Sam Raimi in line to direct 'Doctor Strange 2'

Ben Arnold
404731 04: (EDITORAL USE ONLY, COPYRIGHT COLUMBIA PICTURES) Director Sam Raimi (C), actors Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst talk on the set of the movie "Spider-Man". (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

In news that has got Marvel fans fizzing with excitement, Sam Raimi is reportedly set to direct the Doctor Strange sequel.

According to Variety, the Evil Dead creator is in talks with the Disney-owned studio, and would take over the reigns from Scott Derrickson, who helmed the first Doctor Strange movie.

Derrickson departed the project last month, but will remain an executive producer on the sequel.

Filming is to begin in May, but Raimi would be a safe pair of hands in the MCU – he is credited with launching the current phase of big screen superhero movies.

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He helmed Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 for Marvel in 2002, 2004 and 2007, when Tobey Maguire was in the suit.

However, after his final Spider-Man movie, in which Peter Parker took on the Sandman, as well as James Franco's Green Goblin and Topher Grace's Venom, his pace slowed considerably.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange (Credit: Marvel/Disney)

Since then, he's only directed horror movie Drag Me To Hell in 2009 and Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful with Franco in 2013. He’s been a prolific producer though, and was behind horror hits such as 2013’s Evil Dead reboot, 2015’s Poltergeist remake, and the hugely popular Don’t Breathe which will be getting a sequel soon.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will bring back Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange to the MCU, after appearances in the first Doctor Strange movie in 2016, and then in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Director Sam Raimi arrives for the UK gala premiere of Spider-Man 2 at the Odeon Leicester Square, in central London.

Benedict Wong's character Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor's Karl Mordo are also expected to return, while Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch is said to have a role too.

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Other reports have linked the movie's plot to that of forthcoming Marvel series Loki, with Strange and Hiddleston's Asgardian trickster having tussled in the past.

The movie will open on 7 May, 2021.