Now that Marvel has decided on a director for their upcoming Doctor Strange film in the form of The Exorcism of Emily Rose helmer Scott Derrickson, the studio has now turned its eye towards getting a screenwriter in place. Towards that end they have signed Jon Spaihts, perhaps best known for supplying the first draft to Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus.
Deadline and Spaihts himself confirmed the news.
Doctor Strange was always my favorite Marvel hero. It's a good day. http://t.co/1hInjPWnbQ
— Jon Spaihts (@jonspaihts) June 18, 2014
Previously, Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer had beenworking on a Doctor Strange screenplay for the studio. It hasn’t been reported if Spaihts is starting from scratch or reworking what has already been done.
Spaihts is a busy guy right now, as he is the assigned writer on Universal’s new Mummy film as well as Disney’s planned The Black Hole remake. He got his first big break in 2007 when his science-fiction screenplay Passengers landed on the Black List. Currently, that script has Keanu Reeves attached to it. It was on the strength of Passengers that Ridley Scott hired him to write the first draft of what would become the director’s 2012 prequel to his landmark science-fiction horror classic Alien.
Spaihts’s other script assignments will presumably take a backseat to Doctor Strange, as Marvel is looking to fast track the film into production. The studio currently has two release dates – July 8, 2016 and May 5, 2017 – staked out on the calendar with Doctor Strange being eyed for one of those dates. Casting the titular character, a surgeon who becomes the world’s protector against supernatural menaces becoming its Sorcerer Supreme, is currently underway with Thomas Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jared Leto all as being mooted on Marvel’s short list.