The Benedict Cumberbatch starring ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ has been prescribed a major new shoot.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in what sources describe as being “significant,” the new shoot, taking place in Los Angeles, is both “additional photography” and “reshoots.”
Insiders say that Cumberbatch and company are undertaking six weeks of shooting, if not more, working six days a week. Sam Raimi remains as helmer and ‘Loki’ head writer Michael Waldron is still on board writing the new material.
It’s unclear what actors in addition to Cumberbatch are involved. The crew involved is familiar with the Marvel method and have worked on recent pickups for the upcoming ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ and additional shooting for next year’s Oscar Isaac series, ‘Moon Knight’.
One source played down the severity of the shoot. “Even while in the middle of production, Marvel is scheduling you for more shooting,” adding that the size and complexity of Marvel movies necessitate additional photography.
One insider scoffed at the size and scope by saying: “We’ve had bigger reshoots on other MCU movies.” However, other sources have their eyebrows raised at the length. “They’re here until the end of the year. That’s like a whole other movie,” said one.
Several factors appear to be driving the shoot. One insider said about two weeks are dedicated to principal photography that was held over from the initial shoot that took place in the UK due to what is described as actor availability issues. The insider played down concerns that the reshoots were related to retooling the story.
Another reason for the shoot concerns catching up on production slowdowns from COVID-related matters that hit the initial UK production. It was those slowdowns that reared their head when they unexpectedly affected the Marvel release schedule in October.
On October 18, Marvel and Disney had announced the pushing back of ‘Multiverse of Madness’ from March 25, 2022, to May 6, 2022. ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, ‘The Marvels’ and ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ hopscotched backwards into new dates as well.
First announced at Comic-Con in 2019, ‘Multiverse of Madness’ is an ambitious project for Marvel, with one aspect dealing with alternate versions of fan-favourite superheroes, much in the way that the recent Disney+ series ‘What if ...?’ reimagined Marvel mainstays.
The movie has had its fair share of challenges. ‘Doctor Strange’ director Scott Derrickson had co-written a script and was due to direct when creative differences led to a parting of ways in January 2020. Raimi and Waldron were then brought on to, as one source says, create a whole new movie, on an accelerated timetable to boot.
Despite story concerns apparently playing a minimal part in the new shoot, it is evident that working in the multiverse requires Reed Richards-level thinking. Half the time, a Marvel movie has to tie to past movies while setting up future movies, and increasingly, TV series.
Despite the major shoot underway, the mood with the cast and crew is not downbeat. “There is a pervasive enthusiasm,” one source described, as per The Hollywood Reporter. On Thursday, Cumberbatch spoke about the reshoots on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’, where he was asked if he knew what the reshoots were going to be.
When questioned about the film, Cumberbatch said, “Like everything with Marvel, it comes in fresh, pretty much, most mornings. It’s really exciting and the film is shaping up to be something special.”