Many moviegoers consider Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse as the best Spider-Man movie ever. The 2018 animated film featured a slew of familiar faces in Spider-Man’s world, including Gwen Stacy and Spider-Ham. The film nearly had a major appearance by fellow Avenger Doctor Strange.
Is There A Doctor In The House?
While speaking to Den of Geek, Spider-Verse co-producer Phil Lord talked about nearly bringing Strange in the flick. “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,’” Lord told Den of Geek.
Strange and Spider-Man have run into each other numerous times in the comic books. In 1992, Marvel Comics unveiled the graphic novel, Spider-Man/Dr. Strange: The Way to Dusty Death. This is a collection of Strange and Spider-Man team-ups dating back to 1964. The heroes also teamed up in several popular cartoon series over the years. Strange appeared on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and Ultimate Spider-Man. The two would meet each other on the big screen in 2018’s blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War.
Not The Only Cameo Cut
Strange isn’t alone when it comes to getting removed at the last minute. Actor Tom Holland was set to appear as himself in Spider-Verse. This would’ve been a huge nod to his successful live-action portrayal of the character. Unfortunately, the scene never made it to production. “At one point I was supposed to be in it. There was going to be another Peter Parker… There was like a scene in a train station or something, and it was going to be like an Easter egg. I was going to walk through the background and say like ‘Hey, kid’ or something,” Holland told JOE.
Spider-Verse co-director Rodney Rothman wanted to bring Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire together for one scene. Having all three live-action Spider-Man actors in the same room would’ve been a major surprise for older fans. Unfortunately, today’s audiences might’ve been perplexed at the whole ordeal. “I don’t want to get into it but I did write that scene, but there’s a lot of anxiety, there’s a lot of anxiety around the movie generally and there was anxiety about confusing people,” Rothman said on the podcast The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith.
Heading Back To The Spider-Verse
There’s no doubt a Doctor Strange cameo would’ve stunned everyone watching Spiderverse. For months, fans got themselves ready to have the entire Spider-Verse be thrown at them. Seeing Strange or another Marvel character would’ve properly placed this in the Marvel universe.
Fortunately, Strange could make an appearance in the forthcoming sequel, which will drop on April 8, 2022. This time, Joaquim Dos Santos will take over as director, and David Callaham will write the screenplay. Dos Santos is best known for directing multiple shows for DC, including Justice League Unlimited and Jonah Hex. Callaham worked on the scripts for Wonder Woman 1984 and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This film will include the popular Japanese Spider-Man.
The Spider-Verse brand will also feature a female-centric spinoff film titled Spider-Women. This movie will follow generations of Spider-Women, including Spider-Gwen and Silk. Lauren Montgomery, who directed Superman: Doomsday and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, will direct this film. Sony also announced several spin-off animated series are in development. Following the film’s Oscar win and box office success, it wasn’t hard to see Sony capitalize on it. With so many projects in the works, Strange has many options for his surprise appearance in the Spider-Verse.
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