Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is appearing more and more as a reflection of comic book movies as a whole. The newest TV spot revealed today even shows Professor X getting his comic book accurate yellow hover chair that he never has gotten in any of the X-Men films thus far:
But in addition, recent promotion has revealed not only will Hayley Atwell appear as Captain Carter (from the What If...? series) but also will feature Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, a role she began playing in last year's WandaVision. That is a role Parris will next play as one of the main leads in next year's The Marvels alongside Brie Larson's Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan (who will make her debut this year in the Disney+ show Ms. Marvel).
More and more, it becomes apparent why Sam Raimi was chosen. Not just for his expertise in both horror-comedy (Evil Dead) and superheroes (the original Spider-Man trilogy), but the fact he's been at the Marvel superhero forefront for years. He spent much of the 1990's trying to get Marvel superheroes adapted to the big screen before ultimately directing 2002's Spider-Man. Not to mention his uncompromising passion for getting the story right, something he revealed today (via Moviepilot) was the major reason he dropped out of Spider-Man 4 (leading to the Amazing Spider-Man reboot). It's been known for years that Spider-Man 4 had a script developed by screenwriter James Vanderbilt who was then hired in 2009 by the studio to pen Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6. It's even been rumored the reason was Raimi didn't like the script, but now he explains why, personally, he chose to ultimately drop out. Simply put...regrets over Spider-Man 3:
“We had a script years ago and we were actively working in pre-production. It became a thing where there was a deadline and I didn’t want to make something that was less than great. I thought I had compromised a bit on Spider-Man 3 and I wanted to really pay the audience back on Spider-Man 4 and make the best Spider-Man of all. And I couldn’t get the script together in that amount of time. So I told Sony, ‘I think it’s best if you go ahead with your planned alternate Spider-Man storyline because I don’t want to let the audience down.'”
The production issues in the 2007 finale to Raimi's original trilogy have been well-documented including how producer Avi Arad convinced him to utilize Venom in the storyline, even though Raimi felt the characters "lacked humanity". (Something Arad became obsessed with, leading to the Tom Hardy-starring Venom solo films) It was for this reason that writers like David Lindsay-Abaire and Gary Ross were hired to tackle rewrites on Spider-Man 4 while actors John Malkovich and Anne Hathaway were prepping to become the new additions to the franchise as Vulture and Black Cat, respectively. Sony's refusal to push back the 2012 release date for the film made it impossible for Raimi to get the script to the place he wanted it to be and the rest is history.
Much like Christopher Reeve's Superman, the Maguire-starring Spider-Man films have become the definitive take on the character, to the point it's been noted Maguire's version was originally being considered to be in the MCU near the beginning of the franchise's inception but due to Sony owning the film rights to the character, it never was. Now, after having Maguire appear alongside Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield in the Spider-Verse inspired No Way Home, fans have come out pleading for a Spider-Man 4 to finally get made. Something Raimi commented on in the new interview by saying, “I didn’t think it was possible but after jumping back in with the Multiverse, I realized that anything is possible now so I’m completely open to it.” Indeed, anything seems possible now.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. It is set to hit theaters May 6th.