After a rolodex of names – which included Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice), Ryan Gosling (Drive), Jared Leto (Suicide Squad), Tom Hardy (The Drop), Justin Theroux (HBO’s The Leftovers), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood) and Keanu Reeves (John Wick) – Benedict Cumberbatch was the latest actor to be rumored to take the role of Doctor Strange. Still, most people took a “wait and see” approach with Cumberbatch, having seen how talks between Joaquin Phoenix and Marvel broke down when it seemed promising. Well now the skepticism can be laid to rest, as Cumberbatch has been officially chosen to play Marvel’s Doctor Strange.
Cumberbatch’s name had been attached to the role of Strange from as far back as October, but at that point he was merely a candidate amongst the group of aforementioned names. Internet chatter for the actor only started to heighten a month ago when it seemed he had become the clear favorite.
Although Cumberbatch is already a pretty well known name in the industry, the actor’s profile should get raised even more during awards season, as he is expected to be in the running for best actor awards for his role as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. For the flamboyant Doctor Strange, a neurosurgeon who becomes an all-powerful sorcerer who rids the world of evil forces, Cumberbatch could draw upon the eccentric characters he’s played in the past, most famously that of Sherlock Holmes for BBC’s Sherlock.
Doctor Strange will be directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister) and is set to be released November 4th, 2016. It will be part of Marvel’s phase three of superhero films.