The man with the Time Stone would have been "out of time" should the hotly sought-after creative team have gotten their hands on the comic book character.

It turns out that famed author and producer Neil Gaiman once pitched a 'Doctor Strange' movie concept to Marvel, but the project never came to fruition. Should his idea have been made, he would have recruited Guillermo del Toro as the fantasy adventure's director.

Gaiman, whose most recent TV production 'The Sandman' is making waves across the streaming service world, recently appeared on Josh Horowitz's 'Happy Sad Confused' podcast where he revealed the project of his career that never came to be.

Gaiman's concept for the eventual Sorceror Supreme would have initially been set in the 1920s with the magical character lying dormant in New York City's Sanctum Sanctorum until the franchise entered the present day.

Gaiman told the podcast host of his initial Marvel pitch, speaking with Marvel Cinematic Universe boss Kevin Feige in 2007. But at this time, the MCU was just beginning to kick off, concentrating on the "core" characters of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. He said "Kevin and I have spoken a few times over the years on things" and suggested to him "I could do Doctor Strange with Guillermo". Feige, however, said "Doctor Strange is way up the line. We don't want to go there", and the idea was forgotten about.

The Neil Gaiman idea was years ahead of Marvel, as Doctor Strange didn't get introduced until the Scott Derrickson-helmed 2016 film starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The character's film was the first time the MCU began to introduce the concept of magic, however Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda, who would go on to become the villain in 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness', was introduced before this in 2015's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'.

Gaiman expanded on his idea: "The one thing that we really wanted to do was have his adventures, have him become an alcoholic and a disbarred physician, all that sort of stuff, happen in the 1920s. [...]

"So the idea is that he went through all of that and the training to become the world's greatest magician maybe in the early '30s, late '20s, and he's been living in Greenwich Village for 90 years looking the same in his place, and nobody really notices. We just sort of liked that idea, and he would have been sort of out of time. But other than that, it would have just been very sort of Steve Ditko [co-creator of the character] because, you know, that's the best."

Neil Gaiman would go on to have some of his works turned into live-action TV series, including 'Lucifer', 'American Gods', 'Good Omens' and his latest one, 'The Sandman'.