Casting Call: Doctor Strange
As I stated in my previous article, Marvel Studios looks to be going forward with a Doctor Strange film as part of their third phase of films. The script is just about complete, and the search for the director is being narrowed down so in this article I look at a few actors that could play the Sorcerer Supreme. It is a tough act to pull as he has a bit of an ego at first just like that of Tony Stark but has a horrible tragedy occur that changes his viewpoints. Then his world opens up to magic and the supernatural making him into something far different then his previous self while also becoming one of the most powerful heroes among the Marvel Universe. These choices I present to you are solely my choices with a tiny bit of evidence backing up why I think these actors would make a good choice. Some of them are indeed on the rumor mill for the part whereas some are not.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
First off, I think he is a very talented actor who has a lot of range. He has the ability to be funny, earnest, command respect and carries plenty of screen presence. The only issue is that he is not a marketable actor in the business. He has had great success on the small screen having bit parts in successfully television shows like Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy. Then you look at his resume on the big screen and it doesn't scream leading man material. That is not exactly his fault, but this business comes down to risks and money. Morgan would make a very good Doctor Strange has he could easily play the egotistical doctor turned self-less hero but it would be a tough pitch for anyone to have him lead in a film that could very well be the biggest risk for Marvel Studios yet. The other side of the coin, it may confuse people considering how similar the character is to Tony Stark at first, and how similar Morgan looks in comparison to Robert Downey Jr.
Jon Hamm has been gathering a lot of attention due to his work on the Emmy nominated Mad Men as well his limited work on films. He is a talented actor who exudes intelligence and plenty of bravado. Those are two elements that would work in his favor in playing the role of Doctor Strange. Again, like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, his lack of leading roles on screen may go against him, but unlike Morgan he has a decent fan-base thanks to his work on Mad Men. The continued thread among these actors that have gained some sort of traction for the role is that they are a bit older then other actors chosen for roles. Hamm could be a cheaper choice, but still technically a risk.
Everyone in the film industry wants to work with this guy at the moment. If Marvel wants him for any role, they might want to get on the phone with him right now. His voice would be perfect in the role of Doctor Strange as he commands so much respect and attention and while his slim stature is not imposing in comparison to others on this list, he makes up for it in his superb acting ability and his enunciation of every word. Benedict Cumberbatch would be able to perfectly convey the mystical elements of the character and even his intellect. It would also be easy for him to play the arrogant side of the character due to his work on BBC's Sherlock. All in all, Cumberbatch has incredible range and would be a viable candidate for a villain or even the hero.
Viggo Mortensen would not only be a great draw as he has a great pedigree as a leading man but he also was a part of one of the best film trilogies to date, Lord of the Rings. That bodes well for him as it proves to the studio that he is a safe bet, but also a terrific choice for the part. His look fits perfectly with that of Stephen Strange as well as the way he speaks and carries himself translates well to portraying the character. He is also diverse in the fact that he can truly play just about any role. He could be the arrogant doctor, he could be the drunk who had lost his way and he could be the man reborn in a world of mysticism and supernatural beings. One issue being that Viggo has a tendency to ad-lip on his lines much more then that of Robert Downey Jr and his ad-lip is usually much more serious instead of humorous, which in that sense would fit the character. The other issue would be I am not sure if he would want to commit to another franchise long term, especially seeing how he is getting up there in age now.
This one is an obvious choice on many levels. Depp is a known commodity in Hollywood and has been a leading man on many different films. However, he has not done well as a leading man with his past few films. That hasn't seemed to deter Marvel as it has been reported that they have already had conversations with him on the part. I could see Depp in the part, as long as he tones down the "weirdness" that he seems to be banking on in films such as Lone Ranger, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Dark Shadows. It is almost as if he has fallen into a stupor of playing a similar character over and over. Maybe, Wally Pfister's Transcendence will break that mold sending Depp back into being the terrific actor we all remember him being. In his early days he was widely regarded as one of the best actors in the business. In terms of playing the character of Doctor Strange, he has the look obviously with the dark hair and the cartoon version of the character even looks identical to Depp. He has displayed great range over his career making it easy to see that if he can revert back to his earlier days that he'd be a great fixture among the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Considering how they have already talked to him about the role, it solidifies that they are indeed looking for an older and more veteran actor for the part as opposed to their usual lesser known actors that they have picked perfectly.