According to recent rumours, Daniel Craig backed out of a major Illuminati cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness owing to COVID-19 issues. Craig is most recognised for playing James Bond’s latest incarnation, 007, in the modern James Bond film series. The actor was supposed to participate in the Shakespearean production Macbeth on Broadway in April but had to cancel after testing positive for COVID-19.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel’s latest film, features a slew of unexpected cameos and appearances. Fans and critics have liked seeing new faces in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from John Krasinski as Reed Richards to Hayley Atwell as Captain Carter. Still, there were a slew of additional Doctor Strange 2 cameos that never materialised, including Tom Cruise as Tony Stark/Iron Man. In addition, it appears that the James Bond star was planning to appear in an Illuminati film.
Justin Kroll of Deadline revealed an interesting nugget on Twitter, revealing that Craig backed out of a huge Illuminati cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. “Krasinski wasn’t the first choice” for the Illuminati part, according to Kroll, meaning Craig was originally cast as Mr. Fantastic. Craig, on the other hand, backed out due to an increase in COVID instances since he didn’t want to risk infecting his family. Check out Kroll’s Twitter post about Craig’s decision to drop out of Doctor Strange 2:
Krasinski wasn’t the first choice; the actor who was supposed to play the character was all set to film as COVID instances increased, but he backed out since he was living in London and didn’t think the quick shoot was worth the risk of bringing COVID back to the family.
Although Kroll implies that Craig was originally cast as Mr. Fantastic, other theories claim that he was cast as the Asgardian Balder the Brave. Balder is Thor’s half-brother and is based on the Norse god Balder. While the character has appeared on television, he has yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and was set to do so in Doctor Strange 2. According to reports, Craig’s character was supposed to be coaxed into committing suicide by Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), but the film’s writers had to find a creative alternative after the actor dropped out. That’s when they decided to put Krasinski in the role of Reed Richards.
Craig’s inclusion to the MCU would have been intriguing, especially as he was supposed to play a brand-new character in the franchise. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Craig’s decision to leave the project was understandable. It wasn’t worth it to risk bringing COVID back to his family for a small cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. However, given the arrangements for his MCU debut have already been laid out, we may expect him to return at some point in the future.