Doctor Strange, A Risk or Not?
Doctor Strange is a polarizing character within the Marvel Universe. He has great power, but as a character he is very interesting. This, of course, makes it easy to see why the heads at Marvel Studios would want to create a film introducing the character into their cinematic universe. Doctor Stephen Strange was a gifted neurosurgeon who saw great success in his field at a rapid pace and a young age. He would become a celebrated surgeon even before he turned thirty, however all of this would only get to his head making his ego swell even larger. Egotistical, greedy, cold and callous Strange interest in his patients began and ended with his bill while having no bed side manner. However, he would later be involved in a horrific car accident but luckily doctors were able to save his life except the nerves in his hands were severely damaged. This of course ended his career as a neurosurgeon and due to his pride he wouldn't accept being a consultant. This of course sent him into a stupor, frequently visiting bars with an ever swelling bar tab. Eventually he'd hear rumors of The Ancient One who had healing abilities, upon finally meeting the Ancient One, the man refused to heal him. Instead he offered to teach him the ways of mysticism and due to Strange's skepticism he refused but couldn't leave due to a blizzard.
Over the night, he witnessed Baron Mordo, the Ancient One's apprentice summon skeletons too attack his teacher which the Ancient One easily dispelled. With his skepticism fading, he confronted Mordo about the attack only to be restrained. Due to Strange's selflessness , he once again offered to teach him and explained to him that he had viewed Strange has his successor as the Sorcerer Supreme. Strange would then go on to protect the universe from evils such as Dormammu and even his rival Mordo. He would even set up his lair known as the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York's Greenwich Village.
Loaded with a rich history and a character arch that deals with vanity, arrogance and even a budding addiction to alcohol when can see why this character could work so well on screen. His powers would also be interesting and aesthetically appealing to the eyes on screen, as would his villains. With a director already in place, this film will for sure see the light of day. However, considering how much his character tends to push the boundaries it is understandable how one could view it as a risk. Which is why Marvel Studios wants to nail the casting for the part. Originally, they viewed actors Johnny Depp and Viggo Mortensen for the role but interest seemed to fade on both parts. Now, Marvel has turned their gaze to two other actors.
Jared Leto is a hot actor at the moment coming off winning the Academy for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in last year's Dallas Buyers Club. Leto is undoubtedly an incredibly gifted actor who tends to take a role that challenges himself but also one that consumes him. He is a method actor who digs into his role and literally becomes it, much like Robert Downey Jr. However, with his band , 30 Seconds to Mars, as well as his penchant for choosing more artistic films as opposed to blockbuster films I don't see him committing to the character no matter how high Marvel's interest is in him. If he were to commit to the character for not just one movie but most likely four to five movies, I think due to his acting ability, he would make a great younger Doctor Strange. His star is also big enough to draw people to the theater to see the movie, no matter how "Strange" the film may seem to people that don't know much about the character. That point, is ultimately what Marvel wants.
At a time when casting was going around for Thor: The Dark World, Marvel's first choice for the villainous Malekith was indeed Mads Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen accepted the role but when he was later offered the role of Hannibal Lecter on Bryan Fuller's take on the character, he went for the better role of the two. Now, there seems to be interest in Mikkelsen once more by Marvel for a much bigger role in the form of Doctor Stephen Strange. As opposed to Leto, Mikkelsen would be better suited in the role due to the screen presence he carries. When he speaks, he commands that you listen but also there is a certain level of intelligence that comes off through his performance that lends well to playing Strange. Like Leto, however, it may again be an issue of scheduling that may lead to Marvel looking elsewhere for their Sorcerer Supreme. Mikkelsen is signed on to continue playing the role of Hannibal Lecter for as long as the show goes on, which with Marvel's busy filming schedule, that may become a issue at some point down the line.
New Rumors have surfaced as of June 6th, 2014 that Marvel is looking at up and coming actors Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch for the role of Doctor Strange. Marvel wants the film to perform well in the box office especially seeing how they do not have the security of an Iron Man film coming out in their third phase of films, thus they would want to put their newest property in the hands of an actor that is a major rising star in the industry. Both actors are extremely talented and becoming some of the best leading men in the industry so it is no surprise that they are putting out feelers. It may also just be Marvel looking at this two actors, realizing that they are booked up with other films making it difficult for them to commit to a character like Doctor Strange at the moment, so this news may just be that Marvel wants to create some sort connection between the two actors for a role later on in the cinematic universe. I personally could truly see them as amazing villains. Also if Marvel Studios were to create their own Wolverine some day, I firmly believe Tom Hardy would be ideal for that role.
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The old adage goes that for every great hero there has to be an equally great villain behind the scenes pushing all the right buttons for our hero. Luckily, Doctor Strange has a good list of villains to pull from. For the first film of Doctor Strange, I would expect that considering Marvel's more grounded way of telling their stories that they would continue in that direction and not dive right in with Strange's more powerful villains. Thus, for the first film they would keep it as a one on one battle between Strange and his rival Baron Mordo. Mordo wanted the Ancient One's power so once Strange becomes the Sorcerer Supreme, his attention would turn towards Strange. Now granted, Mordo does not have the same power, but in his origin film, I would imagine that Strange would not have the complete grasp of his power right off the bat making Mordo again a more feasible first villain.
The other villain, who in the comics in many ways is Strange's nemesis, is Dormammu, who is pictured on the right. Dormammu is a demon who hails from the Dark Dimension that has faced off with many Sorcerer Supremes. Even Baron Mordo began working for Dormammu, who was the one the told Mordo to attack the Ancient One. Strange and Dormammu became heated adversaries when Strange bested him in mystical combat and ordered that he never return to Earth shortly after learning his abilities. At that point, Dormammu vowed to himself that he would have revenge against Strange and his hatred for him outweighed any hatred he felt towards previous Sorcerer's before him. With all of this said, it can make sense why Dormammu would make a great villain for the second Doctor Strange film.
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