I was invited to the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness online press conference, which featured Benedict Cumberbatch (Stephen Strange); Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff); Benedict Wong (Wong); Xochitl Gomez (America Chavez); director Sam Raimi, screenwriter Michael Waldron and executive producer Kevin Feige. The moderator was Jacqueline Coley.
Coley asked Feige, “This is such a full-circle moment for you. In 2002, you were just a young junior producer. Starting out on Spiderman. And here you are with this. What is it like coming to this 20-year moment?” Feige answered, “It’s surreal. And as you say, yes, particularly surreal that it’s full-circle with Mr. Raimi. I was a young producer who just felt lucky to be in the same room with him. And now, I’m an old producer that just feels lucky to be in the same room with him (laughing).”
Benedict Wong was asked about how during Spider-Man: No Way Home, that he mentioned he got a call from Kevin Feige where Feige talked about the WCU (The Wong Cinematic Universe). Coley continued, …You come in fourth batter up and just knock it out of the park. So, what has it been like being on this run lately?” Wong turned to Feige, “It is the WCU. Is that what you told me?”, to which Feige said, “Inevitable, that’s correct.” Wong is a comic book fan who collected the Marvel comics, and stated, “I’m just..living this dream really…as the kind of the nerd that crossed the line…and gets to play with these amazing actors and writers and producers…it’s just a win-win for me.”
Coley asked Feige, “So, the running joke, Kevin, how do you keep it all under wraps?” Feige answered, “Well, the unfortunate truth is, you don’t (laughing). And therefore you need to make sure that the experience itself works regardless of what has been spoiled or not. We still do as good a job as we can, and I think a lot of people are getting good at not spreading it.” That isn’t always the case, and he said they found out with Spider-Man No Way Home, “in a lot of ways, No Way Home showed that it did not lessen the experience.”
Cumberbatch was asked if playing Doctor Strange has been character that’s defined his career. “Definitely. It’s one of the biggest, and it’s given me scope and freedom to support and nurture and finance smaller fare…delicate, difficult stories, and issues that otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to shine light on either as a producer or an actor.” He continued, “I’m incredibly grateful for that opportunity, let alone this richly complex, very rewarding and fun character to play.”
Raimi was asked about how exciting it was for him to bring some horror elements to the MCU. Raimi answered, “It was great. When Kevin announced that this movie would be the first entry into the Marvel putting their toe into the world of horror, I was thrilled that he called me to come in and talk to about the possibility of directing the picture. I was able to take those horror films that I made in my youth and what I had learned from them building suspense sequences, titillating the audience, gonna give them the scare now? No. Now, I’m gonna give it to them. That’s stuff I was able to apply in the spooky sequences in this film. So, it was very helpful.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters.