It's no secret that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was an ever-changing blockbuster that was impacted greatly by directorial changes and the pandemic. Among the most fluctuating elements was Earth-838's Illuminati, which went through a number of iterations before landing on the final six members.
From Ghost Rider to Iron Man, Marvel Studios considered many characters from the elite roster of heroes, including Thor's brother Balder the Brave. The Asgardian warrior was slated to be played by James Bond's Daniel Craig until the actor exited the project due to rising COVID-19 cases in the UK at the time.
Craig's departure opened the doors for John Krasinski's Mr. Fantastic to replace him on the Illuminati during reshoots, with Balder the Brave never making it past concept stages. One artist already revealed a peak at the Asgardian and now he has offered a closer look at his gorgeous costume.
Marvel Reveals Daniel Craig's Deleted Doctor Strange 2 Hero
In a recent post on Instagram, concept artist Darrell Warner revealed a new look at Daniel Craig's Balder the Brave, who was originally set to appear as a member of the Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Although Warner confirmed Balder made it "no further than this watercolor," he did appear to corroborate the reports that the character was cut due to Craig's exit from the project. The concept artist noted that those who want to know the story behind the deleted character can "look it up online:"
"BALDER THE BRAVE | Shame this character went no further than this watercolor | Y’all know the story and if not just go and look it up online……"
An up-close look at the watercolor clearly showcases Craig's face in the Asgardian costume, seemingly confirming the character's appearance was built around the James Bond star from the beginning.
Does Daniel Craig Have an MCU Future?
With the first look at Balder the Brave showcasing Daniel Craig in the suit, Marvel Studios clearly built its plans for the character around the James Bond star. So, after the actor departed the project due to the pandemic, the Asgardian was replaced by John Krasinski's Mr. Fantastic during reshoots.
This decision would appear to indicate the interest lay more with having Craig make a cameo in the blockbuster, as opposed to the character of Balder. But as the pandemic appears to be the defining factor in his departure, perhaps the doors may be open to the former James Bond joining the MCU in a future project.
Balder could still come into play down the line as a brother of Thor and Loki, although introducing another secret Asgardian sibling may feel rather repetitive. But in the infinite Multiverse, anything could happen. Perhaps Balder could even show up on Loki if Craig was willing to tackle a television role.
Considering alternate options, Craig's name has been thrown around in the past for Magneto, Captain Britain, and Norman Osborn, all of which remain on the table. After all, now that the British actor's James Bond commitments have come to an end, he may be more willing to tackle one of these larger MCU roles.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming now on Disney+.