The much-awaited sequel to the 2016 Doctor Strange is finally here. And it’s not for the faint-hearted. “Someone once told me, that the reality I thought I knew, was just one of the many,” Dr. Stephen Strange in the final trailer.
Watch the trailer below:
In a global press conference, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness screenwriter Michael Waldron, director Sam Raimi, producer and president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, are joined by stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, and newcomer Xochitl Gomez to talk about the movie’s last minute script changes, Doctor Strange’s character shift, and more.
The press conference begun with Marvel Studios producer and president Kevin Feige talking about his 20-year moment. “I was a young producer who just felt lucky to be in the same room with director Sam Raimi, and now I’m an old producer that just feels lucky to be in the same room with him.”
Sam Raimi who is dubbed as “the godfather of modern superhero filmmaking” shares that making Doctor Strange now has become a lot easier technology-wise compared to when he was working on the Spider-Man trilogy. He emphasizes though that the thing that didn’t change is having great actors and them knowing that the most important thing they can do is within themselves. “These are great actors and they know what it’s like to be a human being. They have a vast set of experiences that they are not afraid to pull into their performances, and they know their characters very well.”
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Benedict Cumberbatch on his favorite part of exploring other sides of Doctor Strange
A sequel we’ve all been waiting for, Cumberbatch shares that this multiversal narrative structure is like it is in our own lives. He explains by saying that we have multiple roles and have an incredible capacity and imaginative space in our subconscious to imagine ourselves into different circumstances in our dream scape. “Conversations not just with me as an actor with my character, but with the character and other versions of the character.”
“To shift the attitude or the mannerisms or the abilities and show same but different. And it’s a fine balance where we pushed it on some levels and less so on others and just very much, the finessing skill that Sam has to hold all this complexity and go with what makes most sense for our hero, for the story.”
Fresh from WandaVision, Elizabeth Olsen who plays Scarlet Witch talks about her approach to her character after the miniseries. “I feel like in the previous films before WandaVision, I took up a lane for storytelling that was more grounded in sincerity, love, loss, and grief.” She also shares that she was able to become anything and everything in WandaVision, and have grown her into a woman. “I hope that in this film, people see the continuation of her acceptance of who she is and the journey that she has taken to this moment. I feel like she has way more clarity now than ever.”
On showcasing Scarlet Witch’s greatest strength, Sam Raimi says that Wanda is the classic character that loved not too wisely but too well. “I think that’s a source of many of her aspirations in the film, and sometimes leads to less happy moments for her.” Raimi emphasizes that Lizzie [Elizabeth Olsen] did a great job summing up her approach.
The newest member of the cast, Xochitl Gomez joins the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] as America Chavez who has the ability to jump through different universes. When asked on who she had taken the biggest cue from being able to perform alongside MCU veterans, she says “all these people are great but in particular, I looked at Lizzie [Olsen] especially while she’s acting and getting ready to do the scene.” She also shares that she learned so much from her and she doesn’t even know it.
Sam Raimi on last-minute script changes and bringing his beloved horror elements into the MCU
Believe it or not, there were some last-minute script changes according to Sam Raimi. “They know their characters better than anybody so they’ll recognize in playing of the scene that this is untrue — this feels like a manipulation or it could be more real.” He also adds that when you have a great team, you want to pull the best of their ideas together and make something better than you could have made on your own.
“Great actors, great ideas, a script that constantly changing. But it was a very lively process.” Viewers must also take note that they had other movies that they have storylines from that should be taken into consideration. WandaVision had just finished or Spider-Man: No Way Home was also shooting, and Doctor Strange referenced those films. They had to have meetings with the director to know what Doctor Strange knows by the end of No Way Home, or if he remembers the multiverse and screenwriter Michael Waldron had to take the changes in the moment and ripple through their movie. “It’s probably for a writer like improv is for an actor. These movies are reacting, making up, changing things, and you have to be in the moment and take it in and go with it.”
When asked about bringing his horror elements into the MCU, Sam Raimi shares “it was great. When Kevin announced that this movie would be the first entry into Marvel putting their toe into the world of horror, I was thrilled that he called me to talk about the possibility of directing the picture.” He shares that he was able to take those horror films that he has made in his youth and what he had learned from them building suspense sequences and titillating the audience.
Kevin Feige on keeping all of the twists, the secret, and the surprises for MCU
Before the press conference ended, Kevin Feige was asked about keeping all of the twists, the secrets, and the surprises for MCU and he answers with “the unfortunate truth is, you don’t, and therefore you need to make sure that the experience itself works regardless of what has been spoiled or not.” He is hopeful that when somebody steals something, they don’t spread it around because it just potentially lessens the experience. Unfazed by these, he adds “but in a lot of ways, No Way Home showed that it did not lessen the experience so we will continue to do the best that we can, but the most important thing is, delivering the movie or the show that delivers regardless of what you know going in.”
Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness is now showing in Philippine cinemas. Buy your tickets here.