Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel conjures up a director and a release date

Doctor Strange

Filmmaker Scott Derrickson is set to cast his spell on the Marvel Universe again. Derrickson, who co-wrote and directed Marvel’s Doctor Strange, has agreed to return for the sequel.

Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, and Rachel McAdams are also expected to return for the follow-up film. If everything goes according to plan, production on the next Doctor Strange adventure will begin in 2020, with an eye on a May 2021 release date, according to sources who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter.

The first Doctor Strange, which saw Cumberbatch’s master of the mystic arts take on Mads Mikkelsen’s rogue wizard Kaecilius, hit theaters in November 2016. No villain has been announced for the sequel, which still doesn’t have a writer.

Doctor Strange is currently set to play a big role in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, although he may not get much screen time. In Avengers: Infinity War (spoiler alert!), Strange surrendered the powerful Time Stone to Thanos. The interstellar conqueror repaid the favor by wiping the surgeon-turned-sorcerer — along with half of the living creatures in the galaxy — out of existence with a snap of his fingers.

Like any good magician, however, Strange appeared to have a few tricks up his sleeve. Before falling victim to “the Decimation,” Doctor Strange visited 14 million timelines and found a single road to victory. Strange’s master plan (and his likely resurrection) will unfold in Avengers: Endgame.

Doctor Strange isn’t the only Avenger whose post-Endgame fate has been spoiled by production reports. Peter Parker, another Decimation casualty, headlines Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019, just a few months after Endgame‘s April 2019 launch.

Before Doctor Strange, Derrickson made his name as the writer and director of low-budget horror films like Hellraiser: Inferno, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and Sinister, as well as the remake of the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still.

In order to secure the Doctor Strange gig, Derrickson spent “an obnoxious amount” of his own money scripting and storyboarding a sequence from Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s comic miniseries, Doctor Strange: The Oath. A 90-minute pitch and many meetings later, Derrickson landed the job, and the scene that he prepared in advance became one of the cornerstones of the film.

Derrickson took a big risk, but it paid off. Doctor Strange ended up earning over $600 million at the global box office, making it the highest-earning debut for any single Marvel character — at least until Black Panther rolled around.

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