Jessica Chastain turned down a role in Doctor Strange because she had her sights set on a bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The two-time Oscar nominee was approached by Scott Derrickson, who directed the 2016 fantasy blockbuster starring Benedict Cumberbatch, to play the role of Christine Palmer.
Palmer is a surgeon and the girlfriend of Stephen Strange, who helps him recover after his devastating car accident. However, she dumps him after an argument over their relationship, but the pair eventually reunite when Strange becomes a sorcerer. Palmer saves his life when he’s badly injured during a fight with villain Kaecilius.
Doctor Strange writer C. Robert Cargill revealed during an interview on the Junkfood Cinema podcast that he and Derrickson wanted Chastain for the role, but she candidly turned them down, leading them to cast Rachel McAdams instead.
“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. I know this happened with Scott. He went to Jessica Chastain to get her on Doctor Strange, because we were considering her,” he explained.
“And 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.’ And that was the coolest rejection ever.”
Chastain went on to star in last year’s X-Men spin-off Dark Phoenix, in which she played the leader of an alien shape-shifting race.
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