Several Marvel characters from previous projects including Charles Xavier and Black Bolt returned in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, introducing the general public to a live-action rendition of the Illuminati. John Krasinski, who plays Reed Richards, the founder of the Fantastic Four, and Hayley Atwell, who made her premiere as Captain Carter, are further recent recruits to the superteam. Not to mention Lashana Lynch’s introduction as Captain Marvel. Recently, we have learned that there was another hero who was under consideration for the cast of the movie. It was none other than… The Wasp! However, he was later scrubbed from the final script. Here are the details:
What writer Michael Waldron said about the Wasp storyline:
Head writer Michael Waldron provided information about the Wasp’s original involvement in the movie as part of the audio commentary for Doctor Strange 2’s digital release. “Yeah, I think I watched Aliens and was just thinking about the way those Marines get massacred, and, yeah, I was glad it worked. I think originally, the Wasp was in a version of the Illuminati, and the Wasp shrunk down and flew at Wanda, and [Wanda] just clapped her hands and just smushed the Wasp in the first draft”.
The discussion was recorded with Waldron and Strange producer Richie Palmer, who said that Waldron definitely chased very aggressive goals with his writings. “Those Jonathan Hickman Illuminati comics were some of the greatest comics ever written, I think those New Avengers comics from the Secret Wars era,” Palmer adds. “But, Michael, I remember reading your first draft of the Illuminati stuff and just bring in disbelief, going, ‘She kills all the Illuminati? He had her kill all the Illuminati. We’re never going to be able to do this. Wait, can we do this? I wish we could do this'”.
Was the Wasp cut from Doctor Strange 2 too soon?
Along with Ant-Man, Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk, The Wasp was one of the founding members of the Avengers in Marvel Comics. With that background, it was only fitting that there were discussions about having her on the big-screen Illuminati, even if she was ultimately dropped from the script. Although both Evangeline Lilly and Michelle Pfeiffer may have distinguished themselves among the champions of the Illuminati, Waldron did not specify whether it would have been one of them. This could have made a special linkage to the comic books in a group that already honoured the first contemporary Marvel movies with Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. This demonstrates how far Sam Raimi and Kevin Feige were ready to go in order to include the Illuminati in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although the Wasp didn’t get included this time, it’s still possible that it will be deployed in future Multiversal storylines if the chance comes up.