The Latest Doctor Strange Developments


Marvel Studios has certainly been conjuring up some news for their Doctor Strange movie.  Throughout last week, we’ve been getting a lot of “they’re saying” and “rumor has it” chatter on the Internet.  So, what is it that we actually know about this movie?  Here’s a condensed one-stop-shop of everything that’s been happening:

Director – Scott Derrickson

Although not officially confirmed by Marvel Studios, it’s pretty much in the can that Scott Derrickson will be directing.  He openly announced it himself on his Twitter feed on Tuesday June 3, 2014.  Along with the message “My next movie will be STRANGE”, he attached this picture:

Signing Scott Derrickson as the director certainly points to Marvel wanting to give Doctor Strange an eerie horror-genre feel.  With his past work on The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, Derrickson will more than comfortably deliver the goods and give the movie a very distinct feel from the rest of The Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Screenwriters – Thomas Donnelly & Joshua Oppenheimer

A quick search on IMDB shows that they’ve collaborated on past projects — namely Thoughtcrimes (2003), Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010), and Conan the Barbarian (2011).  Notably, all the aforementioned titles were stories that had a supernatural element.

The hiring of Donnelly and Oppenheimer occurred in early May so it’s still too early to even have a treatment, let alone a first draft.

Doctor Strange – Multiple Candidates

This is where it gets interesting.  We have actual contenders and, thanks to the age of social media, we have fan-fueled favorites that could become reality.  Let’s start with the real contenders:

Jared Leto

First rumored earlier in the week, Marvel’s interest in Jared Leto has received mixed reactions from the public.  He’s definitely an interesting choice and becoming an Oscar winner this past year for his supporting role in Dallas Buyers Club didn’t hurt his stock either.  Though forty-two years-old, Leto still has too much of a youthful appearance to play a sophisticated neurosurgeon and a character who’s always drawn with graying temples.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch is the latest news to break on casting rumors.  He’s definitely a fan-favorite and playing arrogant and smart is an all-too-familiar role for this thespian.  Critics lauded his performance as a rebooted Khan (Oops, did I give that spoiler away?  Come on, if you’re on Bam Smack Pow, you’ve probably seen Star Trek Into Darkness a hundred times already.) and his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes isn’t too shabby either.

Tom Hardy

Along with Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy was in the same recent rumor vein.  Coming into Doctor Strange won’t be too foreign of a move for Hardy.  He was previously in another comic book adaptation when he played the imposing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.  Like Leto, Hardy’s casting could also be due to his recent work in Locke which has garnered critical acclaim.  There’s already early Oscar predictions for his performance.

Patrick Dempsey

Now, onto our first fan-favorite — Patrick Dempsey.  Not only is there a Facebook petition to get Dempsey into the role, Dempsey himself had lobbied for the coveted Doctor Strange part when it was initially proposed as a TV show all the way back in 2011.  Physically, he looks the part with his height and salt-and-pepper hair.  Plus, he’s already use to playing a neurosurgeon for over ten years on Grey’s Anatomy.

Aidan Gillen

And our second fan-favorite is Aidan Gillen.  If you’re looking for arrogance, look no further than Game of Throne‘s own Lord Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger.  Petition?  Do you even have to ask?  Of course there’s a petition to get him in the movie.  Personally, Gillen is my favorite out of all of them.  For me, Doctor Strange’s character has always been about the eyes — he’s a good guy, but there’s something conniving hidden under there.

Main Villain – Unknown

This very much depends on what the screenwriters come up with.  Most likely, since this is an origin story, the villain will be Baron Mordo.  Future sequels, if the movie actually gets any (Yes, I’m looking at the people behind Hulk and why we don’t have a sequel yet.), could pit him against Nightmare and Dormammu.  Let’s hope that the creative team doesn’t get too greedy and cram in a bunch of villains for the sake of selling more toys during the Holidays.

There you have it.  We know that Scott Derrickson is directing; Thomas Donelly and Joshua Oppenheimer are writing; and Jared Leto, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hardy are in serious consideration for the titular role.