Though not a stranger to the world of superheroes or the world of horror, Sam Raimi didn't arrive at the decision to direct the "Doctor Strange" sequel easily, he told Collider. The failure of his third "Spider-Man" movie left a lasting impact on him.

"I didn't know that I could face it again because it was so awful, having been the director of 'Spider-Man 3'", Raimi said. "The Internet was getting revved up and people disliked that movie and they sure let me know about it. So, it was difficult to take back on."

But then his agent informed him about the opening for a director on "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness," and that his name had come up. Raimi wondered if he "could still do it." He knew taking up the project would not be easy, but that also gave him enough reason to do it.

"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," Raimi said. "I didn't think I would be doing another superhero movie. It just happened."

Luckily for MCU fans that it did. "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness" will release in theaters on May 6.