Why ‘Doctor Strange’ Had Reshoots
Last fall, there were reports that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was set to undergo some significant reshoots in November and December ahead of its release in theaters in the spring. Reshoots are not that uncommon for blockbusters, and especially for Marvel, where the company’s ever-changing lineup of upcoming films and shows often requires fixes in order to maintain proper continuity between all the projects. So it isn’t necessarily a cause for worry ... but of course, until you see the final film, you really don’t know.
Well we still haven’t seen the final film just yet (more on that later tonight) but Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi did talk to Rolling Stone about the movie and he did touch on the reshoot process for the film. He explained that Doctor Strange is “probably the most complex movie I've ever had anything to do with. Not just dealing with one character, or even five characters, but multiversal versions of those characters.”
Marvel also uses test screenings to gauge how well movies are working or not working, and Raimi said that those screenings also informed the post-production process, where it’s all about...
...learning what is confusing on a complex picture like this, or learning things that have overstayed their welcome. Recognizing when something is too slow, and even though it’s a proper beat to put in, the audience doesn’t need it. They can figure that out on their own, so what seemed like a logical step now becomes, in the editing process, ‘Hmm. That’s slowing us down. Let’s skip it and let the audience make the leap themselves.’ But it's also about recognizing what they really like, and sometimes expanding those things that they're really reacting well to. It’s recognizing what's original about the picture, and when you've got the opportunity to, expanding upon that.
Hopefully Raimi gives another interview after the movie comes out where he tells us what was or wasn’t working, what he trimmed out and what got expanded because audiences really responded to it. With a movie this complicated, it feels like there are a lot of things that could fall into either category that we won’t know about unless Raimi or the Marvel team reveal it.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled to open in theaters on Friday, May 6.