I should probably stress the “possibly” in the above headline. Deadline reports that negotiations are about to begin, but that Benedict Cumberbatch is a lock otherwise for the role in Marvel’s latest addition to their Avengers cinematic universe. My general reaction to this news is pretty underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Cumberbatch, there’s no denying the guy is immensely talented. My feeling though is that Marvel is at the point where their films are going to make ungodly amounts of money no matter who they put in them, so why not use that buffer to take some risks? Cumberbatch just feels safe compared to other rumored names such as Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke or Pedro Pascal.
Not to play comic book purist, but one of the more intriguing things about Strange was that his origin story didn’t begin until his mid-forties. Cumberbatch is 38. Listen, I look forward to eating my words when Cumberbatch does a great job. My problem isn’t necessarily with him, just with the way Marvel went about the casting.
Doctor Strange will be directed by Scott Derrickson and released November 4th, 2016.
UPDATE: Right after I published this, Marvel announced a huge upcoming slate with an updated release date for Doctor Strange, which has been reflected above now.