Marvel has tapped up-and-coming screenwriter Jade Halley Bartlett to write Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Collider has exclusively learned.
Marvel had no comment.
Benedict Cumberbatch is set to return as Dr. Stephen Strange, aka the Sorcerer Supreme, and he’ll be joined by Benedict Wong and Elizabeth Olsen, the latter of whom reprises her MCU role as Scarlet Witch.
Scott Derrickson is also back to direct the sequel, and it remains unclear whether Bartlett will receive sole writing credit, or share credit with Derrickson, who co-wrote the first film with C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts.
Marvel’s newly-promoted Kevin Feige will produce the superhero sequel, which Disney is slated to release on May 7, 2021. The original Doctor Strange movie grossed $677 million worldwide back in 2016, and per Rotten Tomatoes, was well liked by both critics (89% fresh) and audiences (86% fresh).
Barlett burst onto the scene with her script Miller’s Girl, which was voted to the 2016 Black List of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays before being optioned by Good Universe for Bartlett to direct and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s Point Grey banner to produce. Since then, she has been hired by Universal and producer Michael De Luca to adapt Chloé Esposito‘s debut novel Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know, which is described as a sexy thriller with a darkly comic voice about a woman who goes to great lengths to steal her identical twin’s perfect life.
Bartlett also wrote the most recent draft of the upcoming Mackenzie Davis horror movie The Turning, and you can watch the first trailer by clicking here. She’s represented by UTA, Heroes and Villains Entertainment and attorney Matthew Wallerstein.
Next up for Marvel is the Black Widow movie on May 1, 2020, which will be followed by The Eternals on Nov. 6, 2020. Both films hail from female directors. Doctor Strange 2 isn’t the only sequel Marvel is hard at work on, as Thor: Love and Thunder is due in theaters on Nov. 5, 2021, while Black Panther 2 will arrive on May 6, 2022. The company is currently casting Shang-Chi, due on Feb. 12, 2021, and it has also brought back James Gunn to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Stay tuned to Collider for more news from the MCU!