Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness wasn't quite the wild ride through alternate realities many fans expected, but Earth-838 certainly offered its fair share of surprises. It was on that world we met The Illuminati, a group of "heroes" who had taken matters into their own hands when the Doctor Strange they knew very nearly caused an Incursion.
The group was made up of Professor X, Mister Fantastic, Black Bolt, Captain Carter, Captain Marvel, and Master Mordo. It's previously been reported that Bruce Campbell was tapped to play Balder the Brave before Marvel Studios decided to make The Illuminati a little more star-studded, hence why John Krasinski and Anson Mount were last-minute additions to the sequel.
Since then, it's been reported that Daniel Craig was the original choice to play Thor's brother. Apparently, the actor dropped out due to concerns surrounding the pandemic, and we now have confirmation that the former James Bond was indeed considered.
Artist Darrell Warner has shared his Balder design, confirming this Variant's costume never went beyond this stage. It's a real shame we didn't get to see this, though an argument could be made that having the No Time to Die star die at the Scarlet Witch's hands after a few minutes of screentime would have been a tremendous waste.
Hopefully, Marvel Studios will revisit the idea of Balder and casting Craig in the not-too-distant future. The Asgardian has never appeared in the MCU despite being a big part of Thor's journey on the page, and it appears the Doctor Strange sequel is the closest we've come to seeing him on screen.
Take a closer look at what might have been in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness below, and let us know your thoughts on this Balder Variant in the comments section.