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Four directors named as potential candidates for Marvel's Doctor Strange

Feb. 20, 2014by: Paul Shirey

Although not officially announced as part of Marvel's Phase 3, DOCTOR STRANGE is now generating some steam as the studio is beginning to look at a writer/director team to tackle the Sorcerer Supreme for his introductory outing (assuming he doesn't show up in an earlier film). THR reports that four contenders have met or are about to meet with top brass about the project, including: Mark Andrews (BRAVE), Nikolaj Arcel (A ROYAL AFFAIR), Dean Israelite (WELCOME TO YESTERDAY), and Jonathan Levine (WARM BODIES). An interesting batch, to be sure. While I'm not immediately wowed by any of these choices, I wasn't blown away by Joe and Anthony Russo for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and based on the trailers I'm about to have crow for dinner in April.

KUNG FU PANDA writers Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger are also being considered for the project, but only for scripting duties. Ideally, Marvel is looking for a writer/director team to start working in conjunction with one another from the start or to hire someone who can handle both duties on their own.

It's been rumored that Marvel may be looking to craft DOCTOR STRANGE (aka Stephen Strange) to become the new "leader" of the MCU and that they'll be filling his curly cape with a solid and bankable A-lister to carry the torch as Robert Downey Jr. winds down his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Names like Johnny Depp, Viggo Mortensen, Justin Theroux, and even Joseph Gordon-Levitt at one time (who is now moving on to DC's Sandman) have been rumored for the role in the past. Regardless of who they get to direct or star, Marvel will have their hands full attempting to mix in the magic realm of the Marvel Universe into the cinematic one, so there's definitely more at stake than talent.

Unofficially, DOCTOR STRANGE will (most likely) populate the Phase 3 Marvel Cinematic Universe line-up.

Extra Tidbit: Who do you think should direct Doctor Strange?

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12:17AM on 04/29/2014

John Hamm would be perfect!

John Hamm as Doctor Strange:
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John Hamm as Doctor Strange:
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-2
8:09PM on 02/21/2014
None of these names are gonna blow anyone's skirt up. It kind of sucks that Marvel always cheaps out on the talent, but it's kind of cool they give younger filmmakers a chance to make a name for themselves. Joss Whedon was a name before Avengers, but mostly for a respected, if hit and miss, television career and not film. Now there's not a studio in Hollywood that wouldn't pay top dollar to have him helm their new tentpole franchise.

Sometimes it works (Winter Soldier loooks awesome) and
None of these names are gonna blow anyone's skirt up. It kind of sucks that Marvel always cheaps out on the talent, but it's kind of cool they give younger filmmakers a chance to make a name for themselves. Joss Whedon was a name before Avengers, but mostly for a respected, if hit and miss, television career and not film. Now there's not a studio in Hollywood that wouldn't pay top dollar to have him helm their new tentpole franchise.

Sometimes it works (Winter Soldier loooks awesome) and sometimes it doesn't (Thor 2 was really terrible) but it would be cool to see them go all out once and bring in a big name director. David Fincher would be the dream director for a Docter Strange film.
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1:49PM on 02/21/2014
New leader? Nothing against the character, I just dont see him as the new "lead" character for their movies
New leader? Nothing against the character, I just dont see him as the new "lead" character for their movies
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12:28PM on 02/21/2014
Was never really a big fan of Dr. Strange, he always struck me as that weird loner from the Marvel comics that only showed up when shit got real, acted like a pompous know-it-all and then left after the big battle. That being said, it would be cool to see Marvel expand the universe to include the magic realm of their properties. They're already incorporating the space/sci-fi elements, why not magic?
But setting up Dr. Strange to be the lead anchor for the MCU sounds like a bad idea. Again,
Was never really a big fan of Dr. Strange, he always struck me as that weird loner from the Marvel comics that only showed up when shit got real, acted like a pompous know-it-all and then left after the big battle. That being said, it would be cool to see Marvel expand the universe to include the magic realm of their properties. They're already incorporating the space/sci-fi elements, why not magic?
But setting up Dr. Strange to be the lead anchor for the MCU sounds like a bad idea. Again, I just never really dug the character and he just never struck me as a cool lead character for Marvel. Always more of a character that was never involved and only showed up when things went really bad.
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12:45AM on 02/22/2014
If they want to bring in Doctor Strange as a central figure then Dormandu has to be the big baddie after Thanos. They can have other villains for Avengers 4 and 5 and then all Hell breaks loose (literally) in Avengers 6. That would be repeating the formula of Phases 1-3. In theory they could keep repeating this formula for future phases: Kang / Immortus / Rama Tut can be villains for Avengers 7-9.
If they want to bring in Doctor Strange as a central figure then Dormandu has to be the big baddie after Thanos. They can have other villains for Avengers 4 and 5 and then all Hell breaks loose (literally) in Avengers 6. That would be repeating the formula of Phases 1-3. In theory they could keep repeating this formula for future phases: Kang / Immortus / Rama Tut can be villains for Avengers 7-9.
+2
11:37AM on 02/21/2014
Duncan Jones to direct.
Duncan Jones to direct.
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2:14AM on 02/22/2014
I wish I could give this a 1,000 thumbs up!

