While we now, thanks to the MCU’s latest upcoming entry, think of Dr Strange and instantly see the face of Benedict Cumberbatch, thins could have been very different.
Director Scott Derrickson, speaking about the casting confirms that while he was “the only actor we seriously considered”, the actor was set to play Hamlet in London’s Barbican in autumn of 2015 and refused to bail on that production and so Marvel met with several others for the role.
Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto and Ryan Gosling were all in the sights for the role, but Derrrickson, in the end, told Marvel Studio’s head, Kevin Feige, that “It’s got to be Benedict.”
You might remember that Pheonix in particular was in the running for the role for some time (here). Cumberbatch had, at the time, thought he was out of the running: “I really did think I had to kiss it goodbye,” he said.
“If you can’t jump on board when the ride’s going past. that’s usually it. So the hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me. It motivated me to try to fulfil their faith in me.”
While we are very excited to see him in the role – wait, did he say Ryan Gosling?! – we think the others could have been interesting choices too… would Jared Leto have been a better Strange than Joker? We’ll never know now.
In related news, Cumberbatch has revealed that he is slated to make his way to Atlanta near the end of the year to begin the nine month Avengers: Infinity War shoot which he says is a “logistical challenge” getting himself, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s schedules to line up: “To get us all together will be quite something. That’s why this character is being introduced, to open up the next chapter. So watch this space to see how that unfolds.”
We also have new images and new TV Spots below for Doctor Strange which opens on November 4th.