After grossing nearly $1 billion at the global box office, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming for fans worldwide on Disney+. While more details are becoming public about certain parts of the movie, including the best look yet at John Krasinski's Reed Richards, new stories are coming to light about what didn't make it into the sequel as well.
In the past few days alone, fans have learned about a couple of deleted scenes that were removed from the film, which was already fairly short with a runtime of just over two hours. This included another version of Bruce Campbell's post-credits scene as the Pizza Poppa and a deleted moment with Rachel McAdams' Christine Palmer that gave further depth to her history with Strange.
While these scenes were actually put to film and scrapped before Doctor Strange 2 debuted in theaters, there are other moments that were deleted before production even began. One of these included a different take on Marvel Studios' first version of the Illuminati, which initially included one of the original Avengers from Marvel Comics.
Doctor Strange 2 Writer on Wasp's Original Role
As part of the audio commentary on the digital release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, head writer Michael Waldron shared details on the Wasp's original inclusion in the film.
Waldron noted how tough it was for him to pull together the last half of the second act, leading him to "take a swing" and try putting the Illuminati into play. Producer Ritchie Palmer then chimed in, noting how he wasn't sure if the movie would actually be able to pull off Wanda killing the entire Illuminati team:
Waldron: "I was just trying to get through the first draft of the script desperately in August of 2020. Didn't really have a second half of the second act and had no idea where the hell I was going. And I just thought, 'Well, why don't I take a swing and drop the Illuminati in there?'"
Ritchie Palmer: "And swing you did. Those Jonathan Hickman Illuminati comics were some of the greatest comics ever written, I think those New Avengers comics from the Secret Wars era. But, Michael, I remember reading your first draft of the Illuminati stuff and just bring in disbelief, going, 'She kills all the Illuminati? He had her kill all the Illuminati. We're never going to be able to do this. Wait, can we do this? I wish we could do this.'"
Waldron then explained how, initially, the Wasp was included in a version of the Illuminati, although the other team members weren't revealed. Waldron noted that Wanda killed off the Wasp by simply clapping her hands and smashing the winged hero as she flew towards the Scarlet Witch, also sharing that it was a nod to the movie Aliens:
"Yeah, I think I watched Aliens and was just thinking about the way those Marines get massacred, and, yeah, I was glad it worked. “I think originally, the Wasp was in a version of the Illuminati, and the Wasp shrunk down and flew at Wanda, and [Wanda] just clapped her hands and just smushed the Wasp in the first draft."
Palmer then expressed the worries that he had about not being able to put that story into the movie, praising director Sam Raimi and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige for allowing them to go there, amongst others:
"Yeah, I was so scared someone was going to tell us we were going too far, and nobody ever did. Sam, you always helped us take it there. Kevin always encouraged us to push it further. Our other bosses, Louis D'Esposio, Victoria Alonso, everyone supported us every step of the way to push this movie."
Special thanks to @scarletwnews on Twitter for assisting with this report.
The Wasp Cut from Doctor Strange 2 Early?
The Wasp is known as one of the first key members of the Avengers in Marvel Comics' history, having appeared alongside Ant-Man, Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk nearly 60 years ago. Although she didn't end up as a part of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it seems only right that there were conversations about putting her into the big-screen version of the Illuminati with that history.
Waldron didn't indicate whether this would have been Evangeline Lilly's Hope Van Dyne or Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet Van Dyne, although both could have made their presence felt amongst the caliber of heroes in the Illuminati. In a group that already paid tribute to the earliest modern Marvel movies with Patrick Stewart's Professor X, this could have tied back to the comics in its own unique way.
This also shows just how far Sam Raimi and Kevin Feige were willing to go with bringing the Illuminati into play for the MCU. While the Wasp may not have worked out this time, there's certainly the option to use the Wasp in future Multiversal stories should the opportunity arise.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+.