Jessica Chastain turned down 'Doctor Strange' role with the 'coolest rejection ever', says writer

Tom Beasley
Actress Jessica Chastain poses for photographers on arrival at the European Premiere of the film 'It Chapter 2' in central London on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)

Jessica Chastain turned down a role in Marvel blockbuster Doctor Strange because she really wanted to wear a cape, writer C. Robert Cargill has revealed.

In an interview on the Junkfood Cinema podcast, Cargill said that Chastain was offered the role of Christine Palmer by director Scott Derrickson.

The role was ultimately played by Rachel McAdams in the 2016 film, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch as the eponymous sorcerer.

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Cargill said: “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. I trained in ballet, and I really want to wear a cape.’”

Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams in 'Doctor Strange'. (Credit: Disney/Marvel)

Cargill described Chastain’s comments as the “coolest rejection ever” as he recounted the story.

The 44-year-old writer said: “She wanted to be in a Marvel movie, but she wanted to be the superhero, not the badass doctor Night Nurse.”

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Chastain would ultimately go on to play a comic book role, appearing in X-Men sequel Dark Phoenix as the shape-shifting villain Vuk.

But the door is still open for her to make the move over to the MCU in a hero role, if the opportunity ever arises.

Jessica Chastain as Vuk in 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix'. (Credit: Fox/Marvel)

Cumberbatch is set to return as the Sorcerer Supreme in sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which currently has a May 2021 release date in place.

Derrickson had originally been set to direct the follow-up, but exited in January as a result of “creative differences”.

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Cumberbatch reprised the role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Chastain, meanwhile, starred in It Chapter Two last year and will next appear in a biopic of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker.