What if… Neil Gaiman wrote a ‘Doctor Strange’ movie and Guillermo del Toro directed it?  Sadly, that’s one tale that will never be told, but could it have been?  Well, at least according to one of the creators involved, Gaiman, who tweeted a lament, expressing:

“I still wish Marvel had been interested in a [Guillermo del Toro] & me Dr Strange movie, because I wanted to write Clea so badly after 1602.”

News of this collaboration spread in the fan press almost 10 years ago, but nothing ever came of it.  At the time, the failure of the project coming together was attributed to del Toro being too busy— the same reason he recently departed the similarly-themed DC movie ‘Dark Universe’ a.k.a. ‘Justice League Dark’.

Clea from ‘1602’

Gaiman penned the ‘1602’ comic, which reimagined the Marvel Universe during the days of America’s colonization, which was published in 2003-04.  In it, Clea served as Doctor Strange’s wife, then widow, and the protector of Virginia Dare.

The current ‘Doctor Strange’ movie, directed by Scott Derrickson with a screenplay by Jon Spaihts does not seem to include Clea, Strange’s longtime love interest.  Instead, the female lead is Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer a character who is not actually affiliated with Doctor Strange in the comics.

With Gaiman’s affinity for the supernatural and del Toro’s dream-like visuals, this would seemingly have been the perfect team to deliver a film based on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, but it never came to be.

Paramount picked up the rights to ‘Doctor Strange’ in 2005, but the first Marvel Studios film, ‘Iron Man’ came out in 2008 so around this time, the rights to Marvel’s library of properties were starting to return to them, after being farmed out to various studios.  Since Paramount never did anything with the ‘Strange’ rights, Marvel eventually got them back, resulting in the movie we’ll all be seeing next fall.

BUT, is Gaiman’s memory a bit flawed?  The way he says it, their ‘Doctor Strange’ was pitched but passed on.  But according to del Toro, this may have been built up over time.

“When Neil Gaiman was visiting [the set of] Hellboy II, he literally said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to do Dr Strange together?” and I said, “Yeah that would be cool.” (laughs) That was the extent of the discussion, and then four or five weeks later it was like “Neil Gaiman and Guillermo Developing Dr. Strange for Marvel,” and Marvel had never heard of that development and neither have I.”

Maybe the conversation went deeper and del Toro doesn’t remember.  Or maybe Gaiman fixated on the idea to the point of building up greater than it was.

Either way, it didn’t happen and presumably never will.

Would this have made for a great movie?  Can you imagine how it would have turned out?

Source: Screen Rant