Black Dev Says It’s ‘Highly Probable’ Doctor Strange Sequel Fight Scene Copied His Game
So, it was weird for many folks who left Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness after it landed in theaters worldwide on May 6 to see such striking similarities between the two. Apparently, there’s a fight scene in the Doctor Strange sequel in which the titular hero, played by the charming Benedict Cumberbatch, battles himself using the musical symbols for things like half and quarter notes. Sword of Symphony also uses music notes, but what supposedly makes the two scenes nearly identical to each other is how they’re executed.
In the Doctor Strange fight, the main character shoots an ethereal bar of music at a copy of himself, who blocks it with an energy circle. While emanating magic and projecting energy is typical for the Doctor Strange universe, this particular fight in the film looks just like Sword of Symphony combo videos showing the protagonist also using energy to shoot magic music notes. The film’s scene even features clear musical sounds that sync up to the action that very much mirrors Sword of Symphony’s audio design. The similarities are truly uncanny.
Folks took to social media to discuss the matter, with many echoing the sentiment that they immediately thought of Ddungu and Sword of Symphony when watching that specific Doctor Strange fight sequence. You can see the same kinda comments all over his TikTok, too. Ddungu was also shook by the sameness, saying he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Marvel copied him during the film’s “significant” reshoots.
Ddungu told Kotaku over Twitter DMs that the music fight scene in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was born during those reshoots, which started about three months after Sword of Symphony took off online.
“Based on a multitude of primary sources that support the notion they did, I’d say it’s ‘highly probable’ and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true,” Ddungu said. “Therefore, all the sources (which quote the people who made the film directly) strongly imply the scene wasn’t in the film’s original script and that it was a last-minute move executed at least three months after Sword of Symphony went viral and received praise for its concept. So when everyone’s telling me they ripped off my work, after scrutinising the surrounding evidence, I can understand why people have that view.”
Ddungu said he knows the idea of fighting with music isn’t new. It’s why he hasn’t sought to patent it or anything. Regardless, what rubs him the wrong way about this whole situation is that, if his work was copied, Marvel Studios and Sam Raimi “could have executed the idea in their own unique way” instead of doing something that closely resembles something else with “infinitesimal changes.” He’d be down to work with Marvel if it approached him, but he wishes big studios would give credit if they were in fact inspired by his work.
“I feel it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a Black creator, but instead (if it’s indeed true they copied me) it’s another case of creatives ripping off ideas from other creatives, which is hardly uncommon for big production studios.”
Kotaku has reached out to Disney and Marvel Studios for comment.