‘Doctor Strange’: Benedict Cumberbatch in talks for Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme

Oct. 27, 2014 | 1:02 p.m.
Benedict Cumberbatch. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Benedict Cumberbatch. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Marvel has identified Benedict Cumberbatch as the leading candidate to star in “Doctor Strange.”

The actor behind genre greats Khan, Smaug and Sherlock is in final talks for the role, sources confirmed Monday.

Rumored for a July 2016 release, the upcoming Marvel project is part of the studio’s phase three roster of comic book blockbusters and will be written and directed by Scott Derrickson (“Deliver Us From Evil,” “Sinister”).

The film will bring to the screen Stephen Vincent Strange, the former neurosurgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme who is the Marvel Universe’s greatest protector against magical peril – and one of his fellow superheroes’ most sought-after advisors.



First appearing in a Stan Lee-written and Steve Ditko-drawn story in “Strange Tales” No. 110 in 1963, the brilliant magician has fought such foes as the dread Dormammu of the Dark Dimension and the dream-powered Nightmare, all while sporting a red cape with a spectacularly high collar.

He has also been seen as a member of groups including the Defenders, New Avengers and Illuminati.

Marvel has teased a possible Doctor Strange project in its recent films “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Thor: The Dark World.” In the former, an espionage agent being interrogated by Cap, Black Widow and Falcon mentions Stephen Strange in a list of potential threats to and targets of the evil terrorist organization Hydra. And in the “Thor” sequel, Dr. Selvig’s chalkboard references the Crossroads, an interdimensional nexus that features heavily in “Doctor Strange” stories in the comics.

Cumberbatch’s casting comes after rumors that Joaquin Phoenix was being considered for the part. The English actor is no stranger to genre roles, with credits including “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “The Hobbit” films and BBC’s hit series “Sherlock.”

What do you think about the casting? Let us know in the comments.

— Noelene Clark and Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex | Facebook


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8 Responses to ‘Doctor Strange’: Benedict Cumberbatch in talks for Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme

  1. Al De Veyra says:

    Early on I believed that Cumberbatch was the best "fit" for the role of Dr. Stephen Strange. HIs performance in the BBC series "Sherlock" was the winning clincher for me. It will be interesting in how much they stick to the original origin storyline from the comic book series.

  2. Joyce Laird says:

    I am not into this genre of films, but if Benedict is the lead I will go see it. I will not miss ANYTHING he is in — EVER!

  3. RachelSun says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOO! Highly overrated and no charisma whatsoever!

  4. fr0dzy says:

    w00t! Awesome choice! Well pleased! xD

  5. Robyn Gerson says:

    Accckkkk – nooooo! I will not ever see a movie he is in – can't stand him. You should check out the uproar on Tumblr – more people seem to hate than like him.

  6. PunkToad says:

    It has taken so long to bring Dr. Strange to the big screen that one can only hope that is was all worth it. With the state of the art in special effects improved by leaps and bounds over during the wait and the possibility of the Doctor being played by someone as intense and effective as Cumberbatch its all for the best.

  7. nan00se says:

    I am not into the comic book films unless they have a particular appeal and this announcement does nothing to inspire me to watch it. but I am sure the Sherlock fans will come out in numbers.

  8. Claus Talon says:

    There was a Dr. Strange movie done way back in the eighties as I recall, but it never got any recognition-Probably because it was very poorly done OR the viewing public wasn't receptive of the genre at that time. I remember seeing it on the shelf at a neighborhood video rental store, but never checked it out. Times have changed and the viewing public is now clamoring for these types of productions. I'm (as Mike Tyson would say) ESTATICK about it. My main hope for this film is that they DO NOT attempt to base Strange's abilities in SCIENCE to appease the TECHIES! Dr. Strange is the SORCERER SUPREME-get it tech boys? MAGIC-NOT SCIENCE. If they can't accept that concept or if they feel it's not believable, then please tell me this-In what actual reality do you know of ANY super-powered beings? The genre from which this character originates embraces FANTASY- so PLEASE don't diminish it by trying to base his ability on sicence and technology.PLEASE. And as Forest Gump would say, " And that's all I have to say about that!"

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