Say What: Marvel Rejected Neil Gaiman And Guillermo del Toro For Doctor Strange

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Today in “why did you have to reveal that information”, in association with “we could have had it all”, comes to you some Marvel news that will possibly break your hearts.

There was a moment in time where Marvel considered Doctor Strange to be the one to kickstart the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It would have been one hell of a beginning, considering the mystical, cosmic, and overall mind-blowing nature of Doctor Strange. Even better, said Strange movie was going to be written by – and you better lay down for this – Neil Gaiman and directed by Guillermo del Toro.

I repeat: we could have had a Doctor Strange movie from the genius of Gaiman and the artistry of del Toro. Clearly, we can’t have it all.

Gaiman and del Toro met with Marvel back in the day, but the studio turned them down thinking fans wouldn’t be interested.

Excuse me, Marvel.


Look, Marvel. I love you, but geek heaven knows we have had our differences in the past and here goes another.

How in the world could you think humanity wouldn’t be interested in a movie about the Sorcerer Supreme, written by one of the most exceptional writers in the present day, and one of the most talented directors on Earth?!

The Doctor Strange comics are a visual delight, with tons of colour and psychedelic vibe all over it. It pains me to know that Guillermo del Toro could have made the Quantum Realm, alternate realities, the Sorcerer Supreme, Dormammu, and Clea happen, with a dark and rich story from the mind of Neil Gaiman. The perfection is too much to imagine. For real.

On the bright side, the project ended up in the hands of Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose), who is a wise choice too. Doctor Strange explores magic, mysticism, and realms that the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t touched yet; Scott Derrickson knows his ways through these elements as well as through darker tones, meaning he will bring a darker vibe to the MCU (or so I hope!).

Yes, I am heartbroken that we never got a chance to see what Gaiman and del Toro could have brought to the MCU – though there are other Marvel characters they could bring to life, many of them dark enough for Guillermo to be interested. And yes, the movie is in great hands now, so my heart is healing.

Also, as Comicbookmovie points out, had their project been approved, it could have gone the Ant-Man way, being constantly delayed and ultimately re-written (we don’t talk about the Edgar Wright/Ant-Man issue anymore, ok?).

Still, I’m not losing hope on these two brilliant minds coming together again for a Marvel movie someday.