To the surprise of no one who saw the final product, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness star Elizabeth Olsen has revealed that the Marvel sequel production suffered heavily from a seemingly never-ending-stream of script rewrites.
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The Scarlet Witch actress opened up about the film’s screenplay woes during a recent appearance on the May 24th episode of entertainment journalist Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast.
Per a recap of the episode provided by Cosmic Book News (the full episode is currently only available to subscribers of Horowitz’s Patreon), Olsen was at one point asked by her host if she had any thoughts on the film’s final cut compared to its original script, the actress opined, “It resembled more than I thought it was going to.”
“I mean, there were definitely moments where…there’s a point in making the movie where I just stopped reading drafts,” she then admitted. “I was just like, ‘This is going to change again. Just keep me posted with the information I need and you guys fill in the blanks that you need. But I’ll just keep my lane.’ That one was a wild ride.”
One such change she confirmed was that James Bond star Daniel Craig had once been tapped to play Thor’s half-brother, Balder the Brave.
“Yes, that’s what I thought was going to happen,” noted the actress. “I saw the art. They made a costume. They had a design.”
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However, while Olsen was light on the specific details regarding every single change that took place over Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ production, previous leaks and press tours surrounding the film provide some insight into the Sorcerer Supreme’s rough journey.
Things began spiraling out of control for the film in January 2020 when it was announced that returning Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson had exited the project over alleged “creative differences”.
From there, Marvel would eventually tap original Sony Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi to pick up the reigns. Subsequently, the esteemed filmmaker would make the bold decision to turn Olsen’s Scarlet Witch into the film’s villain.
This creative move would result in a bevy of reshoots, which according to America Chavez actress Xochitl Gomez were so extensive that, when all was said and done, the film’s opening sequence was completely different compared to how it was originally written.
In the film’s most notorious change, Kevin Feige drove a stake through the film’s attempt at continuity when he made the decision to cut a cameo from Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in WandaVision in order to avoid diverting attention away from the complicated female character in favor of a white male.
“Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Doctor Strange. But It would have taken away from Wanda,” the baseball cap-clad Marvel boss told Rolling Stone’s Briant Hiatt. “We didn’t want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie – here’s the white guy, ‘Let me show you how power works.’”
And to put the cherry on thos disastrous behind-the-scenes sundae, according to Charlize Theron, her cameo as Clea was haphazardly thrown in to the film’s mid-credits scene, with no apparent though given to her MCU future, to serve as nothing more than a ‘shiny object’ with which to distract fans.
Asked, funnily enough, by Horowitz, “What’s the Marvel future? What’s the plan? Do you know when you’re popping up next?” during the red carpet premiere of Fast X in Rome, Theron admitted, “I don’t. No. I haven’t gotten a call.”
“Is that bad?” the actress then laughed. “Is that bad? Is that bad? No, I’m not lying, I’m not lying, I’m not lying. I haven’t gotten a call. Is that bad?”
As of writing, it is unknown whether or not Olsen will ever reprise her role as Wanda Maximoff following her apparent ‘death’ at the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Likewise, a future appearance by Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange has yet to be confirmed by Marvel Studios, though it is likely he will at least appear in the upcoming Avengers: Kang Dynasty, if not also Avengers: Secret Wars.
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