Deadline reports that Marvel Studios has finally found their Dr. Strange! Worldwide superstar Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast as the Sorcerer Supreme, set to get his own MCU solo-picture in 2016.
Last week Marvel Studios was down to three candidates to play the good Doctor; Ewan McGregor, Keenu Reeves, and Cumberbatch.
Joaquin Phoenix was originally in talks around the time of San Diego Comic Con, but those quickly fell through, focusing Marvel on the three aforementioned actors.
I think Cumberbatch is a perfect choice; he has a certain darkness with a unique strangeness all his own.
Though Cumberbatch recently told the media that he wanted to play a dummy as not to be typecast after playing the world’s greatest detective Sherlock Holmes on ‘Sherlock,’ a villain with super intelligence Khan on ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ and the genius Alan Turing in November’s ‘The Imitation Game.’
Dr. Strange is no dummy. He’s a former neurosurgeon who serves as the protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats.
2016’s ‘Dr. Strange’ will not be an origin story, but will introduce the hero who is likely to share the screen with other Avengers in ‘Avengers 3.’
Cumberbatch has the acting chops to bring a hero to life that shares some similarities with Sherlock and Khan’s personalities/intellect. Along with his having the look of Dr. Strange, I think Cumberbatch as Strange will make for the most accurate superhero casting since Robert Downey Jr became Tony Stark (again, RDJ had the look and the attitude to nail the character).
I may be a bit biased. Cumberbatch has been a favorite of mine since ‘Sherlock,’ only becoming more endearing after playing one of the decades best villains in ‘Star Trek.’ He even nails smaller parts like his role in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ and more difficult motion-capture performances like Smaug the dragon in ‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ and ‘The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.’
Dr. Strange fits Marvel’s MO; turning a lesser to not-at-all known character into box office gold. Marvel Studios started down this road in 2008, turning B-lister Iron Man into the biggest Marvel franchise at any movie studio without ‘Avengers’ in the title. After doing the same with ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’, Marvel Studios turned the completely unheard of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ into a franchise bigger than Marvel’s classic A-list hero, Spider-Man.
Marvel hopes to continue the pattern with ‘Ant-Man’ in August 2015 and ‘Dr. Strange’ in 2016 (the year Marvel will also release ‘Captain America 3’ featuring RDJ).
While ‘Guardians’ pulled off the biggest domestic gross of the year without a star, the worldwide recognition of Benedict Cumberbatch gives ‘Dr. Strange’ a head-start.
For those unfamiliar with the character, Dr. Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme dealing the more magical realms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I predict that a character who deals with the ‘magic’ of the MCU knows a thing or two about the Infinity Stones, making ‘Dr. Strange’ the perfect film to introduce another one of the gems Thanos needs for his Infinity Gauntlet.
I’ve been hoping for Cumberbatch to join the MCU since the original ‘Dr. Strange’ rumors at Comic Con. I always wanted him to play a 007 Baddie, but I can’t complain when he is in franchises like ‘Star Trek’ and the chapters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Plus, ‘Sherlock’ is still the best show on television. Let’s hope ‘Dr. Strange’ doesn’t prevent future seasons of that fantastic BBC show.
Cumberbitches rejoice! (Not a derogatory remark, as I consider myself one.)
The game is afoot!