Sam Raimi being lined up to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

After Scott Derrickson jumped ship, it appears that Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may have found a new director in the form of Sam Raimi.

Original Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson was on board to make the movie. However, it recently emerged that due to "creative differences", Derrickson had parted ways with Marvel Studios. Only now, Deadline indicates that Raimi is close to signing a deal with the studio; if he commits, it will be his first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and his first comic book movie since 2007's Spider-Man 3.

Raimi is an excellent choice to helm the new Doctor Strange movie, which is pitching itself as a horror-centric excursion into the world of the Sorcerer Supreme (set to be played, as before, by Benedict Cumberbatch). As mentioned, Raimi has the relevant popcorn superhero chops, having steered Sony's original Spider-Man trilogy to enormous success – in fact, it was arguably the success of Raimi's Spidey movies that kickstarted the 21st-century wave of interest in comic book cinema.

One cannot imagine the MCU, at least in its current form, without Raimi's films existing; they nailed the breezy, effervescent tone of the comics, pinballing between laughs, excitement and scares with ease, while breaking new ground for the sort of CG-augmented set-pieces that allowed the web-slinger to treat the New York skyline as his personal playground.

Of course, Raimi made his reputation as a horror filmmaker with the infamously gory Evil Dead from 1981. This splatterific cult hit runs the gamut between broad comedy and extreme violence, and at the time of release ran afoul of the British censors. Raimi's ghoulish streak continued in the next two Evil Dead movies, The Gift and the spectacularly entertaining Drag Me To Hell.

Fingers crossed that Raimi can unite these disparate aspects and craft a Doctor Strange sequel that is equal parts chilling and thrilling. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is one of the key title's in Marvel's slate of Phase 4 films, which kicks off this May with Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is due for release on the 7th of May 2021. Excited about the possibility of Sam Raimi as director? Let us know @Cineworld.