Marvel Studios Going Strange
There are a lot of characters within the Marvel Universe that people would love to see on screen, Doctor Stephen Strange remains as one of those characters and now it seems as if the Sorcerer Supreme will be getting his day. Marvel has announced four directors on their short list to direct the movie as part of the third phase of films. The front-runners are, Mark Andrews who co-wrote and directed the animated film Brave. Nikolaj Arcel writer and director of last year's best foreign film of the year, A Royal Affair. Dean Israelite, who is relatively an unknown director up to this point and lastly Jonathan Levine who is famous for directing films such as Warm Bodies and 50/50. None of them strike me as logical choices to direct a film that is as strange as this one, not to use a pun there or anything, but the film will have a very different tone than other Marvel films to this point. Most fans would have wanted to see someone along the lines of Guillermo Del Toro who is a staple for films of this nature. My personal choice would have been Duncan Jones who directed Moon and Source Code. The film is so odd because it calls upon mixing magic and the supernatural into a universe that up until this point has still been fairly grounded into reality. Even Thor's otherworldly elements were described as simply advanced humans who have lived longer then those on Earth. From Marvel's viewpoint, they have much more confidence in the fact that a character like this and the tone that it brings will work and will be received well due to their previous success. Not only their previous success but the fact that a character like Thor was received well and it also seems that Guardians of the Galaxy will be received just as well.
The story is one that would translate well to the big screen as it follows Doctor Stephen Strange. A man who is a skilled surgeon thanks to the fact that his hands never shake, but he is also incredibly arrogant and does whatever he can for more fame and fortune. One night he drives to make a quick buck from a wealthy stockbroker and cares very little for the poor driving conditions. This causes him to drive off of a cliff where he gets severely injured. This forces him to look back on how he has constantly taken a blind eye to the unfortunate and when he wakes up he finds himself back at the hospital. They explain to him that they were able to heal all of his wounds except he now has nerve damage in his hands and will never be able to perform surgery again. Having received this information it sends Strange into a drunken stupor filled with regret and a false hope that he can get better. Eventually, he hears of a man who has healing powers known as the Ancient One that he searches for. Upon proving to himself to the Ancient One, he becomes what is known as the Sorcerer Supreme after receiving training from him. When he does so it also opens him up to facing off against all kinds of foes, especially ones of the supernatural and mystical variety.
It'll be interesting to see who they cast in the role of Stephen Strange, and it would not be surprising at all if they go with an actor that has an established pedigree. After all, they did approach Johnny Depp for the part. There are even other rumors of them looking at Jon Haam from Mad Men, but if you ask me Viggo Mortensen would make a great Stephen Strange. However, I don't know if he would want to commit to a character that he'd have to play multiple times like he did with Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings franchise. With the director being chosen and the script finished I would not be surprised to hear a casting decision done in the next few months. The ideal time for such an announcement would most likely come around the time of Comic-Con where Marvel will certainly have yet again a very powerful showing there with such projects as Avengers Age of Ultron and Ant-Man being showcased.