Rian Johnson wouldn't be too shabby either!
I wish I could give this a 1,000 thumbs up!

Rian Johnson wouldn't be too shabby either!
9:11AM on 02/21/2014

played by...? (doubtful)

Older: Liam Neeson
Not as old: Christian Bale (ie: The Prestige)
Younger: Benedict Cumberbatch
Older: Liam Neeson
Not as old: Christian Bale (ie: The Prestige)
Younger: Benedict Cumberbatch
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9:06AM on 02/21/2014
As much as I would love to see Viggo in a Marvel film, he'll be getting close to 60 years old by the time they make a Doctor Strange movie. If this stand alone movie really works, I'm sure they'll want to continue the franchise, so why not land someone more in their forties? Possibly like Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cusack or even allow Patrick Dempsey come in for a script reading.
As much as I would love to see Viggo in a Marvel film, he'll be getting close to 60 years old by the time they make a Doctor Strange movie. If this stand alone movie really works, I'm sure they'll want to continue the franchise, so why not land someone more in their forties? Possibly like Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cusack or even allow Patrick Dempsey come in for a script reading.
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8:40AM on 02/21/2014

Of those choices, I like Mark Andrews the best

BRAVE was a solid 2nd-tier Pixar film. Marvel/Disney could do a lot worse than him.

And Viggo Mortensen (if he's interested) would be an inspired choice as Dr. Strange.
BRAVE was a solid 2nd-tier Pixar film. Marvel/Disney could do a lot worse than him.

And Viggo Mortensen (if he's interested) would be an inspired choice as Dr. Strange.
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8:26AM on 02/21/2014
Been hoping for Mortensen since this was first rumoured.
Really hope they don't go for Depp. That said, maybe if he dialled back the wacky for this it would help him start making decent films again.
Been hoping for Mortensen since this was first rumoured.
Really hope they don't go for Depp. That said, maybe if he dialled back the wacky for this it would help him start making decent films again.
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7:37AM on 02/21/2014
Why not Leonardo DiCaprio as the Doc?

If not Christopher Nolan for the director seat.... maybe Peter Jackson?
Why not Leonardo DiCaprio as the Doc?

If not Christopher Nolan for the director seat.... maybe Peter Jackson?
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8:03AM on 02/21/2014
I'm pretty confident Nolan will never work on another superhero movie again. Unless his house is on the verge of being foreclosed on, he'll probably just move on to different projects.
I'm pretty confident Nolan will never work on another superhero movie again. Unless his house is on the verge of being foreclosed on, he'll probably just move on to different projects.
8:51AM on 02/21/2014
Keep Nolan away from Marvel please
Keep Nolan away from Marvel please
8:52AM on 02/21/2014
I'm pretty sure your entire comment is very wishful thinking.
I'm pretty sure your entire comment is very wishful thinking.
9:24AM on 02/21/2014
I 100% agree with duhyeager. Keep Nolan far away from Marvel.
I 100% agree with duhyeager. Keep Nolan far away from Marvel.
6:48AM on 02/21/2014
"I wasn't blown away by Joe and Anthony Russo for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and based on the trailers I'm about to have crow for dinner in April"

