On Thursday, Marvel announced that actor Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing Doctor Strange in an upcoming movie that is currently in the planning stages. It has been rumored for several months that Marvel was seeking to sign the Sherlock and Imitation Game actor to play Doctor Strange, and now, it has finally been confirmed that Cumberbatch will be the comic book master of the occult.
In the Doctor Strange comic books, Dr. Stephen Strange was originally a neurosurgeon before he became a world renowned master of the occult arts and superhero after he gets involved in a car accident. He gets put in charge of nothing less than the safety of the entire Earth and everyone and everything on it. He earns the title of Sorcerer Supreme, and kicks butt by using his magical talents, and also drawing on the mystical powers of various items and beings in his ongoing efforts to defend our planet from harm.
To pull off a character who is larger-than-life but who could potentially become a parody of himself, like in the case of Doctor Strange, “requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity,” according to producer and Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige. Benedict Cumberbatch is more than equal to the task, having played a multitude of roles in past TV series and movies.
Marvel’s Doctor Strange film adaptation is expected to hit movie theaters on Novmeber 4, 2016. The movie’s director will be Sinister‘s Scott Derrickson. Besides Feige producing, the screenplay writer will be John Spaihts, who also wrote the screenplay for Prometheus.
Benedict Cumberbatch is in the movie, The Imitation Game, as Alan Turing, a person who was instrumental in cracking the WWII Enigma Code. He has also acted in 12 Years a Slave, Star Trek: Into Darkness movie, added his vocal talents to characters in Penguins of Madagascar, and is the voice of Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit trilogy.
July was when the rumors began that Benedict Cumberbatch would be taking on the cape-wearing role of Doctor Strange. When he was asked about the possibility he would be playing the role, Benedict Cumberbatch told a MTV reporter that he would not be able to play Doctor Strange because of a scheduling conflict. He said he was already set to be in Hamlet onstage during the time frame the movie would be filming. Apparently, he had been asked to play the part, as he was familiar with the time frame involved.
After Cumberbatch said he would not be able to be Doctor Strange, several other names of actors surfaced, such as those of Jared Leto and Jaoquin Phoenix. Phoenix decided to take his name out of consideration upon thinking over the lengthy commitment that would be involved to both make the initial movie, and also to star in future movies as Doctor Strange.
Reportedly, according to STASHED and other sources, actual production on the Marvel Doctor Strange movie will not begin until the fall of 2015. Currently, Benedict Cumberbatch is working on a Sherlock Christmas special, that will be on TV not this Christmas, but next year, in 2015. Then, he will be busy on set, filming a new season of Sherlock. He is not scheduled to be in the play, Hamlet, until the summer of 2015. For fans of both Benedict Cumbatch and Doctor Strange, it is great news to hear that he will be playing Doctor Strange.
By Douglas Cobb