Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a host of big names touted for the lead role in the next comic book franchise to join Marvel’s ever-growing cinematic universe, Doctor Strange. First it seemed that Joaquin Phoenix was all but confirmed, but reports indicate that he got cold feet about being tied down to several movies. Then Ethan Hawke was heavily rumored, much to the chagrin of some fans.
Now, it seems that Sherlock and Star Trek: Into Darkness star Benedict Cumberbatch might be on the verge of being announced as the Sorcerer Supreme. Previously rumored as being a frontrunner for the role of Martian Manhunter for DC Comics superhero movie canon, Cumberbatch would be a significant boon for Marvel, offering both serious acting cred and the prospect of a big star on the rise.
Cumberbatch will next hit the multiplex in The Imitation Game, which is hotly tipped to do well at the 2015 Oscars. It would make sense, based on Cumberbatch’s previous work, for now to be the time that he signs up to a major new franchise. Having appeared in the Hobbit series as well as Star Trek over the past few years, it’s no secret that the actor likes to pair dramatic roles with more mainstream fare. It’s hard to think of a bigger blockbuster franchise of the moment than the shared universe that Marvel have been assembling over the past decade.
Hugely popular on the internet thanks to his cult roles and amusing name, it’s no surprise that the rumors of Cumberbatch’s hiring have set social media ablaze. Twitter will be very, very disappointed if it turns out that we won’t see Sherlock become Strange.
Benedict Cumberbatch is rumored to be in final negotiations to be playing doctor strange, that would be awesome
— Kyle Brown (@KBdelish) October 28, 2014
If you don't have faith in Marvel's casting by now… you need a seat. #DoctorStrange
— Superhero Report (@SuperheroReport) October 27, 2014
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange is possibly one of the best castings Marvel have made.
— Cam Hughes (@camhughes) October 28, 2014
However, the sheer breadth of the names previously associated with the character has ensured that the debate still rages as to whether or not a host of actors would be suitable. Expect this to continue even if Cumberbatch is confirmed to be in the role — and superhero casting seems liable to spawn discussion even months after the movie is in theaters.
Ethan Hawke not playing Doctor Strange is the best news I've heard all week.
— Deathlock (@indiandeathlock) October 28, 2014
If Benedict is Doctor Strange, I feel like what was almsot a lock 2 years ago. I'm game but sorta want Keanu Reeves in the role.
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) October 27, 2014
Dear people suggesting Johnny Depp would be "perfect" for Doctor Strange: Please. just. stop.
— AHHHlisha Ghoulso (@AlishaGrauso) October 25, 2014
Cumberbatch seems like a largely satisfactory choice, although there are always going to be some fans that are disappointed. Certainly, he seems closer to the sort of archetype that the role demands than Colin Farrell, who was rumored for the part last week. Similarly, his work as of late is far less patchy than Johnny Depp’s output.
Of course, whenever Benedict Cumberbatch is discussed online, jokes about his name and his appearance aren’t far off. It has to be said; he does have quite a funny name and he doesn’t look a million miles off from a lizard, and happily it seems like the majority of the burns of Benedict are in good humour.
" buttercream cumberwhack officially cast as doctor strange ! " pic.twitter.com/hT7NezQEia
— jade (@cemeterydrve) October 28, 2014
'Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange?' 'No that's just how his face looks in photographs.'
— Fear-nan Boo-yeb (@TiernanDouieb) October 27, 2014
ultron's opinion corner: i would make a better doctor strange than bumblebee cucumbers #ButThatsNoneOfMyBusiness
What do you think? Is Benedict Cumerbatch a perfect Doctor Strange, or should Marvel have held out for Joaquim Phoenix? Or someone else entirely? Let us know in the comments section below, or get in touch via Twitter by following @SocialNewsDaily.