With the once-secretive Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness finally in theaters, reactions have been somewhat mixed, but the film has been extremely successful at the box office. While much of the debate among fans has centered around certain groups’ expectations about rumored cameos that in reality never existed. Perhaps the second-most contentious point among fans prior to the film being released was its runtime. While the sequel clocked in at over two hours long, many felt that a longer runtime would be needed to adequately showcase the speculated story.
When director Sam Raimi stated that the first cut of the film was significantly longer, it added to some fans’ cries that Marvel was not allowing the beloved director’s vision to come to fruition. In an exclusive interview with Murphy’s Multiverse, the Doctor Strange sequel writer Michael Waldron revealed that Raimi was actually always pushing for a shorter runtime:
Sam [Raimi], to his credit, was always really pushing for a shorter runtime. And, you know, he felt that the movie needed to move because of just how it was structured. It’s a chase movie, it’s an adventure, [ ] it’s got some Jurassic Park DNA…and so in a movie like that, it just didn’t feel like we needed three hours of it.Michael Waldron
Waldron perfectly articulates how and why Multiverse of Madness is so fast-paced. Rather than being shorter for the sake of it or because tons of pieces were cut, the film moves to pull off and complement its “chase movie” structure. The writer went on to describe how his lack of tolerance for boredom may have played a role as well:
My threshold for boredom is [ ] astronomically low, and so I just have a phobia of the movie becoming exhausting. And so yeah, once we’re off to the races in this one, we just wanted to get on the ride and go on the ride, and when it’s over, get out of there.Michael Waldron
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters worldwide.