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.
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.)
If Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t a household name before, he and the character Dr. Strange will be in 2016!
It’s no secret that I am a HUGE Benedict Cumberbatch fan, a member of a group of fans often referred to as Cumberbitches. I’m not gay (I like how every straight man has to clarify that, yet gay people never have to preface with ‘Now, I’m not straight…’), not that there is anything wrong with that. But I do have a big ole’ man crushes on Cumberbatch (and Ryan Gosling…).
SHERLOCK, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, and STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS are all golden, due to, in a big part, Cumberbatch’s performances.
As I said in my last post, my favorite scene in INTO DARKNESS is Khan’s speech about his crew, as he sheds a legitimate tear. The darkness he brings to Sherlock Holmes is equally impressive, causing me to watch every episode (especially ‘The Great Game,’ ‘A Scandal In Belgravia,’ and ‘The Reichenbach Fall’) countless times… also resulting in countless tears (I get damn emotional about my movies and TV. It’s cathartic.).
I even want to see the next two chapters of THE HOBBIT, even though though the first one bored me to tears (again, I cry), just because Cumberbatch plays Smaug and the Necromancer. Likewise, I can’t wait to see THE FIFTH ESTATE, even though I don’t give a shit about wikileaks. The man is a chameleon, one of the few actors working today that disappears into the role.
Stay with me now; there’s an amazing video after the jump!
I may be an obsessive geek (I am), but whenever I am down, lately (since it’s Bluray release) I watch my favorite scene from STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS. The characters stir up emotions I could only hope to feel.
The best scene of the summer (or year?) is the conversation between Captain Kirk and Khan in INTO DARKNESS.
I’ve watched it countless times this fall, whether drunk… or sober… really, whenever I need an escape.
Several days ago, on Monday September 16th, I waited in line twice to pick up my pre-ordered copy of GRAND THEFT AUTO V from Gamestop. First, I had to stand in line to get my group number at 6pm. Then, I had to wait in line from 11:00pm to the 12:01am Tuesday release date of the game.
I’m not complaining, bitching, or moaning; I could have (and should have) just picked up the game Tuesday morning and avoided the crowds. After all, I did preorder the game months ago; there would be a copy there waiting for me in the morning.
Though I wish to avoid all lines these days; I’ve waited in my fair share that require arrival hours in advance, whether I am waiting for a hot game system or the latest blockbuster. Each and every time I have found myself in such a line, I come across the same five geek archetypes. Without fail. Continue reading “‘Waiting for GTA V’ or ‘Types of Line Geeks’”→
First off, let’s dispel the rumor of a young Khan once and for all…
1) Khan has NO super powers. He is genetically superior to the average human, altered into a Napoleonic genius with a thirst for conquest, but he’s not psychic; he can’t cause mass destruction without a starship or army. The synopsis for INTO DARKNESS calls the villain a “one-man weapon of mass destruction.” That ain’t Khan. Some of the destruction Cumberbatch creates in the teaser is well outside the abilities of Khan.
2) Khan, at least in the original canon, was from 1999 (I believe), one of the genetic “super-humans” (again, in intellect and strength, NO actual superpowers) marooned in space after attempting to conquer Earth. That was long before Kirk or Starfleet’s time. And Cumberbatch’s character seems to want revenge against both.
THIS WOULD NOT HAVE CHANGED IN THIS NEW TIMELINE. After all, it happened long before Nero and Spock returned from the future, changing the fate of Kirk and his crew.
3) J.J. and crew would be fools to touch Khan. It’s like redoing the Joker… but Abrams is NO Christopher Nolan. Just watch the steaming pile of SUPER 8.
Now, more reasons (in addition to the ones in my past blog), why it looks to be Mitchell…
1) The girl with the blond hair (Alice Eve). Look at her. Though so-far nameless, she looks an awful like Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, the only other Enterprise crew member to receive psychic powers with Mitchell during the magnetic storm encountered while trying to exit the galaxy in THE ORIGINAL SERIES (TOS) episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”
Now, Dr. Dehner was not in the IDW comic version of “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” which is officially canon with the new timeline, so she never received powers herself. But… she has a history with Mitchell… and Bones… regardless and is key to the original episode. The only reason she is not on the ship at the time of the accident in the comic is because Bones is already the Enterprise’s top physician, at the start of the comic, where in TOS she was his predecessor.
The comic also mentions the two have had a romantic past which is why she and Bones were not both assigned to the same starship.
