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This James Bond Alum Was Reportedly Set To Play A Key Illuminati Role In Doctor Strange 2

Marvel's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is stuffed with shocking moments, unexpected twists, and surprise comic book cameos. That said, none of the film's scenes or set-pieces have caused quite as much of a commotion amongst comic book readers as its Illuminati sequence. The section in question comes around the halfway point of "Multiverse of Madness" and sees Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) end up in a universe where Earth isn't governed by the Avengers, the X-Men, or S.H.I.E.L.D., but by a mysterious organization known as the Illuminati.

The powerful team's lineup includes notable comic book heroes like Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), and Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A Captain Marvel variant of Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) is also a member of the team, as is a version of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) who became the world's first Avenger instead of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). The most surprising member of the Illuminati, however, is Reed Richards. The iconic Marvel hero is played in the film by "The Office" star John Krasinski, and his cameo in "Multiverse of Madness" marks the first time that any member of the Fantastic Four has appeared in the MCU.

Predictably, Krasinski's appearance in the film has caused quite the stir among MCU fans. However, it sounds like Krasinski may not have been who Marvel Studios always wanted to play Reed Richards in "Multiverse of Madness."

Daniel Craig was reportedly Marvel's original choice to play Reed Richards

In a recent tweet, Deadline Senior Film Reporter Justin Kroll claimed that John Krasinski was not Marvel Studios' "first choice" to play Reed Richards in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Instead, Kroll says that Marvel originally intended to have former James Bond actor Daniel Craig appear as the Fantastic Four leader in the film, but those plans changed when Craig backed out of the project because he didn't want to risk getting COVID-19 and giving it to his family.

In a follow-up tweet, Kroll reiterated that Craig was going to appear in "Multiverse of Madness" but decided that a cameo appearance wasn't worth the risk of possibly infecting himself or his family members with COVID-19. Notably, Kroll divulged all of this information in response to another tweet that discussed how the Illuminati scenes in "Multiverse of Madness" were shot in pieces due to certain actors' conflicting schedules. That said, until someone involved in "Multiverse of Madness" actually comes out and confirms that Craig was originally set to star in the film, it's probably best to treat this information as an unconfirmed rumor for the time being.

Regardless of whether it's true or not though, this story will likely come as a surprise to most Marvel Comics fans. Unlike Krasinski, who has had comic book readers fan-casting him as Reed Richards for years, Craig's name has never really entered any conversation about the Fantastic Four. That makes him a bit of an unexpected choice to play Reed Richards, and he doesn't really resemble the comic book character either.

Nonetheless, it seems safe to assume that, if Craig had shown up as Reed Richards in "Multiverse of Madness," it likely would have ranked as the film's biggest surprise.