The chief creative team for Doctor Strange, one of the films announced so far as part of Marvel’s Phase III, looks to be nearly complete, as a Deadline report which pinned Jon Spaihts as the writer for the movie was all but confirmed by the man himself:
Doctor Strange was always my favorite Marvel hero. It’s a good day. http://t.co/1hInjPWnbQ
— Jon Spaihts (@jonspaihts) June 18, 2014
Although no final deal has been officially announced yet, it would seem both sides are eager for Spaihts to get to work on Doctor Strange. He’ll be building off a first draft from Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer. Spaihts’s screen credits to this point are few, with credit on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus the notable standout, but the writer has quickly parlayed that into work on Universal’s reboot of The Mummy as well as several lower profile projects. Spaihts joins Scott Derrickson on Doctor Strange, who was announced as the film’s director earlier this month.
Long rumored and much in demand from hardcore Marvel fans, Doctor Strange could represent another concerted effort to expand the corners of Marvel’s cinematic universe. Whereas Thor: The Dark World and the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy began to/will delve deeper into the cosmic side of Marvel’s comic book cannon, Doctor Strange could be the first to invoke the truly mystical. Fans thought they’d see that side of things when it was announced that the Mandarin, a traditionally supernatural foe, would appear in Iron Man 3, but the studio’s fake-out proved they had other ideas. That means we can’t rule out a similar bait and switch here to keep the good doctor a bit more palatable to the masses, but it would certainly constitute an even greater risk given that the change would come in the origins story of the film’s presumably sole protagonist, not to one of several appearing villains.
It’s also worth noting that since Marvel appears to be building to a storyline which includes Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet (an item steeped in supernatural power, even as the Marvel universe goes), Dr. Strange makes sense as a member of the eventual Avengers 3 team.
A release date for Doctor Strange has yet to be announced, but with casting for the lead now going full steam ahead, a 2016 bow looks likely.