The casting for Dr. Strange, Marvel’s next signature superhero, has become such a clusterf*ck that for a couple of months now, it has seemed just as likely that a three day old breakfast burrito would play the part as an actual human actor. The latest rumor, coming yesterday courtesy Deadline, is that Marvel has circled back to Benedict Cumberbatch and he’s now in talks for the role. Because I have zero confidence in the Dr. Strange rumor mill, I wanted to wait until after Marvel’s big event today to write about it.
And sure enough, no casting news came. Chadwick Boseman was announced as Black Panther, but besides setting a release date of November 4, 2016, no other information about Dr. Strange was forthcoming. Maybe they’re talking to Cumberbatch. He’s long been a studio favorite for this role—I first wrote about the possibility in May 2012—but I also know they’ve been taking a serious look at someone else. This deal is not yet done.
Cumberbatch is perfect for the role—Dr. Strange is brilliant and an assh*le, which is The Batch’s wheelhouse—but the problem has always been scheduling. In order to meet that November 2016 release, the movie will have to shoot next fall, and Cumberbatch is scheduled to play Hamlet in London’s West End right in the middle of when Dr. Strange will be in production. Could it be Cumberbatch? Everyone jumped on it yesterday, with all the trades and the platinum nerd press going all in on Deadline’s scoop. Even Ming-Na, who’s in Agents of SHIELD, seems to think it’ll be The Batch. But that scheduling…
And the other name. The one no one’s really talking about. It’s a good name. It would excite a lot of people. I would be perfectly happy to see Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange, but I’m not going to lie. I’d REALLY like to see the other guy.