Rule #1 of being a movie reviewer -- never EVER judge a movie on its trailers....you know this!! :)
"I wasn't blown away by Joe and Anthony Russo for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and based on the trailers I'm about to have crow for dinner in April"

Rule #1 of being a movie reviewer -- never EVER judge a movie on its trailers....you know this!! :)
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6:33AM on 02/21/2014

more of the same

So, a magical Tony Stark. I know I'm gonna get a lot of hate for saying this, but Marvel's lack of interesting female leads is slowly becoming very obvious. Maybe basing your entire Movie universe on characters invented 50 years ago has same downsides after all...
So, a magical Tony Stark. I know I'm gonna get a lot of hate for saying this, but Marvel's lack of interesting female leads is slowly becoming very obvious. Maybe basing your entire Movie universe on characters invented 50 years ago has same downsides after all...
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7:16AM on 02/21/2014
I reckon we will get a female lead in phase 4.

By then Captain America will (probably) be finished and possibly also Thor, so there'll be plenty of spots for new solo flicks

There's already talk of a Black Widow solo outing and then there's also the possibility of Captain Marvel.

And it's unfair to have a stab at marvel over it when DC have arguably the most famous female lead in Wonder Woman and can't seem to get a solo project for her off the ground.
I reckon we will get a female lead in phase 4.

By then Captain America will (probably) be finished and possibly also Thor, so there'll be plenty of spots for new solo flicks

There's already talk of a Black Widow solo outing and then there's also the possibility of Captain Marvel.

And it's unfair to have a stab at marvel over it when DC have arguably the most famous female lead in Wonder Woman and can't seem to get a solo project for her off the ground.
8:02AM on 02/21/2014
As much as I like the Marvel movies, they have a real lack of interesting leads in general. The only thing they have going for them is charisma and looking good in an actions sequence. Which is fine for what it is. That's not a criticism. Nothing wrong with a rollercoaster ride every now and then.
As much as I like the Marvel movies, they have a real lack of interesting leads in general. The only thing they have going for them is charisma and looking good in an actions sequence. Which is fine for what it is. That's not a criticism. Nothing wrong with a rollercoaster ride every now and then.
6:32AM on 02/21/2014
Arcel I suppose would get my vote. Hugh Laurie for the Doc.
Arcel I suppose would get my vote. Hugh Laurie for the Doc.
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5:41AM on 02/21/2014
As for actors... I really don't know! Of those listed in the article I'd have to go with Johnny Depp if only because I think he would fill the Downey shaped hole AND I'm quite intrigued to see how he'd gel with the other cast members in Avengers 3 !

If I had to choose my own then... Yes Cumberbatch does seem like a possibility - he's commanding enough and can handle his own film but we've seen him in countless ensemble pieces.

Anyone else? Hmm, okay I'm probably going to get a ton of
As for actors... I really don't know! Of those listed in the article I'd have to go with Johnny Depp if only because I think he would fill the Downey shaped hole AND I'm quite intrigued to see how he'd gel with the other cast members in Avengers 3 !

If I had to choose my own then... Yes Cumberbatch does seem like a possibility - he's commanding enough and can handle his own film but we've seen him in countless ensemble pieces.

Anyone else? Hmm, okay I'm probably going to get a ton of dislikes for this but I can actually see George Clooney in the role. So there you go, I'll put that forward.

I'm positive though, whoever Marvel does eventually pick, they'll nail it. After recent 'wtf' choices (Certain Lex Luthor and Fantastic Four options) my faith in Marvel studios has grown stronger. They have a plan and, by Jove, I get more excited as each new step is unveiled
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5:13AM on 02/21/2014
I don't know any of those directors, but tbh that doesn't bother me. I'm sure Marvel will choose wisely.

If I had to throw my own suggestion into the ring though - how about Matthew Vaughn (directing) and Jane Goldman (writing). I think they'd be an ideal choice for this having done Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and the very magical Stardust.
I don't know any of those directors, but tbh that doesn't bother me. I'm sure Marvel will choose wisely.

If I had to throw my own suggestion into the ring though - how about Matthew Vaughn (directing) and Jane Goldman (writing). I think they'd be an ideal choice for this having done Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and the very magical Stardust.
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4:36AM on 02/21/2014

taffin.