So what does Mitchell want with Dr. Dehner now (assuming it is Dehner)? She’s powerless. Does he love her? Do his powers allow him to somehow remember the other timeline where they were empowered together? Driving him to seek a way to transform her as well so they can be together? Or does he simply sense the minor TK (LOOPER speak for telekinesis) in her already. Either way, she’s totally in peril at some point… and is featured in the teaser more than many classic crew members.
2) Cumberbatch wears a Starfleet uniform and even is sitting in a Captain’s chair in parts of the trailer. Khan was never a part of, nor never wanted to be in Starfleet. Though he did steal the Enterprise and would destroy the rest the fleet with glee, I can’t see him dressing in uniform of his enemy. On the other hand, Mitchell is a former member of Starfleet and a personal rival of Kirk’s.
What glee it would bring Mitchell to prove he is the better Captain after all.
3) Bones said it. On a press junket for DREDD, Karl Urban aka STAR TREK’s Bones said Cumberbatch is “awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary.”
Sure, this could be misdirection, but what are the odds he would plant it months ago only to have the trailer seemingly support his claim? That’s too intricate, even for an Abrams secret.
Loose lips sink starships, Bones McCoy!
4) Mitchell’s been in the IDW comic series that is canon. Khan has not (unless he is the focus of the new “Countdown To Darkness” mini-series, in which case my theories are fucked).
Sure, he dies, but he also has powers no one, not even Spock understands. It’s not outside STAR TREK logic to think Mitchell was already unkillable when Kirk thought he did the deed. In which case, how in the world will they defeat him this time?
Maybe it’s neither Mitchell nor Khan.
What if this is what Abrams wants? All this speculation between Khan and Mitchell when it is someone completely different?
After all, how does this quote from the Japanese teaser apply to Mitchell?
“Is there anything you would not do, for your family?”
The line could simply be Mitchell questioning Kirk’s allegiance to his “family” aka crew, though it almost sounds like an explanation for his own actions. Perhaps this character is not Mitchell and is seeking revenge for his own lost family (though that’s a lil’ similiar to Nero’s plight).
I guess we’ll all know soon enough. There will be 9 minutes of INTO DARKNESS on THE HOBBIT Imax Friday, with a real trailer for the film following on the 17th.
I want to start by apologizing if this subject has already been written to death. I’m not all-too-present on the internet these days, but light research suggests very few similar articles/blogs have the same confidence and evidence that Gary Mitchell is the villain in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.
“When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.
As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.”
STAR TREK ONGOING COMIC BOOK/THE ORIGINAL SERIES SPOILERS AHEAD!
People have suggested this synopsis confirms Gary Mitchell or Khan as the film’s villain, but I think the former is the only serious candidate.
Based on this synopsis, Benedict Cumberbatch (the actor playing the villain) has got to be Gary Mitchell! He’s from their own organization, the federation, and is a “one-man weapon of mass destruction” following his mutation at the edge of the galaxy. Khan matches neither characteristic (unless he is drastically changed… which is possible…).
Both possible villains do have a very personal score to settle.
What if Mitchell returns to Earth, hailed as a first officer feared dead and given a promotion? Kirk, off “going where no man has ever gone before” can’t warn anyone as Mitchell is welcomed back, only to destroy the fleet with his even more evolved powers. The same powers Spock feared may manifest (like in TOS and the comic!).
As previously stated, Orci said the villain and other characters from the sequel would be introduced in the IDW ongoing STAR TREK comic. Gary Mitchell was the subject of issues #1 & #2, just as he was the center of the story in STAR TREK TOS’s second “1st” episode.
The only real doubt the synopsis suggests comes in its final line;
“…sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.”
I thought Kirk’s mother and (half?… step?) brother were still alive? She was simply “off planet” in the first film.
Will Kirk’s family play into the film, or am I simply reading into it too much?
After all, it could just be a sentimental reminder of the continuing “teamwork/family” theme of STAR TREK. And a reference to Kirk’s dad being dead in this timeline.
Kirk’s family could fall victim first to Mitchell, leaving the Captain only the “real” friends of the Enterprise bridge crew (after all, “real” friends don’t kill other friend’s families and colleges, Gary!).
This character could not be Gary Mitchell, and instead a different villain we’re all overlooking or have never heard of… perhaps a family member?
I suppose whatever is not revealed tomorrow in the trailer will be revealed in the STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS prelude comic from IDW.
Have you noticed a trend in your favorite blockbusters of late (well… “of late” meaning “the past 5 years or so…”)?
Are your villains more interesting? Do the actors portraying them have past Oscar nominations and/or can they overcome the action-movie stigma to achieve at least pipe-dreams of one? Are these bad guys crazier than normal? You know, more unique with a funny voice or passion for mayhem?
