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Sam Raimi Compares Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness To Evil Dead II - Exclusive

While most superhero movie fans know "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" director Sam Raimi from the original "Spider-Man" trilogy from 2002 to 2007, long before that, the iconic director was one of the chief architects of the "Evil Dead" horror film trilogy (via IMDb). Made together with his longtime friends — actor Bruce Campbell and producer Rob Tapert — the first film, 1981's low-budget gorefest "The Evil Dead," eventually became a cult film classic, leading to the 1987 production of "Evil Dead II."

While "The Evil Dead" leaned heavily on scares, "Evil Dead II" infused the trio's love of the Three Stooges into the film, resulting in a unique blend of madcap humor and horror. The success of the sequel and its time-traveling final scene led to the modern-day antihero Ash Williams (Campbell) being propelled back to medieval times for "Army of Darkness," and like its predecessors, the 1992 horror-comedy became another cult classic.

While Raimi directed films in several different genres after the "Evil Dead" trilogy — including a crime thriller ("A Simple Plan"), a supernatural drama ("The Gift"), a sports drama ("For Love of the Game") and a fantasy ("Oz the Great and Powerful") — the filmmaker's heart never strayed too far away from horror. In addition to directing 2009's "Drag Me to Hell" and the pilot episode of the "Evil Dead" spin-off "Ash vs. Evil Dead" in 2015, Raimi produced the "Ash" spin-off series as well as such hit horror films as "The Grudge," "Don't Breathe," "Crawl," and the 2013 "Evil Dead" remake.

Raimi's return to the superhero genre with the "Doctor Strange" sequel is unique, and not just because it's his superhero film in 15 years. "Multiverse of Madness" affords the director the opportunity to imbue the latest MCU chapter with his horror film sensibilities, similar to the tone of "Evil Dead II."

Multiverse of Madness features Raimi's return to madcap humor and horror

"Multiverse of Madness" finds Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong) venturing into the multiverse after happening upon America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) during a street battle with an otherworldly creature. It turns out that America has the rare ability to travel across universes, which has attracted evil beings connected to Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who look to extract the young teen's powers.

While fans of the MCU may be surprised how "Multiverse of Madness" prominently features so many horror elements, Sam Raimi explained that Marvel president Kevin Feige teased the "Evil Dead II"-like tone of the film long before it was released.

"When Kevin first announced the movie, he said this would be 'Marvel's first foray into the horror genre,' and it is," Raimi told Looper in an exclusive interview. "There are demons and Doctor Strange has to fight some terrifying creatures, and Wanda has to face some spooky stuff also. It's the horror movie aspect that we were trying to bring to it that he might be referring to."

As in all of his previous films — including his "Spider-Man" trilogy — "Multiverse of Madness" features a memorable cameo by Bruce Campbell that's reminiscent of Ash in "Evil Dead II." Apart from that, Raimi said there are no particular "Evil Dead II" Easter eggs featured in "Multiverse of Madness" — at least, "not on purpose."

"But because I'm the same guy that made that movie, there's going to be some sort of similarity," Raimi said.

Also starring Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and written by Michael Waldron, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is now in theaters.