With a revolving door of A-list names constantly being attached to the coveted role of Marvel’s Doctor Strange – including Joaquin Phoenix, Colin Farrell (In Bruges), Ewan McGregor (August: Osage County), Ryan Gosling (Drive), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), Tom Hardy (The Drop), and Keanu Reeves (John Wick) – it seems the studio may have finally found their man. Deadline reports that Benedict Cumberbatch is in negotiations to play Doctor Strange for Marvel.
Cumberbatch had long been one of the names being floated around for the role, but those rumors seemingly ended when it appeared that Marvel had secured Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice) to play the eccentric sorcerer. Phoenix and Marvel ultimately ended talks, reportedly due to the multi-film commitment it expects from its leads, which left the studio going back to the rolodex for another leading man whom they felt could sell the role.
Cumberbatch has amassed a pretty impressive resume, playing some of the most sought after roles in Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He’s played Khan, Smaug, and Sherlock Holmes, and is even voicing the other Khan – Shere – for the upcoming Jungle Book reboot, Jungle Book: Origins. His profile may become even higher during this year’s awards season, as Cumberbatch is one of the awards favorites for his work as the British code-breaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.
Doctor Strange will be directed by Scott Derrickson, previously known for his work in horror (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil) and written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). Doctor Strange is based off the Marvel comics following the exploits of a neurosurgeon who becomes an all-powerful sorcerer after a debilitating car crash, entrusted with protecting mankind against evil and mystical forces. Comic fans have been closely monitoring any new casting and production news regarding the popular character. There was even a brief allusion to the Doctor in this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which left the internet buzzing and hopeful that some major news would be breaking soon regarding the project.