By now, you’ve likely seen Marvel’s “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness,” or you wouldn’t be reading this. Or at least, you shouldn’t; this is your final, *spoilers ahead* warning.
This film has crossed the $550 million mark worldwide and is set to make another $60-something million this weekend domestically, and if all goes well, it could probably land somewhere in the $800+ million range globally.
As you know, one of the vital favorite scenes in the movie is of the Illuminati, a team of defenders from another Multiverse. Elizabeth Olsen, who plays the Scarlett Witch, has made some headlines already by suggesting she has never met John Krasinski before. He’s in the movie (see the lie-detector video below), in an Illuminati cameo, as the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richard (many people are in disbelief about this claim, but movie magic people, Krasinski’s parts were shot in reshoot scenes that Olsen wasn’t part of).
And while ‘Multiverse Of Madness’ screenwriter Michael Waldron recently told The Playlist in an exclusive interview that the Illuminati seen on-screen—Patrick Stewart as Professor X, Haley Atwell as Captain Carter, Lashana Lynch as Captain Marvel, and Krasinski as Richards—were the “only versions we shot” and the “dream team version” of what they wanted, that’s apparently only half true.
According to one of the writers at Deadline, who posted this tidbit on Twitter, Krasinski wasn’t Marvel’s first choice. In fact, according to the trade scribe (see the tweet below), it was ‘Bond’ star Daniel Craig who was initially supposed to star in the cameo, but he dropped out because of COVID.
“Fun fact, Krasinski wasn’t the first choice,” Deadline writer Justin Kroll wrote. “The actor originally set to play the role was all set to shoot, but when there was an uptick in COVID cases, he backed out as he was living in London and didn’t think the quick shoot wasn’t worth [the] risk of bringing back COVID to the fam.”
Of course, many fans believe this means that Craig would have played the Fantastic Four leader, but many credible rumors point to Craig actually set to play Balder The Brave, the half-brother of Thor in the comics. Whether that rumor is true or not is unclear, but don’t be surprised if it comes to light down the road in some interview, as these things usually do.
Either way, it’s not a terribly huge surprise, especially during COVID. Marvel clearly had many ideas and intentions, but things will change when availability is a big concern and something dangerous like COVID complicates an actor’s availability. There have been tons of rumors about the ‘Multiverse of Madness’ cameos, some turned out correct, and some were wrong and totally off base. One of the credible rumors we’ve heard is worth paying attention to is Michael Fassbender as Magneto. As in, he was an idea they really wanted to happen, some machinations were made to make it happen, but it was another that fell through. But again, that’s not factually established yet, but maybe down the road, at one point, someone will confirm the rumored intention.
Making a movie under COVID protocols and fears isn’t easy, so either way, it’s a miracle their dream team was as good as it was in the final film. “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness” is in theaters now, a huge hit, and the big question going forward is probably how big its box office can get and if it can potentially reach that coveted $1 billion mark. Stay tuned.