If you answered yes to any of those absurd questions, perhaps you, like me, feel that the past decade has produced some of the most memorable and unique villains in the history of cinema. (No, not just memorable because they’re recent, memorable because they’re so good it feels like they have some real staying power.)
2012 alone has been particularly giving, including last weekend’s SKYFALL, anchored by villain Javier Bardem. I’d like to take this time in “movie villain history” to recall past favorite villains of mine and compare them to the current crop that catch audience’s eyes for their originality (like Bane… that is some really bizarre shit).
Patterns will quickly emerge, suggesting that these modern villains we love to love for their originality, actually share quite a bit in common with one another. It’s less that each breaks the mold, more that each fits the current mold; a mold that itself has evolved from what came before. Even the mold is not original, it has simply built on our past, perfecting the traits of a great villains past rather than inventing them.
My personal favorite antagonists from decades past range from those widely-considered classics to a few lesser appreciated gems (especially recently)*:
*I am a lover of film, but I am also only 24 years old, so I apologize if my naturally limited knowledge of films before the 70s cause me to leave out an obvious villain for this list. Likewise, I am writing this all in one night (instead of sleeping); I’m confident that later today I will be like “oh fuck, I can’t believe I forgot ___________!”
*Also, to set up some sort of limits as to what qualifies as a villain/antagonist/bad guy, I’ve decided to draw the line at live-action man. No sharks a la JAWS, dinosaurs a la JURASSIC PARK, no machines a la 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and no animated baddies like Gollum. After all, though many (including myself) would argue three of the four preceding examples are incredibly emotive/iconic in their execution, are they really the same as an actor doin’ their thang’?
*Finally, to simplify shit even further, I eliminated any characters who may be imaginary, a la FIGHT CLUB.
TOP CLASSIC BADDIES
1964 – Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) – Really set the mold for the classic Bond villain better than DR. NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE had established before. Besides keeping a light and witty rapport with the hero, Goldfinger seems to take great pleasure in his own eccentricities, something we will see time and time again in the Bond universe and elsewhere.
It is this pleasure in action I am trying to drive home today, this aspect that is essential for an interesting antagonist today.
1977, 1980, 1983 – Darth Vader, uhhhh I’m not even gonna say what movie he’s from cause I’m insulted – Obvious choice. No one is more ruthless than him. None more iconic. He’ll death grip the shit out of his own men. And look great doing it. The guy to imitate when it comes to getting results from your henchmen.
And even back in his day we were using tricks like interesting voices and masks (again, see Bane) to give villains identity in a world full of ’em.
1981 – Dr. Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman), RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK – Rene Belloq is my favorite type of villain, the doppelganger; that is, a baddie who is very similar to our hero/nearly the mirror opposite. Belloq and Indiana Jones are both archaeologists, peers in their field, but they differ in methods. As Belloq tells Jones, “I am but a shadowy reflection of you, it would take only a nudge to make you like me.”
1982 – Khan (Ricardo Montalban), STAR TREK II: WRATH OF KHAN – It never hurts to make it personal, not for the audience at least.
Not JAWS 3 or TAKEN-I-want-my-daughter personal. More like the villain feels as though the protagonist has personally wronged them, personal. So, rather than the good guy going on a rampage limited by what makes him a good guy, you have a sadistic madman who don’t give a shit ’bout no’body out to settle a score, and no one will stand in his way. When this happens, there are no Innocent and the world (and/or the universe) burns.
So is the case with Kahn who seeks revenge on Kirk for marooning him on a baron planet, and so will be the case with one of the top villains of 2012.
1987 – Joshua (Gary Busey) with an assist by Endo, LETHAL WEAPON – Joshua is perfect parts crazy and loyal as proved by the classic flame-to-arm scene. Besides, it’s hard to forget that crazy cop on crazy mercenary beat-down with Riggs (Mel Gibson). Joshua would also be considered a doppelganger for Riggs (noticing some patterns here?).
And as far as Endo goes, one need only quote Mr. Joshua, “Endo here has forgotten more about dispensing pain than you and I will ever know.”
Live or die by that reputation, Endo.
Live or die.
1988 – Hans Gruber, DIE HARD – Fine, I admit that so far, very few of my choice are controversial or unknown. Don’t worry, that comes later, like in the 90s where nostalgia clouds my judgement.
Characters popular in the 80s are in-proportionality represented on this list because it’s a personal favorite time period in cinema. Like today, villains were quirky and took great joy in their “work.” Gruber didn’t just have a killer, well thought-out master-plan; he also had fun! (Sound familiar?)
