When it comes to the business of moviemaking, sometimes the story behind the film is just as interesting as the final product itself. This feels like the case with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Prior to the Marvel Studios entry hitting theaters in 2022, there were quite a few production shakeups that happened behind the scenes, including Scott Derrickson making the decision to stop directing the project due to creative differences. Following Derrickson sharing his side of the story, the previous writer of the Doctor Strange sequel has shared her experience on the movie too.
When the second Doctor Strange movie was being actively developed under the direction of Derrickson, who also made the first movie of the franchise, Jade Halley Bartlett was hired to write the sequel's script. As Bartlett’s new movie, Miller’s Girl, gets ready to hit theaters this weekend, here’s what she had to say about her time on the MCU movie:
There are two versions. There's the Raimi, Michael Waldron version, which is exquisite, and I love both of them. Then, I was with Scott Derrickson. We developed it for about a year in the room with Kevin [Feige] and Eric [Hauserman Carroll] and Lou [D'Esposito] and Richie [Palmer]. It was Scott and it was really exciting and it was really fun. I still cannot believe I got that job.
While speaking to ComicBook, Jade Halley Bartlett shared that the original version of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a completely different take on the movie. It sounds like when Derrickson exited the project, Marvel went back to square one with writer Michael Waldron and director Sam Raimi. Bartlett remains grateful for the experience she had on the Marvel project, and is still in disbelief that she was part of an MCU movie at the time. This is especially considering how Bartlett just became a first-time writer/director on Miller’s Girl. As the writer continued:
I am not allowed to say anything about the draft. I'm so sorry. I can't tell you anything, but I can tell you that working with them, everybody there really loves their job. They're so kind and they're very generous. It was like getting to work with scholars, I guess, scholars of these comic books. So that was really fun.
What's Next For Marvel?
When you think about it, Bartlett somewhat got the best of both worlds in this whole situation. She gathered some experience working on an ultra high-profile movie with the likes of Scott Derrickson and Kevin Feige without receiving the wrath that often comes from Marvel fans after a new project is released. Of course, whatever vision she and Derrickson will probably never see the light of day, so that’s a bummer.
In terms of what we did see with the release of Multiverse of Madness, the reception was somewhat mixed when it came to the Marvel sequel. While some found cameos lik Patrick Stewart’s return as Professor X “disappointing”, including the actor himself, and Scarlet Witch’s arc bothersome, in other ways, it was also a really fun entry into the MCU. Plus, it made nearly $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
While it may not be the highest ranking Marvel movie, it did mighty well for itself, even after there being two versions behind the scenes. The Doctor Strange sequel is now streaming with a Disney+ subscription, and you can see Miller’s Girl in theaters starting January 26.