Neil Gaiman Doctor Strange Movie Pitch Was Rejected


Neil Gaiman has revealed that he made a Doctor Strange movie pitch to Marvel which sounded incredible, but the studio ended up rejecting it. He revealed this during an interview with Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, and I have to say that his movie pitch sounded pretty darn incredible. You can make your minds up for yourselves when we detail what Gaiman’s idea for the Sorcerer Supreme was below.

However, before we get into all of that, let’s talk about the British comic book writer’s recent success. Gaiman is easily one of the world’s most well-known writers. However, he’s been struggling for years to try and get his graphic novel, The Sandman, to the big or small screen. The Sandman series was finally released on Netflix this year, and it’s been a huge success. That’s what he was talking about with Josh Horowitz, and I’m so happy that he finally managed to get The Sandman adapted into live-action.

Why did Marvel reject Neil Gaiman’s Doctor Strange movie pitch?

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However, during that interview, Gaiman was asked to elaborate on his Doctor Strange movie pitch. He had an idea for a movie with the Sorcerer Supreme, but it turns out that Marvel didn’t like the idea. However, the movie had a lot of big names interested in working on it, including Guillermo Del Toro, who really liked Gaiman’s idea. Here’s what the famous author had to say about rejected Doctor Strange movie pitch:

Kevin and I have spoken a few times over the years on things. The only one that I wish, although, odds are probably, I think the way they did it commercially was better than…but I remember back in 2007, having minimalistic conversations with Kevin Feige about ‘What about Doctor Strange?’

Then talking to Guillermo Del Toro, and Guillermo and I having these ideas about Doctor Strange and starting the beginning, me starting the beginning of the conversation with Kevin about ‘I could do Doctor Strange with Guillermo.’

And basically, they said, ‘We just want to concentrate on the core characters right now. Doctor Strange is way up the line. We don’t want to go there.’

Neil’s Doctor Strange movie idea sounded incredible

Neil Gaiman Doctor Strange movie idea

Credit: Marvel Studios

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So, yes, Marvel was already planning something with the Sorcerer Supreme, and that resulted in Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange movie. That movie was released in 2016, and we then got a sequel this year in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which was directed by Sam Raimi. However, Gaiman‘s take on the character apparently would have been much darker, with a focus on his flaws and a lot of visual inspiration from co-creator Steve Ditko:

There were some cool things in it. My favourite Doctor Strange thing was the idea of…the one thing that we really wanted to do was have his adventures, have him become an alcoholic and a disbarred physician, all that sort of stuff, happen in the 1920s.

So the idea is that he went through all of that and the training to become the world’s greatest magician maybe in the early ’30s, late ’20s, and he’s been living in Greenwich Village for 90 years looking the same in his place, and nobody really notices.

We just sort of liked that idea, and he would have been sort of out of time. But other than that, it would have just been very sort of Steve Ditko because, you know, that’s the best.

What do you make of this news? Do you wish you could have seen Gaiman’s Doctor Strange movie on the big screen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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