1989 – The Joker (Jack Nicholson), BATMAN – Really, who has more fun killing people than the Joker? The Joker is supposed to be having the time of his life, even when things don’t go according to plan. Jack doesn’t disappoint, though his version still pales in comparison to that of Mark Hamill. Goddamn it though if the man doesn’t commit.
1989 – The South African Consulate’s Minister of Affairs and his Henchmen, LETHAL WEAPON 2 – “Diplomatic Immunity,” really says it all, don’t it?
(Answer: “Yes, it don’t. It really don’t.”)
A little advice, don’t kill the hot South African chick Riggs is fucking AND THEN tell him you murdered his wife. That is, unless you want your house pulled down a mountain.
That shit’s just super personal, and Riggs goes the appropriate amount of ape shit, like 007 post-Vesper.
NOSTALGIA SETS IN: VILLAINS FROM MY FORMATIVE YEARS
1995 – Alec Trevelyan aka 006 aka Janus (Sean Bean), GOLDENEYE – There’s a reason 006 was/possibly is still my favorite Bond villain. Again, everything’s super-personal (he’s Bond’s old friend, plus Bond scarred him by “setting the timers for 3 instead of 6.” He knows MI6 and is another perfect example of a doppelganger (perhaps the most perfect as Bean was nearly hired as Bond). All the correct chips are in play, driven home by all the witty banter between “006” and 007, up until the end.
millennium006 shares quite a few similarities with the still to be discussed Silva from SKYFALL, and is certainty a precursor for the new villain. His past drives him a different direction than “For Queen and Country” Bond, feeling a similar need for revenge to that of Javier Bardem’s character.
1995 – John Doe (don’t wanna spoil the surprise), SEVEN – He’s certainly one of the most quirky/sadistic killers on film. And he knows how to deliver an unbelievable third act, important for any villain worth his salt (if that is even a saying).
Returning our attention to 006, while he’s always great, but it’s the combo of an incredibly strong introduction action scene and the finale showdown that cement his role in 007 history. Likewise, with an ending like that of SEVEN, I doubt we’ll forget this serial killer soon.
1997 – Edgar (Vincent D’Onofrio), MEN IN BLACK – Really, unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, D’Onofrio’s performance of a space roach in an “Edgar” suit still astounds. Certainly one of the most “out there” threats. Again, fun work with the acting and voice make for fun times at cinemas.
1998 – Don Rafeal Montero (Stuart Wilson) & Captain Love (Matt Letscher), THE MASK OF ZORRO – Double the doppelgangers, double the fun!
With old Zorro facing his old arch-nemesis (who just happened to accidentally murder his wife then intentionally -d’uh – steal his daughter) and new Zorro facing his brother’s killer, after years of training and dreams of revenge. Really, Nick Doll’s wet-dream.
From the director of the aforementioned GOLDENEYE and CASINO ROYALE, Martin Campbell, I like to think of MASK OF ZORRO as the movie Campbell made simple because he couldn’t, at that juncture, make a 007 movie. ZORRO follows all the rules of 007 from the detective work, to the “Bond” girl, to a madman with a country changing plot, Don Rafeal Montero, his lead henchman, Captain Love, and an epic, explosive finale.
2002 – Norman Osbourne (Willem Dafoe) aka The Green Goblin, SPIDER-MAN – “Work was murder”
Now, there’s an actor who chewed the scenery in the best way possible. Whether realistic or not, Dafoe’s approach to the over-the-top Green Goblin set the standard for modern comic book movie villains like those of the AVENGERS and DARK KNIGHT.
Limited by an expressionless mask, Dafoe does a lot with a little. His conversation with “the Goblin” is thing of super hero movie legend, making it ok for mechanical arms, black goo, sand, and lizards to talk to mad scientists in SPIDER-MAN sequels for years to come.
Talking to yourself is a unique place to go with your villain, and comics like Spider-Man nearly demand it. What is most important and fun about the character though is, again, the extreme joy felt by “Gobby” whilst terrorizing Spider-Man and New York. This really laid the groundwork for silver screen villains like Loki.
If they were to cast Norman Osbourne in the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 tomorrow, I’d insist it remain Willem Dafoe. He embodied a comic character perfectly even before RDJ ever became Tony Stark.
We’ll continue this analysis of the modern blockbuster villain as derived from his aforementioned history next time on BREAKING GEEK in “A Better Class Of Criminal: Part II” including the final era of movie villains, “Adult” Life: Nearly Modern To Today… And Beyond!
Find out what Bane, Joker, and Silva all have in common!
Find out which villainous strategy is hot, hot hot! (clue: Joker, Bane, Loki, and Silva all recommend it!)