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Doctor Strange 2 Director Sam Raimi On What Makes Benedict Cumberbatch And Elizabeth Olsen Unique - Exclusive

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" director Sam Raimi has been blessed to work in several different film genres over the past four decades, from his classic "Evil Dead" horror films and legendary "Spider-Man" superhero film trilogy to hit supernatural dramas like "The Gift" and fantasies including "Oz the Great and Powerful."

Naturally, working on so many different types of films has given the iconic filmmaker opportunities to work with some of the best actors in the business. From Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves, and Tobey Maguire to Kevin Costner, Michelle Williams, and longtime pal Bruce Campbell, Raimi has been able to enhance his unique cinematic visions with memorable portrayals by an eclectic group of players.

After a nine-year break from directing films following the release of "Oz the Great and Powerful" in 2013 (via IMDb), Raimi has made his hotly anticipated return to the superhero genre with "Multiverse of Madness." Opening in theaters Friday, May 6, the new MCU film picks up after the events of "Spider-Man: No Way Home," where Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland), corrupted a spell by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) that allowed the foes of two different versions of Spider-Man to enter their dimension through portals from the multiverse.

"Multiverse of Madness" finds Strange and the new Sorcerer Supreme, Wong (Benedict Wong), encountering America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a young teen who has the rare ability to travel across different dimensions of the multiverse. America doesn't understand her immense powers, though, which attracts the attention of an evil force who wants to extract them from her. As such, Strange seeks some guidance from his fellow Avenger, Wanda Maximoff — aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) — but by doing so, he has invited a horrifying scenario that could tear the multiverse apart.

"Multiverse of Madness" marks the first time Raimi has worked with either Cumberbatch or Olsen, which provided him with an entirely new experience.

Raimi says 'internal confidence' drives Cumberbatch and Olsen

In an exclusive interview with Sam Raimi to discuss the making of "Multiverse of Madness," the director explained what sets Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen apart from other actors he's worked with over the course of his distinguished career.

"It's their internal confidence," Raimi observed. "They really have thought and worked on this, these characters that they've created, and they've really brought them to life on the screen. They have a life of their own when they came to this movie. It was really cool for me as a director to experience that. I'm usually there, working with the actress, creating the characters. Now, they come to set fully fashioned, fully formed."

Despite their experience coming in, Raimi said he still needed to find a way to take their deep knowledge of the characters and apply it to his unique filmmaking sensibilities. In the case of "Multiverse of Madness," that meant the melding of his experiences not only as a superhero movie director, but also as a filmmaker who has mastered the genre of horror.

"The challenge is, 'How can I understand where they are completely and help them grow through this movie to the next state?' A character's growth, I'm referring to," Raimi explained. "I want to know their weaknesses, their secret desires. I've got to know all that so I can properly track that journey. It's great working with actors that can deliver on that level, and those two are on that level."

Also starring Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is new in theaters Friday, May 6.