The first draft of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse almost featured an unexpected cameo from Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme. Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated movie that sees the Spider-People from various different realities battling against the Kingpin, whose experiments at dimensional manipulation risk tearing apart the fabric of reality itself.
It's an origin story for Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, but also introduces a whole host of new Spider-characters - including the spectacular Spider-Gwen. Apparently, at one point, Spider-Verse also almost featured another Marvel Comics character - one that has joined the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe in the last few years.
It seems the movie almost featured a major cameo, though, from Doctor Strange. In an interview with Den of Geek, producers Chris Miller and Phil Lord revealed that the first draft ended with the introduction of Doctor Strange. As Lord - who co-wrote the screenplay with Rodney Rothman - explained:
"The first draft ended with [Strange]. It ended with him saying, 'Okay, I have some things to tell you…' It was the first draft, like three years ago. It ended with Doctor Strange. Literally, the last frame was Doctor Strange, going, 'Hello.'"
Presumably the idea was that Doctor Strange would turn up to explain the secrets of the Multiverse to one of the various Spider-Men, most likely Miles Morales himself. It's interesting to note that this draft would have been in the works back when Marvel was filming Doctor Strange, a movie that introduced the concept of the Multiverse into the MCU. The timing surely isn't a coincidence, perhaps suggesting that Lord and Rothman were envisioning the MCU as one of the Multiverses. That may even mean they pictured Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the character. Doctor Strange has teamed up with Spider-Man on many occasions, and some of those have even explored alternate dimensions. The partnership has always been an uneasy one, with Strange essentially serving as the straight man to Peter Parker's jokester.
By the sound of it, this was only ever a brief scene - perhaps even the original post-credits stinger. Den of Geek didn't find out why Doctor Strange was dropped from the script, but the most likely reason is simply that he isn't a Sony character in the first place; his film rights are owned by Marvel Studios. First drafts often involve tossing a lot of ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks, and Lord is well-known for coming up with some of the more zany, out-there ideas. This may have been simply a cool thought that crossed his mind, but proved completely impractical and was swiftly dropped.
Source: Den of Geek
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) release date: Dec 14, 2018