Sam Raimi replacing Scott Derrickson as director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness saw quiet the change in direction for the film's style. According to screenwriter Michael Waldron, who wrote the script before Raimi was hired, the script was adapted to fit Raimi's unique style. Noted in his early career for the Evil Dead films, which blended horror and comedy in equally extreme amounts, Raimi spent decades trying to get various superhero films made pre-Marvel (including Thor) before he came on to direct 2002's Spider-Man. In the midst of this transition from horror to superhero filmmaker, he did the transitional film known as Darkman that blended horror with a superhero origin story of his own design.
All this is to say that the final poster for Doctor Strange looks to epitomize Raimi's journey as a filmmaker, teasing a horrific journey for the titular character that will break reality and bonds. While Raimi is back directing a primarily superhero-driven narrative, he's been allowed to infuse his own eccentricities as a filmmaker even moreso than he was when he did Spider-Man. One where the hero Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will even see his own presumed ally Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) turn on him. Though she might not necessarily become the villain. In fact, the supposed hero of the story may be his own worst nightmare:
Perhaps that is the greatest intrigue of this new film. A director whose conventions are unlike the genre he's in. And the result will hopefully be not only Marvel Studios' first advertised horror film, but one of the studios' most distinct films.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness co-stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. It is set to hit theaters May 6th.