Let’s go back to 2007: the MCU had just been released with ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and ‘Iron Man’, and a then unknown Kevin Feige was planning movies Based on Captain America and Thor. Then Neil Gaiman and Guillermo del Toro knocked on his door with such a risky idea at the time that he had to tell them no. There is one of infinite universes in which he said yes… and I wish I was in that one.
By Vishanti’s rings!
According to Gaiman on Josh Horowitz’s ‘Happy Sad Confused’ podcast, He and Del Toro began developing a Doctor Strange movie project. so risky that it’s a shame we can’t see it. The film would take place mainly in the 20s and 30s, where Strange was known as “The greatest magician”… And it would take since then, 90 years old, not aging and living in Greenwich Village without anyone seeming to be aware of its mere existence.
There were some really cool things. My favorite thing about Doctor Strange was the idea that… the only thing we really wanted was for him to go through his adventures, turn him into an alcoholic and a disabled doctor, all of that, in the 1920s. So the idea is that he went through all of that and he trained to become the world’s greatest magician in the early 30s (…) We liked that idea, he would have been somewhat out of his time. But other than that, it would have been very Steve Ditko-esque because, you know, it’s the best.
Imagine that you have Neil Gaiman himself in front of you saying “I can do a Doctor Strange movie with Guillermo del Toro”… And you reject him. Well, that’s exactly what Feige did, with an elegant “We want to focus on the key characters right now. Doctor Strange is still a long way off, we don’t want to go there yet“. Another project on the list of MCU movies that could have been and weren’t. Maybe we can take a look at it in that alternate universe with the Eye of Agamotto…