12 People Who Could Play Doctor Strange But Probably Won't

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.header { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#ffffff; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; } a.header { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#ababab; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; } a.header:hover { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#333333; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; }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. Ant-Man kicks off Phase 3, and later on, Doctor Strange will hover into view with Scott Derrickson at the helm. This is a project studio head Kevin Feige calls “totally different from anything else we have”. Current tips for the role include Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor, but, then, Joaquin Phoenix was heavily linked with it only to withdraw from contention. If not McGregor or Hawke, who will step into the Sorcerer Supreme’s magic shoes and carry Marvel’s next superhero onto the big screen? We’ve had fun guessing.

.header { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#ffffff; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; } a.header { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#ababab; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; } a.header:hover { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#333333; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; }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.
.header { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#ffffff; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; } a.header { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#ababab; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; } a.header:hover { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#333333; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; }TOP CHOICES DARK HORSES RANK OUTSIDERS
Aidan Gillen
If you're unfamiliar with the back story, Stephen Strange – hell, we're calling him Steve now – spends five years as a New York Hospital surgeon before being reduced to vagrancy by a combination of arrogance and a hand-mangling accident. After a Bruce Wayne-like interlude in Tibet, he returns to the Big Apple and takes up residence in the Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village, a plush mansion set-up not dissimilar to that enjoyed by Game Of Thrones' Lord Littlefinger Baelish, right? Exactly! But if that seems a tenuous reason to cast Aidan Gillen as Steve, consider his perfect goatee and mastery of the shadier corners of whatever room he happens to be in at the time. Someone give this man the Wand of Watoomb right now.
Liam Neeson
As Ra's Al Ghul, Qui-Gon Jinn, Zeus, and, to a lesser extent, Bryan Mills, Liam Neeson has exploded, light-sabered, lightning-bolted and basically beaten the hell out of anyone who's anyone in the human realm – which is why it's time to move onto celestial spheres. That's where he'd find Dormammu and his fellow demonic Faltine types. Neeson should have no problem mastering Doctor Strange's particular set of skills (astral projection, manipulation, looking good in robes), but age might be an issue. He's 61 now, more than a decade-and-a-bit older than the magician, and while his physical powers are hardly waning (hello Mr Mills!), his appetite for giant effects movies may be. So will the Widowmaker become the Rabbitmaker? Sadly, Taken 6: Kilmarnock Kill Spree is a more likely 2016 release.
John Cusack
Cusack, who seems to have mislaid his eye for fun in recent movies, could use the revitalising jolt that Marvel would afford. If web scuttlebutt is anywhere close to the money, he could do for Doctor Strange what Robert Downey Jr. did for Tony Stark, delivering the off-centre charm and wry detachment we know and love, as well as an imposing 6" 2' frame to cow even the Doc's arch rival Baron Mordo (unless Mordo was played by Tim Robbins or someone). The problem? Cusack has been recently spoken out against Hollywood's superhero goldrush. "[It's either] $5 million dollars or they want to make it for two hundred million and put on the tights and capes and stuff", he pointed out. As job applications go, it's hardly the most fulsome.
Viggo Mortensen
In the absence of Vigo the Carpathian from casting discussions, Viggo the Mortensen would bring a similar broody gravitas to New York's shadowlands as Marvel's hand-impaired sorcerer. There are few actors better at playing men with the weight of the world (or Middle-earth) on their shoulders, a burden all-too-familiar to Doctor Strange. Still, having lost his parents, sister and medical career in the space of a few tragedy-beset years, the Sorceror Supreme will need the odd comic touch to avoid driving audiences into a catatonic funk, and that is something Mortensen is less well known for (a few tiny moments in A History Of Violence aside). That said, we'd love to see him team up with The Hulk (see: Incredible Hulk, Volume 1 #126) in a Aragorn / Angry-Green-Man dream team.
.header { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#ffffff; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; } a.header { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#ababab; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; } a.header:hover { font-family: 'Fjalla One'; color:#333333; font-size:28px; line-height:30px; text-decoration:none; }TOP CHOICES DARK HORSES RANK OUTSIDERS
Keanu Reeves
A piece of casting that would send the web into a thermonuclear frenzy so intense that Marvel risks exploding half its fanbase just by announcing it, the 'Keanu For Strange' campaign could yet dislodge 'Cheer Up Keanu' among the world's leading memes. Would Marvel cast him? Perhaps, if money weren't an object for the famously tight-stringed accounts department. Would he do it? Well, if Constantine's demon-defying shenanigans and the comic-book-inspired The Matrix are anything to go by, a big Marvel property could be of interest. In fact, playing the Master Of The Mystic Arts could be just the thing to cheer Sad Keanu up.
Matthew Macfadyen
Bear with us, because this is not as outlandish as it sounds. A respected thesp and the voice of M&S, Macfadyen offers a strong international option, selling into the costume drama crowd, the Spooks crowd and The Three Musketeers crowd – all three of them – and delivering the kind of moody intelligence that would parlay nicely into Strange's day job at the hospital. His work in 2004's underseen New Zealand-set drama In My Father's Den showcased his acting chops, although his American accent remains untested. Most of all though, he's got the mysterious depths any good magician needs. Seriously, the guy got us to buy 27 kilos of M&S Brussel sprouts last Christmas. Sorcery, innit.
Stephen Dorff
The man we're now officially banned from referring to as 'the Dorffmeister' could prove a canny pick for anyone looking for a dark horse in this race – yes, we're looking at you, Thor – even if his preference for indie material travels before him. It's been a while since his last comic-book movie, Blade, with the Dorffmeister (oops) mixing up thinky fodder like Zaytoun and Sofia Coppola's Somewhere with the odd pulpy thriller. The presence of Immortals on his recent résumé suggests that he might be open to a big, splashy tentpole like Doctor Strange. But would Marvel thrust him into the shoes of the millionaire-doctor-magician-and-occasional-Avenger? We literally have no idea.
The Amazing Mumford
Unlikely to play particularly well with purists, The Amazing Mumford would be a leftfield piece of casting. Mumford's catchphrase – "A la peanut butter sandwiches!" – won't strike fear into even the most anaphylactic of the Undying Ones, but he will make pineapples disappear and play magical havoc with the contents of Cookie Monster's jar. Hilarious, yes, Useful to a despairing humanity? Not really. While we'd love to hear Alan Silvestri's theme to 'The Amazing Mumford Battles The Massed Ranks Of Dormammu's Domain While Making Two Pineapples Disappear', the Muppegician is sadly one to be filed alongside Presto DiGiotagione, Mr Majeika and Dynamo in the category marked "Come On, Really?".