Prior to joining 20th Century's X-Men franchise, actress Jessica Chastain was offered a rather substantial role in Doctor Strange. In a recent podcast stop, Doctor Strange scribe C. Robert Cargill revealed Chastain was initially up for the role of Christine Palmer, a role that eventually went to Rachel McAdams. According to Cargill, Chastain passed on the role because she was interested in playing a caped superhero. Not long after Doctor Strange entered theaters, Chastain boarded Fox's Dark Phoenix as a shape-shifting alien named Vuk.
“This is the interesting thing that Hollywood’s starting to find out, is that a lot of the actresses out there want to be superheroes as much as the actors do," Cargill said on Junkfood Cinema. "I know this happened with Scott [Derrickson]. He went to Jessica Chastain to get her on Doctor Strange, because we were considering her. She’s like, ‘Hey, look, this project sounds awesome, and I would love to do it. But I’m only going to get one shot at being in a Marvel film and becoming a Marvel character; and I trained in ballet, and I really want to wear a cape.’"
Cargill called it the coolest rejection ever, adding the actor "wanted to be in a Marvel movie, but she wanted to be the superhero, not the badass doctor Night Nurse.”
McAdams' Palmer served in a Night Nurse-like capacity in Doctor Strange but seemingly won't be reappearing in Doctor Strange 2, per previous reports. Speaking of which, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently on track to launch filming this June, all things considered. Marvel insiders have suggested that the studio is still working on pre-production remotely despite all production halting.
Doctor Strange is now streaming on Disney+.
Other upcoming MCU movies include The Eternals on November 6, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Black Widow has yet to set a new release date after being delayed indefinitely.