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12 People Who Could Play Doctor Strange But Probably Won't
An almanac of actors for the Sorcerer Supreme

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Like a juggernaut steered by an angry green man, the Marvelverse is careering into its third phase with a full cargo of bullion and fresh ideas aplenty. Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man kicks off Phase 3, followed by two yet-to-be-officially-announced projects in the summer of 2016 and ’17 respectively. One of those will be Doctor Strange, a project the studio’s Kevin Feige calls “totally different from anything else we have”. But who will step into the Sorcerer Supreme’s magic shoes and carry Marvel’s next superhero onto the big screen? We’ve had a lot of fun guessing.

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
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TOP CHOICES DARK HORSES RANK OUTSIDERS
   


Patrick Dempsey
If fanboy fervour and sheer enthusiasm were deciding factors, Patrick Dempsey would already be measured up for Doctor Strange’s silky cape. He’s been lobbying for the role since it was barely a twinkle in Kevin Feige’s eye, after being pointed to the superpowered neurosurgeon/sorceror by Grey’s Anatomy crew members. “It would be a fun one to do," he's said. "And I wouldn’t want him to be Mister-weepy-doctor guy”. But will McDreamy become, er, McSorcery? Well, Dempsey’s Transformers villain had a certain menace, he’s jolly handsome and with that Grey’s role under this belt, he’d nail the neurosurgery bits. But his lack of chunky big-screen roles may count against him.

Adrien Brody
Once you’ve dealt with Nazis, giant apes and intergalactic hunters with seafood for a face, the Dark Dimension won’t hold many terrors. Happily, Adrien Brody has the acting prowess to feign terror at the sight of Dormammu or his phalanxes of Mindless One, and brings Oscar cred. Looking at The Brothers Bloom in particular, he effortlessly communicate Doctor Strange’s theatricality, and could nail the angstier side of Strange’s struggles with the role thrust upon him by a needy world. Brody probably isn’t going to scare The Dread One with his bulging physique, but Strange only needs one muscle and it’s between his ears. Brody also has minimal blockbuster previous, Kong aside, so he wouldn’t clutter up the Marvelverse with superhero baggage.

Oded Fehr
With a name pronounced ‘O-dead Fair’, the Israeli actor was practically born to play a wizard. His may be a new name to many but he’s bound to be in Marvel’s thoughts, falling right into the Doctor Strange age bracket (he’s 42) and boasting a seriously uncanny physical resemblance to Steve Ditko’s comic-book sorcerer. While he’s best known for telly procedurals like Covert Affairs and NCIS, he’s no newbie to big Hollywood properties. He was in The Mummy, where he was charged with defying foul schemes involving demonic presences, fought zombies in the Resident Evil franchise and in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo he played a Russian rent boy. We’re guessing that some of those experiences would come handier than the other.

Joseph Fiennes
Now 43, Fiennes has long since graduated from teen pin-up to veteran thesp, so he’s as adept at playing darker spirits as handsome Shakespearean types. There’s a bit of both in Stephen Vincent Strange, a man brought low by a Shakespearean tragedy only to be reshaped into a self-assured magician by the Prospero-like Ancient One in Tibet. He’s the right age and, while he’s hardly been ubiquitous in recent years, he’d offer the kind of fresh-but-familiar face that may appeal to Marvel. If the studio is looking to add a little Anglo-Saxon dash to their bubbling cauldron, he’d be perfect. Plus, he’s already played Merlin so he knows magic. Abraca-frickin’-dabra.

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Your Comments

1 pretty lazy choices
i think that given marvels track record it will be one of two things an up and comer or a semi a-lister that's what they do they either make careers or take them to the next level..i heard johhny depp mentioned i personally can't see it happening but stranger things have happened (pun intended)..to be honest i think this will be one of the hardest of the heros to cast..in my opinion i think i'd have to agree with viggo just because he;s such a believeable actor and when a role is highly unbelieveable the best way to counter act that is to cast someone truly grounded and a master a showing you the person behind the hero and legend of a character just like he did with aragorn in the lotr trilogy. More