Just not depp!
Just not depp!
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4:24AM on 02/21/2014
Bring Viggo Marvel. Sign him up. If not for this role, any other role would do equally do, just sign him up as a superhero Marvel.
Bring Viggo Marvel. Sign him up. If not for this role, any other role would do equally do, just sign him up as a superhero Marvel.
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3:00AM on 02/21/2014

Guillermo Del Toro and...

...Matthew Bomer or Benedict Cumberbatch. Both way talented.
...Matthew Bomer or Benedict Cumberbatch. Both way talented.
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2:16AM on 02/21/2014
I've always gravitated towards Alfonso Cuaron as the director of Doctor Strange.
I've always gravitated towards Alfonso Cuaron as the director of Doctor Strange.
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2:09AM on 02/21/2014
I like the idea of one8een of having Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Strange. It should be him and Martin Campbell to make Doctor Strange.
I like the idea of one8een of having Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Strange. It should be him and Martin Campbell to make Doctor Strange.
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12:45AM on 02/21/2014

hmm

Sounds like the kind of role johnny depp could really sink his teeth into after all i'm tired of a man with so much talent insisting on playing slightly different versions of jack sparrow
Sounds like the kind of role johnny depp could really sink his teeth into after all i'm tired of a man with so much talent insisting on playing slightly different versions of jack sparrow
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+4
12:34AM on 02/21/2014

From the Picture

Why has Pierce Brosnon not been considered...hasnt had anything big since James Bond and he looks identical to the Doc
Why has Pierce Brosnon not been considered...hasnt had anything big since James Bond and he looks identical to the Doc
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12:09AM on 02/21/2014
I want to see Jon Hamm play Doctor Strange. He has the right look, build, and dramatic chops to pull off a great Doctor Strange. And with Mad Men ending next year, his schedule would be free to do a multi picture deal like this.
I want to see Jon Hamm play Doctor Strange. He has the right look, build, and dramatic chops to pull off a great Doctor Strange. And with Mad Men ending next year, his schedule would be free to do a multi picture deal like this.
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4:34AM on 02/21/2014
Dont see it.
Dont see it.
11:21PM on 02/20/2014
If we are only discussing the four names above than I'd love to see the awesome Jonathan Levine take it on. If we're opening the table to everyone, George Nolfi, who was shortlisted for Cap 2 would be 20000% perfect for the project!
If we are only discussing the four names above than I'd love to see the awesome Jonathan Levine take it on. If we're opening the table to everyone, George Nolfi, who was shortlisted for Cap 2 would be 20000% perfect for the project!
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10:58PM on 02/20/2014

played by...? (doubtful)

Older: Liam Neeson
Not as old: Christian Bale (ie: The Prestige)
Younger: Benedict Cumberbatch
Older: Liam Neeson
Not as old: Christian Bale (ie: The Prestige)
Younger: Benedict Cumberbatch
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10:58PM on 02/20/2014
Del Toro would be great. As odd as it may sound I think John Cusack would make a good Strange.
Del Toro would be great. As odd as it may sound I think John Cusack would make a good Strange.
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7:46AM on 02/21/2014
Del Toro is already in the Marvel universe - the collector. So he can't play another superhero.
Del Toro is already in the Marvel universe - the collector. So he can't play another superhero.
7:48AM on 02/21/2014
oops. my bad. I was thiniking of the actor Benicio del Toro and not the director.
oops. my bad. I was thiniking of the actor Benicio del Toro and not the director.
6:49PM on 02/22/2014
Cusack would be a very interesting choice to play the doc. He is a very talented actor that hasn't been doing much lately and I think he could do very well with this role.
Cusack would be a very interesting choice to play the doc. He is a very talented actor that hasn't been doing much lately and I think he could do very well with this role.
+5
10:40PM on 02/20/2014
I remember hearing a long time ago that Guillermo Del Toro was being considered for this. It probably won't happen, but it'd be a great pick.

I've said this a million times, but Luke Evans should play Strange. Right now I can't see anyone else in the role.
I remember hearing a long time ago that Guillermo Del Toro was being considered for this. It probably won't happen, but it'd be a great pick.

