In a move that is sure to cause plenty of fan celebration across the internet, word is coming that Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the BBC’s international hit Sherlock, is in talks to headline Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange.
The film has not had a release date officially announced, though it will fall in the midst of the studio’s “Phase Three” cycle of superhero films. The mostly likely date of Marvel’s announced dates that do not have specific films attached to them is July 8, 2016. Currently, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose director Scott Derrickson is prepping the film for a shoot that is thought to start sometime late next spring. Derrickson is currently working with Jon Spaihts on the screenplay.
For the past several months Cumberbatch was just one of several actors names who were rumored to be on Marvel’s shortlist, even though the actor would deny it. Other names that were floated at one time or another over the last couple of months include Tom Hardy, Joaquin Phoenix, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and Oscar Isaac.
I had honestly counted Cumberbatch out of the running, given that he has been inundated with offers for numerous projects and some actors claim that the multi-film commitment contract that comes with headlining a Marvel film can be stifling to one’s career. (Yeah, I’m looking at you Norton.) Thankfully, it appears Cumberbatch doesn’t think so.
Of course we know that Marvel won’t confirm or deny such a story right now. But sooner or later, and probably sooner, once the deal is finalized and they are ready, they’ll let us know.