Jon HammGiven the basic requirements for the character of Dr. Stephen Strange - a cold, arrogant surgeon who injured his hands and must find a new purpose in life - it's not surprising to see rumors that Jon Hamm (Mad Men) is Marvel's second choice for the part. Hamm has made a career of playing borderline detestable figures who audiences can't help but adore, even if he is a bit older than Marvel's usual leading men. But add the fact that Doctor Strange will be trying something entirely new for Marvel (magical, offbeat drama and action), and Hamm's comedic chops could also serve him well. With drama and comedy cred, Hamm's casting would still leave the direction of the film a mystery.
Matt BomerIf Hamm's blend of ego and charm is the direction Marvel's headed, but the studio would prefer an actor a bit younger, then Matt Bomer would be a promising candidate; in fact, on USA's White Collar, Bomer portrays a character not much of a stretch from a young Don Draper. Since being cast for Brett Ratner's failed Superman reboot (and voicing the character instead), Bomer has been a fan-favorite option for Bruce Wayne, as well. We'd argue that Doctor Strange is a better fit, as few proven young actors can pull off Bomer's playboy persona (which made him a fan-favorite for Fifty Shades of Grey) and his lighter side. Again, it seems Marvel is aiming for fame, but if they end up eying a younger, good-looking lead, Bomer remains a choice that wouldn't disappoint.
Orlando BloomIt isn't just his close proximity to Johnny Depp in the minds of mass audiences that has Orlando Bloom on our list - even if the Pirates of the Caribbean actor did come to fame as part of Disney's blockbuster franchise. Bloom may have failed to remain at the heights of Lord of the Rings or Pirates in terms of fame or recognition, but a little time out of the spotlight isn't a bad thing. That thinking paid off for Marvel by casting Robert Downey, Jr. as the heart of their movie universe, and Bloom's acting skills outside of the limelight are nothing to scoff at. Could Doctor Strange offer him the same chance to shine? Hard to say. But we can see him in the role, which is more than we can say for other names being thrown around.
Keanu ReevesFirst things first: yes, Keanu Reeves is a bit eccentric. And yes, his roles are often surprising and divisive. But he already proved up to the task of portraying a sorcerer with knowledge of the occult in Constantine (2005). For good or ill, when Reeves told audiences that staring into a cat's eyes can pierce the veil between humanity and the supernatural, they took his word for it. When Keanu fits a role, he fits, and the enigmatic actor has, in many ways, proved to be both as removed and yet kindhearted as Stephen Strange himself, so we have no question he could give a faithful performance. While many other fan-favorites would raise eyebrows or elicit groans from audiences when they began casting 'spells' or 'summoning spirits,' we believe Reeves would seem right at home - that alone makes him an attractive option.
Benedict CumberbatchFew actors have taken the Comic-Con audience by storm in recent years like Benedict Cumberbatch, and with good reason. Roles like 'Khan,' the most iconic villain in Star Trek history, or 'Sherlock Holmes' would catapult any actor into worldwide fame, but Cumberbatch has more than enough talent and presence to not just live up to major roles, but give them new life for entirely new generations. It's hard to think of another actor that could bring the grandeur, ego and sense of wonder to Doctor Strange like Cumberbatch, and the fact that he has become a household name is a one-two punch of 'bankability.' If Marvel is willing to spend top-dollar on a star, then Cumberbatch is a perfect choice - if he would even be interested in the part.
ConclusionThat concludes our list of actors that we feel could bring the sense of mysticism, adventure and drama to the upcoming Doctor Strange movie. It's well known that other actors have expressed interest in the role, or look the part like no other, but there is more to making the movie work than simply fitting the cape and collar. What's your take on the film's chances and possible direction? Will the leading man determine how interested you are in the film, or are you a fan of the source material first? Leave your thoughts in the comments. We'll keep you up to date on all news surrounding Marvel's Doctor Strange. Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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