Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse originally included a cameo by none other than Doctor Strange. The animated Spider-Man movie is set to arrive in theaters this weekend and the buzz , thus far, has been extremely positive. It should, at the very least, be enough to tide Marvel fans over until Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home arrive next year. While this is mostly a Spidey standalone (featuring several different versions of the character), it turns out, the universe was originally going to expand.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo behind The LEGO Movie, are on board as producers on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Lord helped pen the screenplay alongside Rodney Rothman and, like most major projects in Hollywood, it went through several revisions before reaching its final form. As Lord reveals, the initial draft ended with the Sorcerer Supreme making an appearance. Here's what he had to say about it.
"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.'"
As it is, Doctor Strange does not appear in the movie, but this is a tantalizing prospect for Marvel fans. Strange and Peter Parker have teamed up several times in the pages of Marvel Comics. They first met in The Amazing Spider-Man #109 and later went on to pair up in several other notable collaborations, such as 1992's one-off graphic novel, The Way to Dusty Death. The two also shared a good chunk of screen time in last year's Infinity War. Unfortunately, we're not going to see an animated version of Doctor Strange on the big screen this weekend.
Sony is behind Spider-Verse and they're already hatching plans for a sequel, as well as a Spider-Woman spin-off. Unfortunately, Marvel Studios owns the rights to most every other Marvel character, such as Doctor Strange. So to have included this cameo would have meant cutting a deal. Though, Sony has worked well with Marvel Studios in the past, as they made a deal to have Spider-Man appear alongside the other Avengers in the MCU. So it's not unthinkable that they could have worked something out for this cameo. But that cameo surely would have had implications for the sequel.
Early buzz on the movie, even without Doctor Strange, has been quite strong. As it stands, the animated Spidey flick has a 99 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with just a single negative review counted so far. Perhaps Sony can cut a deal to get Doctor Strange in on the action for another animated movie down the line. For now, all we can do is wonder what could have been, but it's cool to know this idea was even being floated. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hits theaters on December 14. This news was first reported by Den of Geek.