Early this year, Marvel Studios began to get serious about Doctor Strange, holding meetings with potential writers and directors. It was only a few short months later when Scott Derrickson (Sinister) was officially announced to helm the picture with Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) helping write. Strange is a passion project for Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige and while it’s not yet official we know Doctor Strange will be hitting theaters in July 2016 after Captain America 3 kicks off the summer in May.

With a director, release date and a story largely in place, Marvel just needs a leading actor to play Doctor Strange – someone willing to sign a long-term contract to play the character for what we can only assume will be many movies over many years. According to Feige, Doctor Strange does not “require” a movie star but they sure are looking for someone who fits that description.

That’s why three-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix nearly had the role back in July but negotiations ended up falling through. We can only guess as to why, but a long-term deal with a notoriously money-conscious studio can’t be all that appealing to actors who don’t want to be held back from other roles with such a commitment. Even before Phoenix was reportedly in talks, names including Jared Leto, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy all made the rounds, making it clear that Marvel wants a familiar face to help introduce comic book movie fans to the magical side of the Marvel universe.

With Phoenix out of the picture now and a production start scheduled for May 2015, Marvel is currently looking towards other potential stars – and one of those individuals is Ewan McGregor. The likable, recognizable and seemingly-always-working Scotsman is someone Marvel is “looking” at according to sources of Badass Digest. McGregor’s reportedly already researching the Doctor Strange character but we don’t know who else could also be contending for the part.

Doctor Strange is of course a key player in the Marvel Comics and could take on a leadership role for future Avengers team-up movies and other event films. Strange is a character the studio will be banking on for years to come. With that in mind, can you picture the man who played young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels as an Avenger for the next decade?

NEXT: Timing & Magic of Marvel’s Doctor Strange Movie

The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28, 2017, Black Panther on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4 2018, Captain Marvel on July 6 2018, Inhumans on November 2 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3 2019.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!

Source: BD