'Doctor Strange 2' Director Admits He's Only Seen 'Key Moments' of 'WandaVision'

"I've just seen key moments of some episodes that I was told directly impact our storyline," the director said

Photo: Marvel Studios

Sam Raimi still has some catching up to do in the Marvel realm.

The Spider-Man filmmaker returns to the comic book genre to direct the new sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While recently speaking with Rolling Stone, Raimi admitted he still hasn't seen all of the WandaVision series.

The Disney+ show's storyline plays a key role in his movie, as Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlett Witch, returns.

"I just know that halfway, or maybe three-quarters of the way into our writing process, I'd first heard of this show they were doing and that we would have to follow it. Therefore, we had to really study what WandaVision was doing, so we could have a proper through line and character-growth dynamic. I never even saw all of WandaVision; I've just seen key moments of some episodes that I was told directly impact our storyline," he told Rolling Stone.

Raimi also told the magazine that he had "freedom" within set "parameters" when coming up with the plot for his sequel. He acknowledged that the events of the film had to line up with the other spin-offs and sequels in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"I've got to tell the story of those characters in a way that ties in with all of the properties simultaneously. We had to make sure, for instance, that Doctor Strange didn't know more than he had learned about the Multiverse from [Spider-Man:] No Way Home. And yet we had to make sure he wasn't ignorant of things that he had already learned. So everything was dictated by what had become before," he explained.

Sam Raimi
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"... It was a fun juggling game. I guess it must be like that for all of the directors and writers of these very big Marvel properties that now have a long history. It was a very chaotic, wonderful, creative — I don't want to use the word 'mess,' because that's unfair — but it was just a cascade of ideas. We'd take the best ones and quickly weave together the fabric of this universe. It was very exciting, actually."

Back in March, Olsen, 32, told Variety about filming the Doctor Strange sequel so close to wrapping on WandaVision and how the stories inform each other. She earned an Emmy nomination for her performance in the limited series.

"I didn't know my part in Doctor Strange until right before we got back to filming during the pandemic. We had two months left, and we'd filmed the majority of our show already," she recalled at the time. "Really, I knew nothing until that moment when they pitched [Doctor Strange 2] to me verbally. So I tried, as much as I could, almost less so to have it affect WandaVision as have WandaVision affect it. I think that's really been where the connection is. It's almost like we're trying to make sure that everything is honoring what we did [on the show]."

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Last month, Raimi answered questions about the movie with Fandango, revealing whether he sees Wanda as more powerful than Doctor Strange, who's played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

"The movie is a journey into the Multiverse, so you do see different iterations of Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange, and even Lizzie Olsen's character of Wanda Maximoff. So the actors have to play that. It's a great challenge for them and great fun to direct them playing these altered versions of themselves," he said.

Raimi added, "I think Wanda's magic, from Marvel lore, is more powerful than almost any of the other characters in this picture, but Doctor Strange has the knowledge of the mystic arts that Wanda doesn't have, and he's got the help of Kamar-Taj. If you were to pit them against each other, different altered versions of themselves ... there could be a Doctor Strange out there that's more powerful than our Wanda. Or there could be a Wanda out there who is more powerful than our Wanda here. So, because of these altered versions, it's all a mixed bag of possibilities."

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in theaters Friday.

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