Scott Derrickson is returning to direct Doctor Strange 2. Marvel Studios is just starting to reveal details on the end of Phase 3, but their Phase 4 plans are already beginning to take shape. One major question regarding how things could shake out though was the status of the next solo movie for Benedict Cumberbatch.
Cumberbatch starred in his first MCU movie in 2016's Doctor Strange, where he was introduced as the MCU's Sorcerer Supreme. The film was very well received critically and financially, but the character of Doctor Strange has only become more popular since, thanks to appearances in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War. Many have been waiting for news on his own sequel, but Marvel has been hesitant to reveal too much information about the status - other than Kevin Feige confirming it will happen eventually. The true answer appears to be sooner than later though.
THR reports Scott Derrickson has signed on to direct Doctor Strange 2, which brings him back to the franchise he helped start. Marvel is currently looking for a writer, so it's unclear if C. Robert Cargill will also return to scripting duties. Whoever is ultimately hired, the plan is for the script to be written over the course of 2019, ahead of a possible 2020 production start. Cumberbatch will return to star, and it's expected that Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams will also return.
Although there were never any prior reports of negotiations actually taking place, Derrickson's return has long been expected. As fans waited for confirmation of the news to arrive, Derrickson repeatedly appeared to tease some Doctor Strange movement on social media. Derrickson even previously told Screen Rant that he had specific ideas in place for the sequel's story. Now that he's back directing, he should be able to make those happen.
But, he will need the help of a screenwriter, and Doctor Strange's script went through several hands. Derrickson does have a written by co-credit on the first film, which also received contributions from Jon Spaihts and - as previously mentioned - Cargill. Spaihts has voiced his interest in returning to write the sequel in the past, but Cargill has spoken at length about what his and Derrickson's plans would be for Doctor Strange 2. Their original idea included Nightmare as the main villain, and Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in an expanded role too. Whether Spaihts or Cargill return is unclear, but this could be where Doctor Strange 2 goes.
With Doctor Strange 2's schedule appearing to be more development and entering pre-production by the end of 2019 for a spring 2020 start to filming, this should make it one of Marvel's 2021 releases. This will put it on a similar schedule to Black Panther 2, while another recently announced MCU project like Shang-Chi could be the third film in the 2021 slate. We'll have to see how exactly (and quickly) it all comes together, but at least we finally know that Doctor Strange 2 has a director and is going to move forward.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019