Benedict Cumberbatch returns as the Sorcerer Supreme in Marvel sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And he'll be getting a sure-to-be cracking soundtrack accompaniment from composer Danny Elfman.
It's been confirmed that Elfman will score the film, in the process reuniting with his Spider-Man director Sam Raimi. The two creatives have enjoyed a fruitful partnership both inside and outside the world of comic book movies, including Darkman, two Spider-Man films, drama A Simple Plan and Wizard of Oz reboot Oz the Great and Powerful.
It was perhaps expected that Michael Giacchino would return to the realm of Doctor Strange to compose the sequel score. (One might assume that scheduling conflicts had something to do with that.) The project could also have fallen to Raimi's other principal collaborator Christopher Young – he and Raimi have, in the past, elicited superbly creepy scores for chillers The Gift and Drag Me to Hell. Given that Multiverse of Madness is pitching itself as the first Marvel horror movie, that would have been interesting. (Young is also a frequent collaborator of original Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson, so had he stayed on, it may have become a reality.)
Nevertheless, Elfman is an excellent choice, being the de-facto king of Hollywood superhero scores. He's composed the two Tim Burton Batman movies, Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy, Ang Lee's Hulk, Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II and Timur Bekmambetov's Wanted, in addition to the Sam Raimi movies already cited.
He also provided the soundtrack for Joss Whedon's controversial and much-maligned edit of Justice League, which has now revamped by original helmer Zack Snyder. Elfman's incorporation of his rousing original Batman theme wasn't perhaps enough to save Justice League the first time around, but there's no denying his skill and experience within the genre as a whole. (Here's hoping that it underscores Michael Keaton's return as Batman in The Flash.)
Doctor Strange 2 will be Raimi's first comic book movie since 2007's Spider-Man 3, something of a critical flop (although it was a huge box office hit). The movie was scored by the aforementioned Christopher Young after Raimi and Elfman endured a spat during post-production on 2004's Spider-Man 2. Clearly, the water has long since passed under that particular bridge.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a key chapter in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed some tidbits as part of 2020's Disney Investor Day. Chiwetel Ejiofor's Baron Mordo will be back, having set out his villainous stall at the tail-end of the first movie. Elizabeth Olsen will also be featuring as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch, imported from her new Disney+ series WandaVision. And it's been confirmed that screen newcomer Xochitl Gomez will be portraying America Chavez.
The latter adopted the mantle of superhero Miss America following her predecessor Madeline Joyce. Chavez is also the first Latin-American LGBTQ character in Marvel comics lore, so her big-screen portrayal may well break new ground.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to arrive on 25th March 2022. Excited about Danny Elfman's involvement? Let us know @Cineworld.