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Benedict Cumberbatch Recalls His Reaction to Doctor Strange 2 Director Switch

September 10, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Doctor Strange Avengers: Infinity War

Benedict Cumberbatch is reprising his role as Doctor Strange in the sequel Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and he recently discussed the film’s switch of directors and more. Cumberbatch is set to play the role in Spider-Man: No Way Home and then Multiverse of Madness, which was originally set to have Scott Derrickson return to direct before creative differences caused them to split.

Sam Raimi took over directing the film, and Cumberbatch talked about his reaction to the change and more in an interview with THR. You can check out some highlights below:

On his reaction to finding out Derrickson wouldn’t be back: “I was sad to hear about it, but that was not my decision. I completely respected the studio’s decision, and it was done very amicably. The grown-ups called and just talked me through it. And that was that.”

On Raimi taking over as director: “He was an assured pair of hands, who knew that world. He’s got certain Raimi traits. The smashed-zoom close-up. The mixture of just on the level of horror and just on the level of camp. There’s fun in there, but there should be some real thrills as well.”

On being encouraged by Raimi to improvise on the film: “With the first film, you’re always locked into a script, because it’s the origin story. But there was a lot more freedom this time around. I guess, because we were … not literally making it up as we go along, but sometimes it feels like that. Marvel has this amazing ability to come into production: ‘We really just have to start shooting now. It doesn’t matter that the third act is not quite where you want it to be.’ You really do things on a wing and a prayer sometimes.”

On improvising his insult to Iron Man in Infinity War: “I remember on the set when I called him a douchebag, there was this sort of ripple effect. ‘Oh my God. Did you just call Iron Man a douchebag?’ They kept it, good for them. And then, it got the same kind of response at the cinema. I was just … I got bored of being compared to Liberace or whatever other retorts the guy with the same camp goatee had opposite me, so I tried to knock him down. It’s great fun to play with that stuff. You find your feet. The more times you do it, the more familiar it becomes.”

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness bows on March 25th, 2022. Spider-Man: No Way Home arrives on December 17th.