Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch almost joined the MCU as a Thor villain.
One of the most inspired (and obvious) casting choices the Marvel Cinematic Universe made was bringing in Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. Cumberbatch has become a fan favorite in the role and it’s hard to imagine anybody else playing the good doctor. Before becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, however, Cumberbatch was in the running to play Malekith in Thor: The Dark World.
The potential casting was revealed in The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a book that highlights the decade-plus production history of the MCU. Cumberbatch revealed that he was excited to join the MCU prior to his meeting to discuss the Thor villain.
“I had friends that I supported in the like Tom [Hiddleston], and I was as intoxicated as everybody else was with the mixture of themes, humor, and the scale of cinema, of spectacle. But I didn’t grow up obsessed with any comics. I knew more about the cinematic universe than the comic universe.”
Ultimately, the Thor villain role went to Christopher Eccelston. After wrapping up Star Trek: Into Darkness, Benedict Cumberbatch met once again with MCU head honcho Kevin Feige, who revealed that the star was the top choice to play the Sorcerer Supreme.
“Benedict had always been the top choice because of all the things he had been doing. We were excited to meet with him. We thought, ‘He would probably be a pretty good Strange, but let’s not mention that right away. Let’s just meet him, see what he wants to do.'”
Cumberbatch followed up by revealing that he and Kevin Feige had the same character in mind when it came to the meeting.
“He was talking about Star Trek . Then, I said, ‘Well, we’ve got a lot of characters…’ and he goes, ‘Doctor Strange?'”
Talk about a coincidence. It’s fantastic that Benedict Cumberbatch got the opportunity to play Doctor Strange and has become a mainstay in the MCU. While Cumberbatch would have been absolutely brilliant as Thor’s Malekith, it’s great that he got the opportunity to star alongside MCU heavyweights like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and even Chris Hemsworth as the good doctor.
Details on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are currently limited, though it is said to feature horror elements. Furthermore, the Disney Plus miniseries WandaVision also served as the lead-in to the sequel. Scott Derrickson is still attached to the film as an executive producer, with Sam Raimi set to direct from a script written by Michael Waldron. The sequel will star Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Xochitl Gomez.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released on May 6, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming Sam Raimi film and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.