Last week, Marvel announced that Benedict Cumberbatch would play the Sorcerer Supreme in Doctor Strange, due in theaters in 2016.
I’m still processing this news, because “Doctor Strange” was one of my favorite Marvel titles way back when, and as big a fan I am of Benedict Cumberbatch and his work, I’m not 100% sold yet that he was the best choice. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a very good choice, and as a wonderful actor he can very likely pull it off, and I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised. It’s a question of too much of a good thing… will mainstream movie fans be able to separate his work as Sherlock from Doctor Strange? Will crossover Marvel/Star Trek geeks be able to forget him as Khan and see him as the Sorcerer Supreme?
For the folks in fandom already moaning about him being British, really? Haven’t you noticed that British and Australian actors do a much better job of portraying American “accents” than many American actors are at doing British and Australian accents? That concern never even made it onto my list of reservations.
For me, I keep seeing Stephen Strange as being older, with decades of experience under his belt after having gone on his journey to find a way to reclaim the use of his hands and become a surgeon again, not realizing that what he found would take him much farther than he could ever have dreamed.
That’s my one sticking point. How old will Stephen Strange be in this film? Will he be a younger version, just coming into his powers, or the older, more experienced sorcerer on a quest to not only recover his lost magical artifacts (scattered and/or damaged after a massive mystical battle), but to also resurrect The Defenders (another Marvel title I enjoyed a long time ago)? Or will they follow later storylines where he was actually a member of the Avengers, which could perhaps be a tease for him appearing in later Avengers movies (a la Black Panther)?
Either way, because of the age I had always seen him in my head, I was hoping they’d land Pierce Brosnan, or maybe Alan Rickman.
The architects of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe haven’t let me down yet, and there’s no way I’m not going to go see this movie a few times. I want it to be a movie I can love, not just like, and if they successfully make me forget the age thing, job well done.