Patrick Dempsey is ready for Marvel magic: ‘I’d love to play Doctor Strange’

April 01, 2011 | 10:53 a.m.
doctordempsey Patrick Dempsey is ready for Marvel magic: Id love to play Doctor Strange

Patrick Dempsey, left, Dr. Strange, right (Associated Press /Marvel)

If Marvel executives are interested, Patrick Dempsey is ready to make magic — the “Grey’s Anatomy” star said Thursday that he’d love to play Doctor Strange in a film or even a television series if the situation was right.

Dempsey is one of the highest paid stars on television but he’s restless to push his career in new directions, which is why he has a prominent role in this summer’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and also why he produced and starred in “Flypaper,” the dark bank-heist comedy that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. As he looks for his next movie, he can’t help but think how great it would be to take his on-screen medical practice into a whole different dimension by playing Doctor Strange, the Marvel Comics sorcerer created in 1963 by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee.

doctor strange Patrick Dempsey is ready for Marvel magic: Id love to play Doctor Strange

(Marvel Comics)

“I’ve been lobbying for that,” the 45-year-old actor said. “There’s a whole bunch of people [among the ‘Grey’s’ crew] who are into comics and Marvel, too, on the set and they’re like, ‘Doctor Strange, that’s the one you should do.’ It would be fantastic. It’d be a great TV show, especially for HBO or something like that. I don’t know if I’d necessarily do another show, a drama, that’s 24 episodes again. HBO you’re at 13 and I think that’s much better. It’s just so hard to sustain the quality after three years if you’re doing 24, 25 episodes a year. It all depends on who you have as a writing team — it’s how you set it up, what’s the tone and making sure you’re not locked into this one-season success [mentality], you can’t be afraid to think beyond that.”

There have been many attempts through the years to make a Doctor Strange film (and the character has some live-action television history as well) but the property is clearly gaining momentum. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, has often mentioned the sorcerer supreme as a priority character and in a Hero Complex chat last December he put the character on an intriguing short list: “I have not been shy about my love for Dr. Strange, Black Panther and Luke Cage.” Last year, the screenwriting team of  Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer was hired by Marvel to come up with a script. There also have been stirrings about a Doctor Strange television series that might be a complement or an alternative to a feature film. I asked Dempsey during our interview in Malibu if he had talked to Feige or Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s head of television.

“He knows what’s going on. There was stuff going on. At Comic-Con they were talking about me playing it and there was a rumor that I’d been cast. I mean, it’s something that’s kind of out there and, you know, I’ve been looking at that. It would be a fun one to do. Hopefully, doing something like ‘Transformers’ is about to show myself in an action situation where I’m not mister-weepy-doctor guy, you know, not McDreamy. You have to change that in people’s view. I’m still hungry for other things. I’d love to play Doctor Strange.”

— Geoff Boucher


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14 Responses to Patrick Dempsey is ready for Marvel magic: ‘I’d love to play Doctor Strange’

  1. Chris says:

    Dr. Strange is one of Marvel's best untapped characters for a film. Go back and read the Ditko comics and he was not a superhero, he was a Bohemian sorceror with one foot in Greenwich Village and the other in some dreamlike, psychadelic supernatural dimension. Great offbeat 60's source material. So I'm not sure if Dempsey is the right guy for Stephen Strange because of his leading-man persona as a Hollywood hunk. If he could get out of type and be more edgy and intense and a bit mystical, that might work. But somebody like Viggo Mortensen seems more suited to the role.

  2. Dixie says:

    Speaking of untapped, I think Dempsey would be a great choice. There's a lot of talent behind that pretty face – and he's done offbeat/edgy in some of his roles in between teen heartthrob and grownup hunk. If nothing else, having him in a starring role would bring in a whole new audience to the "comic book turned movie' genre.

  3. Dum Dum Dugan says:

    Lets see how well Thor and Cap do. I am excited for both, but if Marvel mistreats their bread and butter characters then I dont want them messing with something great comic wise.

  4. Gu says:

    Strange should be a European production. Someone like Jan Kounen directing Vincent Cassel as Strange and Mads Mikkelsen as Baron Mordo. Maybe Yuen Woo-Ping as the Ancient One?

    • Darkmatter says:

      I agree on havein Mads Mikkelsen as Baron Mordo, But Vincent Cassel as Strange is just wroung. Viggo Mortensen is the best choice as long the director uses his acting abilltys an makes it dark,edgy an no hollywood chedder like som kiddy hearthrob movie the need to balance this movie will be hard but it can be done take the harry potters for example they remain dark but are still execesable to all.

    • Neptune says:

      Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Strange vs. Mads!

  5. You're Hired! says:

    I'd like to see a comic in which Mayor Bloomberg becomes Dr Strange's new guru, guiding him through all the super-awesome ways to find a job in NYC. I don't think Marvel's tapped this charismatic superstar enough yet. How about a comic in which Dr Strange dies in a snowstorm in NYC while Bloomberg is away on vacation, then Bloomberg returns and does a standup routine about it at a press dinner 3 months later?

    • George Jackson says:

      I don't think Dr.Strange needs Mayor Bloomberg's help. I'd like to see him go to Private Investigator school and occupy that gray area of criminal enforcement that TV Heroes of old like in the Rockford Files, Riptide or Magnum PI used to. To me those shows were much more fun then the police dramas of today where the cops are always rude and right and the suspect is always wicked and abused.

  6. Annihilus says:

    Tell that McDreamy kid he's mc-dreaming. He doesn't have the mysterious quality Dr. Strange requires. He's too damn squirrelly….

  7. holly says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC's Sherlock and currently Danny Boyle's Frankensten/Creature) would make s superb Dr Strange

  8. Anthony Pulido says:

    Antonio Banderas as Doctor Strange!!!!!!!!!

  9. X-Man says:

    He could be a good choice though my first choice would be:


    When I saw him in the Count of Monte Cristo in that scene where he makes his entrance in a hot air ballon in a long coat I immediately thought, Dr. Strange. He was even wearing the right kind of beard for it. :)

  10. cbdebris says:

    Doubt Caviezel would take the part, it involving sorcery and all.

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