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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a delight for fans of the web slinger and Marvel in general, full of webheads from across the multiverse, packed with references and even featuring a cameo from the late Stan Lee. But the film originally included another cameo that would have been a huge surprise for Marvel fans, none other than Doctor Strange. Producer/screenwriter Phil Lord explained where the Master of the Mystic Arts would have come in, saying:
The first draft ended with (Strange). It ended with him saying, 'OK, 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.'
That is a pretty cool ending and it certainly would have come as a shock to audiences who were expecting to just see a Spider-Man film and only know Doctor Strange from his live-action adventures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The arrival of the Sorcerer Supreme would have also been one heck of a mic drop right before the credits rolled.
A Doctor Strange cameo would have made sense too considering that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse deals with multiple universes, a realm that Doctor Strange has a great deal of experience in.
So it would have made sense from a story perspective and the fun interactions between Tom Holland's Spider-Man and Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War gave us a taste of what these two wildly different heroes could be like together. The question is would Benedict Cumberbatch have voiced Doctor Strange in the movie, thus becoming the character across the cinematic multiverse?
Speaking to Den of Geek, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller didn't explain why exactly Doctor Strange was taken out before the final script or what his appearance would have portended for the sequel, but it is very interesting to know the character was considered at all.
This cameo would have further established that Into the Spider-Verse is part of a Marvel universe where other heroes exist. It would have also teased the world opening up. Fortunately, it is not like there won't be plenty of opportunity to include Doctor Strange -- and perhaps other non-Spidey Marvel characters -- in future films.
Before its release, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse already has a sequel and a spinoff movie in the works. In addition to the live-action universe started by Venom, it looks like Sony will also have an animated cinematic universe on its hands. The fact that Doctor Strange could have been in Into the Spider-Verse fuels the imagination with possibility at what future films in this franchise could hold. Maybe we'll even get the Spidey/Daredevil team up the live-action realm seems determined to deny us.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swings into theaters on December 14th. Check out our 2019 release schedule for all the biggest movies arriving next year, including a couple that may feature a certain wall-crawler and maybe even a wizard.