Bruce Campbell Addresses Doctor Strange 2’s Rating Controversy

The following contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, now playing in theaters.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness star Bruce Campbell recently addressed the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster's controversial PG-13 rating.

Campbell, who plays street food vendor Pizza Poppa in the Doctor Strange sequel, opened up about the controversy in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "[Marvel Studios] let Sam Raimi make a Sam Raimi movie. Marvel is always going to put the Marvel stamp on it, but Sam was pretty good at weaseling himself in there," he said. "You could just tell there were some definite Sam moments. And people being worked up about it being PG-13 -- the violence was pretty cartoonish."

Billed as Marvel Studios' first horror-infused movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness includes more graphic depictions of violence and gore than the MCU's previous, more family-friendly fare. Notable instances of this include The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) slaughtering (almost) all The Illuminati's members and Doctor Strange possessing the rotting corpse of one of his cross-dimensional doppelgängers.

Screenwriter Michael Waldron also recently downplayed suggestions that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness should be rated higher than PG-13. "You know, I think the movies that were the most impactful for me were the movies that felt a little bit dangerous to watch as a kid, so it's kind of fun to feel like we made one of those," Waldron said, adding that he and Raimi were equally responsible for the uptick in graphic content.

Waldron also insisted that the film's violence served a purpose, especially in the case of The Scarlet Witch's brutal confrontation with The Illuminati. "These characters finally show up and you feel safe for a moment... Then they get annihilated," he explained. "The audience's safety net drops out from under their feet. Suddenly they're absolutely terrified. And the Scarlet Witch has never been scarier. That's a great place to have the audience heading into the third act."

The uproar over its rating hasn't hurt Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' box office performance. The movie raked in more than $500 million dollars in the four days following its May 6 release, with $213.6 million coming from domestic ticket sales. Although the Doctor Strange sequel's second-weekend earnings were considerably lower, Disney and Marvel Studios are reportedly very pleased with its performance overall, especially since it hasn't opened in several key overseas markets.

Source: THR

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
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