'Doctor Strange 2' Considered Deadpool & Namor; Benedict Cumberbatch Reflects On Passing On 'Thor 2' Villain

With Sam Raimi‘s “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness” out in theaters screenwriter Michael Waldron (“Loki“) is now doing a bevy of interviews (our own can be read and listened to here). During those conversations, Waldron has been revealing some of the characters that were considered for the latest installment in the Multiverse saga but didn’t make the cut because Marvel squashed those ideas early on.

Some of those potential cameos that never got further than the development stage are Ryan Reynolds‘ Deadpool and fan-favorite Illuminati member Namor Mackenzie, aka, The Submariner.

“[We] talked about [Namor], because he’s certainly an original member of the Illuminati,” Waldron told Variety. “But I think Marvel has other plans for him in the MCU. And so he didn’t make his way in this particular movie.”

Namor, The Prince of Atlantis is one of Marvel’s oldest superheroes. Alongside his cousin Namora, he was established in 1939, years before the beloved Stan Lee era, and is considered the “first mutant.” He’s been long-rumored as a major character or even villain in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” but none of that has ever been confirmed, but it could be what Waldron is alluding to.

READ MORE: ‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness’: Writer Michael Waldron Talks Wanda’s Twist, The Illuminati, Charlize Theron & More [The Discourse Podcast]

We know that Shawn Levy (“The Adam Project“) is set to direct “Deadpool 3” but the Deadpool character cameo ended up nothing more than a brief idea. “Yeah, we talked about it,” Waldron told CBM. “I think we talked about everything in this movie. So, [it] would’ve been crazy to not raise that, but it ultimately didn’t feel like… It just didn’t feel the right place.”

Meanwhile, once upon a time, franchise star Benedict Cumberbatch was courted by Marvel to play the villainous dark elf Malekith in “Thor: The Dark World.” As you would imagine, he passed on playing the villain and the role ultimately went to Scottish actor Christopher Eccleston (“28 Days Later,” “Shallow Grave“). Cumberbatch reflected on deciding to wait for something better to come around when speaking with BBC Radio 1 (see below).

“[The Doctor Strange role] happened as an idea muted after, funnily enough, another little dance I did for another character in the MCU, a very brief character. I was bold enough to say, ‘I’m really flattered to be invited to the party, but I’d rather hold out for something a bit more juicy,’” Cumberbatch said.

Cumberbatch certainly dodged a bullet by passing on Malekith as the “Thor” sequel is widely considered one of the worst MCU films and became a one-and-done role for Eccleston.

Given that “Doctor Strange 2” is a box office hit, it’s only a matter of time before a third movie is announced by the studio alongside another Scarlet Witch project.