I've said this a million times, but Luke Evans should play Strange. Right now I can't see anyone else in the role.
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10:48PM on 02/20/2014
Luke Evans would kill it.
Luke Evans would kill it.
12:03AM on 02/21/2014
I'd rather see Luke Evans as the new Daredevil.
I'd rather see Luke Evans as the new Daredevil.
1:00AM on 02/21/2014
i've been saying the same! just watch FF6... he looks like dr strange in there
i've been saying the same! just watch FF6... he looks like dr strange in there
7:58AM on 02/21/2014
I hate Luke Evans. He such boring actor
I hate Luke Evans. He such boring actor
+1
9:29PM on 02/20/2014
if only he had not been in Superman, my vote would go to Michael Shannon. But since he's attached to a piece of DC property I doubt he'll ever appear in a Marvel film, even if he acted in one DC film.
if only he had not been in Superman, my vote would go to Michael Shannon. But since he's attached to a piece of DC property I doubt he'll ever appear in a Marvel film, even if he acted in one DC film.
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9:28PM on 02/20/2014

Terry Gilliam

I'm keen towards seeing Depp play Strange. And Gilliam already has a good relationship with him, and does kick ass movies with supernatural vibes.

Tim Burton? Nah...
I'm keen towards seeing Depp play Strange. And Gilliam already has a good relationship with him, and does kick ass movies with supernatural vibes.

Tim Burton? Nah...
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10:17PM on 02/20/2014
Hopefully Depp stud as far away from this as possible. We don't need another interpretation of Jack Sparrow.
Hopefully Depp stud as far away from this as possible. We don't need another interpretation of Jack Sparrow.
10:18PM on 02/20/2014
*stud = stays
*stud = stays
9:23PM on 02/20/2014

Definitely on board with Cuaron, but could also see Jon Turteltaub

Dr. Strange will definitely be Marvel's Phase 3 and beyond's leader. The idea of Johnny Depp signing a multi-picuture deal wouldn't be very surprising given he's done 4 Pirates films (5 coming out soon) so as long as the paycheck is big enough, he'll jump on board. Levitt is too young looking to be Strange.
Dr. Strange will definitely be Marvel's Phase 3 and beyond's leader. The idea of Johnny Depp signing a multi-picuture deal wouldn't be very surprising given he's done 4 Pirates films (5 coming out soon) so as long as the paycheck is big enough, he'll jump on board. Levitt is too young looking to be Strange.
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9:21PM on 02/20/2014
I think Marvel would be smart to have a director with some more experience tackle the intro of a new hero, similar to how Bragnagh, Johnson, and Wright had a few movies under their belt to prepare them for something of this scale. I feel some directors like Doug Liman, Ed Zwick, or Andrew Adamson would be interesting. For a real outside-the-box pick, I think the Wachowski siblings would make a really interesting Dr. Strange film.
I think Marvel would be smart to have a director with some more experience tackle the intro of a new hero, similar to how Bragnagh, Johnson, and Wright had a few movies under their belt to prepare them for something of this scale. I feel some directors like Doug Liman, Ed Zwick, or Andrew Adamson would be interesting. For a real outside-the-box pick, I think the Wachowski siblings would make a really interesting Dr. Strange film.
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9:06PM on 02/20/2014
For this one I really wish they would get a visionary like Brad Bird or Alfonso Cuaron.
For this one I really wish they would get a visionary like Brad Bird or Alfonso Cuaron.
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8:46PM on 02/20/2014
Definitely underwhelming, but no one sticks out like a huge mistake either. I would like to ahve seen DOn Coscarelli or Michael DOugherty be considered
Definitely underwhelming, but no one sticks out like a huge mistake either. I would like to ahve seen DOn Coscarelli or Michael DOugherty be considered
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9:43PM on 02/20/2014
Michael Dougherty needs another directing job on the double!!
Michael Dougherty needs another directing job on the double!!
8:44PM on 02/20/2014
Go with Mark Andrews. Brave is an incredibly underrated animated flick. Love it to death.
Go with Mark Andrews. Brave is an incredibly underrated animated flick. Love it to death.
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