Marvel Progressing With Doctor Strange

Script approved; director sought...

Gone are the days when Guillermo Del Toro was planning it as a collaboration with Neil Gaiman, but there's confirmation this morning that Marvel are still moving ahead with a movie based around Sorceror Supreme Doctor Strange.

Conan and Sahara writers Josh Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly have turned in their their long-awaited script to the House of M, and it's clearly been judged successful enough to be worth pursuing. The current word is that it's now out to a short-list of directors, one of whom will, obviously enough, "oversee continued development".

Stephen Strange is a key player in the Marvel universe, although he represents the slightly more esoteric magical and supernatural corners rather than the ones that deal with mutant superpowers and military super-armour. A surgeon whose hands were ruined in an accident, he turned to mysticism to compensate, and was good enough at it to become the world's first defence against demons and spectres and things that go bump in the night or even by daylight.

For a while there was talk of a series of Marvel short films to support the heavyweight Avengers-related strand, and Strange seemed to have been relegated to those; there was even a brief rumbling that PIxar might be involved. That plan appears now to have been back-burnered (or abandoned), and we're back in a world in which Dr Strange looks to be part of Marvel's full post-Avengers slate, perhaps arriving in 2013.

"He's one of the best characters we have," Marvel's Kevin Feige said a couple of years back. "He represents this fantastic cosmic universe that hasn't yet seen life on screen, and I think he'd be amazing to play with."

Watch this space for updates on who exactly will be playing with him, and in the meantime, give us your personal wish-lists in the comments below.