Posted by Atila DePun on Friday February 21, 2014, 21:12

2 pretty lazy choices
i think that given marvels track record it will be one of two things an up and comer or a semi a-lister that's what they do they either make careers or take them to the next level..i heard johhny depp mentioned i personally can't see it happening but stranger things have happened (pun intended)..to be honest i think this will be one of the hardest of the heros to cast..in my opinion i think i'd have to agree with viggo just because he;s such a believeable actor and when a role is highly unbelieveable the best way to counter act that is to cast someone truly grounded and a master a showing you the person behind the hero and legend of a character just like he did with aragorn in the lotr trilogy. More

Posted by Atila DePun on Friday February 21, 2014, 21:12

3 pretty lazy choices
i think that given marvels track record it will be one of two things an up and comer or a semi a-lister that's what they do they either make careers or take them to the next level..i heard johhny depp mentioned i personally can't see it happening but stranger things have happened (pun intended)..to be honest i think this will be one of the hardest of the heros to cast..in my opinion i think i'd have to agree with viggo just because he;s such a believeable actor and when a role is highly unbelieveable the best way to counter act that is to cast someone truly grounded and a master a showing you the person behind the hero and legend of a character just like he did with aragorn in the lotr trilogy. More

Posted by Atila DePun on Friday February 21, 2014, 21:12

4 RE: Guy Pearce
I like the idea of Benedict Cumbepatch or John Cusack, but I think Jonathan Rhys Meyers could be pretty good too... More

Posted by rommel on Monday October 28, 2013, 12:52

5 RE: Guy Pearce
Guy Pearce can do no wrong in my book ..but then hang on there was that time travelling remake ...argh no matter who would remember anyway! He would be my first choice and also good call on Crispin Glover..like your thinking More

Posted by Magenta on Friday October 25, 2013, 17:34

6 RE: Guy Pearce
Adrian Pasdar? More

Posted by johnfortune2002 on Friday October 25, 2013, 13:25

7 Guy Pearce
I always had Guy Pearce in mind for Strange and think he would be terrific. Sadly Iron Man 3 has likely put paid to that possibility. More

Posted by Jayseph on Thursday October 24, 2013, 17:40

8
I can see Zachary Quinto doing this. More

Posted by Beno on Thursday October 24, 2013, 15:45

9 Cumberbatch
Cumberbatch...end of. Doc Strange frequently butts heads with Loki, seeing him and Hiddlestone going at it would be a joy! More

Posted by excelsior on Thursday October 24, 2013, 12:51

10 Re: spacemonkey187
Nathan Fillion should be in EVERY film ever made! More

Posted by CylonKing on Thursday October 24, 2013, 12:31

11
Viggo number 1 choice surely but also Jon Hamm! More

Posted by gambit21 on Thursday October 24, 2013, 12:28

12 Brolin has the power!
What about Josh Brolin? I know he had a stinker with the Hex debacle, but this is a chance for redemption. More

Posted by neilibabe on Thursday October 24, 2013, 12:27

13
Ethan Hawke should play Doctor Strange! More

Posted by Darren47 on Saturday October 12, 2013, 01:56

14
I would suggest Crispin Glover More

Posted by kingtolkien on Friday July 26, 2013, 15:06

15
Nathan Fillion I think could nail this. More

Posted by spacemonkey187 on Friday July 26, 2013, 09:26

16
Hell - just dig up Vincent Price! More

Posted by INKYPHIL on Sunday July 21, 2013, 15:31

17
I genuinely think James Marsters would be great in this role, not sure how he'd look with the goatee though. More

Posted by MrTrick on Thursday July 18, 2013, 21:36

18 Adrian Brody or Oded Fehr please
Brody CAN beef up, he's done it before for a movie, AND he has the acting chops for it. But for some reason I feel Fehr would be surprisingly great and fit in well, as well as already having the physique for it. Aiden Gillen and Matthew MacFayden are also interesting choices and could probably be good too. More

Posted by annie_anita on Wednesday July 17, 2013, 05:52

19 Rufus Sewell
I'm with good ole Rufus all the way. He could bring dignity and mystery to the character of Doctor Strange. And those sad eyes of his... perfect! More

Posted by dansator on Monday July 15, 2013, 16:24

20 Matt Bomer
Matt Bomer would be ideal for this role, up and coming, no baggage with the guy, could even pull off the facial hair that normally comes with Doctor Strange. he was the best part of IN TIME. More

Posted by utilitybelt86 on Monday July 15, 2013, 15:50

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