Doctor Strange's highly anticipated sequel has lost its director.
Marvel Studios announced the news Thursday night, stating filmmaker Scott Derrickson had stepped down from his directing role due to "creative differences."
"Marvel Studios and Scott Derrickson have amicably parted ways on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences," Marvel said in a statement to Variety. "We remain grateful to Scott for his contributions to the MCU."
Though Derrickson will no longer direct the MCU Phase 4 flick, he confirmed that he will retain his executive producer duties.
The 53-year-old filmmaker helmed the first installment of Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular superhero. Derrickson—who is known for directing horror films like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, and Deliver Us from Evil—reportedly had plans to up the sequel's scary factor. Marvel boss Kevin Feige shared this detail during an appearance at New York Film Academy last month.
"I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a horror film, but it is, as Scott Derrickson—our director—has pitched it, a big MCU film with scary sequences in it," he explained. "When I was a kid in the '80s, Spielberg did an amazing job [doing that]. There are horrifying sequences in Raiders [of the Lost Ark] that I would, as a little kid, [cover my eyes] when their faces melted. Or Temple of Doom, of course, or Gremlins or Poltergeist ... It’s fun to be scared in that way and not a horrific, torturous way, but in a way that is legitimately scary because Scott Derrickson’s quite good at that. But scary in the service of an exhilarating emotion."
Variety reports Marvel is now searching for Derrickson's replacement. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is scheduled to hit theaters May 7, 2021, is expected to begin production this spring.
"Fans have a sentimental attachment to ‘Lizzie McGuire’ and high expectations for a new series," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. "After filming two episodes, we concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the show."
Minksy, who created the hit kids' series, will reportedly keep her overall deal with Disney Channel, and has a number of projects in the works. The Lizzie McGuire is slated to premiere on Disney+ later this year. The show's original stars, Hilary Duff, Hallie Todd, Robert Carradine, and Jake Thomas, will reprise their roles.