'Doctor Strange 2' Conjures Director Scott Derrickson For The Sequel

By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth! Marvel Studios has found its Doctor Strange 2 director, and it's a familiar face: Scott Derrickson, the filmmaker behind the 2016 Doctor Strange movie, will return behind the camera once again for the sequel.

Looks like Doctor Strange survives Thanos's snap – as if that were ever in any doubt. Benedict Cumberbatch has only appeared in one solo movie so far, and Marvel isn't in the business of abandoning individual franchises after just one entry. It was a given that the character would return for a sequel, but now we know that Derrickson, who directed and also co-wrote the first movie, will be back to continue that story. The Hollywood Reporter says the filmmaker has "quietly finalized a deal" to return, and "a search for a writer to pen the script is about to get underway." I suspect that means Derrickson and his writing partner C. Robert Cargill won't be serving in that capacity this time around, so it'll be interesting to see who the studio hires to recapture the tone of the original. Perhaps Jon Spaihts, who wrote an early draft of the first movie?

THR says the script is supposed to be written in 2019, and the plan is to begin production in spring 2020, which would then lead to a May 2021 release. Cumberbatch is set to return to reprise the title role, and Benedict Wong will return as Wong, Strange's trusty sidekick and fellow mystic arts practitioner. According to the site, Rachel McAdams is "likely to return" as Christine Palmer, Strange's love interest.

The hiring of Derrickson must have pleased the film's star, since Cumberbatch has been openly lobbying for Derrickson's return for a long time, praising his process and the way he simultaneously handled several complicated elements of making the first movie. And even if Derrickson and Cargill don't return to write the sequel, it sounds like we're going to be getting more from Chiwetel Ejiofor's Baron Mordo, who started out as an ally but eventually turned into a villain by the end of the first film. In an interview earlier this year, Cargill revealed the approach:

"For those of you who have ever read the comics, you know that Baron Mordo has a very particular arc, and that's something we discussed with Chiwetel while working on the first movie. And part of the reason Chiwetel wanted to play Mordo was because he has a definitive ending as a character and it's such a fascinating ending. And I do know that whether we're attached or not, that Marvel plans on working towards that ending and fully realizing Mordo as more than just a cardboard cutout villain, but actually taking him to kind of Loki levels of awesomeness. That's the goal with him."

A Doctor Strange sequel has been speculated about since before the original even came out, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed back in April that one was definitely going to happen. Now we know that, like Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, James Gunn, Peyton Reed, the Russo Brothers, Jon Watts, and Ryan Coogler before him, Derrickson will be the latest director to continue the story of these superhero characters in a second film. As to whom the Sorcerer Supreme will face off against, or how this may fit into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen.

Here's a breakdown of our updated guesses about future Marvel Studios releases:

  • May 1, 2020: Eternals
  • November 6, 2020: Black Widow
  • February 12, 2021: Black Panther 2
  • May 7, 2021: Doctor Strange 2
  • November 5, 2021: Thor 4/Guardians 3 (or a potential crossover)
  • February 18, 2022: Shang-Chi
  • May 6, 2022: Avengers 5 (Maybe Secret Wars or Secret Invasion?)
  • July 29, 2022: Spider-Man 3