Rumor Patrol: Marvel Wants Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Play Doctor Strange

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 3rd, 2014 at 7:41 am,

Joseph Gordon Levitt John Blake TDKR Rumor Patrol: Marvel Wants Joseph Gordon Levitt to Play Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange is one citizen of the Marvel comic book universe long-rumored to make the jump to the big screen sometime in the future. Over the past few years, there’ve been various rumors about how that might happen, be it with a live-action installment in the Marvel Cinematic universe or an animated movie by Pixar (as was mentioned at one point). Then, in 2011, screenwriters Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer were reported to have turned in their own Doctor Strange script draft to Marvel. Since that, “evidence” in the form of rumors and comments made by Marvel head of production Kevin Feige about the magical superhero have been piling up.

What does it all point towards? That the Sorcerer Supreme will, in fact, be included as part of Phase 3 for the MCU and that an official announcement could take place at Marvel’s panel at the 2013 International Comic-Con later this week. Until that time, we can offer a new casting possibility to chew on: Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Stephen Vincent Strange.

Dr. Strange Marvel Movie Rumor Patrol: Marvel Wants Joseph Gordon Levitt to Play Doctor Strange

This rumor was provided by Latino Review, with the following disclaimer:

Now at press time, we are not saying that an offer has been made, that talks have even engaged and who knows, Levitt and his team are probably unaware, BUT we are hearing that Marvel execs internally are discussing that Levitt is who they figure would be ideal.

Levitt is a hot commodity right now (and his career isn’t doing badly either – hey-o!), as he will follow his roles in last year’s Dark Knight Rises, Looper and Lincoln with his directing debut Don Jon this fall – that indie film is already earning critical acclaim – followed by a leading role in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in summer 2014. Problem is, he’s already a big enough star that he can demand a substantial salary for any role he chooses. Not to mention, Levitt seems to enjoy his freedom, as suggested by his tendency to keep a cool head whenever people start asking him about his potential involvement with a Justice League movie (among other reasons, that is).

Point being, Marvel tends to be pretty business-savvy, by not offering actors big-money contracts until the studio has to (see Robert Downey Jr.’s past deals with the studio) and signing them up for multiple-movie commitments. Similarly, the studio traditionally prefers to bring on headlining actors who’re ready to pop in terms of popularity (see Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy), but aren’t there already (lest they be able to command too much creative control and influence). That is a description that simply does not fit Levitt, regardless of whether you love or loathe the idea of him playing Doctor Strange.

dr strange marvel movie Rumor Patrol: Marvel Wants Joseph Gordon Levitt to Play Doctor Strange

So, if Levitt isn’t what you call a realistic casting option, why mention Marvel’s interest in him at all? Well, according to LR, he fits the pre-requisites for the role (as envisioned in the film adaptation):

In the current draft of the script by Oppenheimer and Donnelly, the Sorcerer Supreme is written for someone in their early 30s. Levitt has both the charm and also the swagger the script currently demands. That and the fact that Levitt is one of the more likeable actors in town.

Basically, the implication is that Levitt is the kind of person that Marvel is looking for to portray Doctor Strange, as opposed to an older candidate like Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) or such fan suggestions as Benedict Cumberbatch, Liam Neeson and even Johnny Depp (mind you, we’re not claiming that all fans are behind such casting ideas). Who knows, maybe when all is said and done, Levitt could wind up with the role – but consider us very skeptical of the proposition for the time being.

Since we’re throwing names out there, who do you want to see play Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Let us know in the comments section.


Iron Man 3 releases on DVD and Blu-ray on September 24th, 2013.

Meanwhile, Thor: The Dark World opens in theaters on November 8th, 2013, followed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6th, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6th, 2016, July 8th, 2016 and May 5th, 2017.

Source: Latino Review

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. Here’s a “Dr. Strange” for you: my sister once had a dentist named “Dr. Looney”! (Spelling might not be correct??)

  2. I just thought of an interesting choice that might be a bit out of the box but……how about Crispin Glover?

    The guy loves interesting and unique roles, has the stature, gaunt look, piercing gaze, right age, acting chops….I’ve never seen him with a beard but I think he would be a great choice (along with Mortensen and Neeson)

  3. You’re all wrong.
    Aidan Gillen for Dr. Strange.
    It is known.

    • i think oded ferh would be a better doctor strange
      or maybe ioan grufford

      • oded ferh would make more sense in the DC universe as another doctor…Doctor Fate, he has the right look and hes even voiced him in Justice League Unlimtied

    • It is known.

  4. FYI…In the comics Dr. Strange gets his powers when he is like 33. Pretty young.

    Plus, if Marvel is going to include Strange in 3 or more movies they might consider someone who looks like they are in their 30′s. That means we probably won’t get someone like Liam Neesom.

    They are looking for younger probably.

    That’s why I like David Guintoli from the show Grimm and Jim Caviezel. Both have that depressive brooding look. Look them up!!!!

    • I like the Guintoli idea.

  5. I meant to add that the reason they would want someone who looks in 30′s is so that the character can grow with the audience through many movies.

  6. Aiden Gillen is a good call though too!

  7. Jonathan Rhys Meyers would be a great Doctor Strange . I ‘ve already said this before on other DR S articles.. He fits the look and charcther so well

  8. Just throwing names out here – Johnny Lee Miller , Michael Fassbender. Jude Law . It’s really weird but Mads Mikkelsen – His acting, presence,voice demeanor would be Epic for this character but I doubt he would take on a Villian role in a MCU Super Hero Movie and he’s too old ..

    • My Bad . Not Villian

      • No, he’s not. Also, he was cast as the villain of Thor: The Dark World but had to drop out so that he could take the role of Hannibal Lecter.

  9. What about Milo Ventimiglia from Heroes. If he grew a beard or something he could probably do it.

  10. I decided to use a bit of photoshoppery to see if he’d look okay. I think it could work, at least as far as major celebrities who could play the part. Results here:

  11. Actually Christian Bale looks the part and has already played a magician in The Prestige.

    • That’s more of a reason not to have him. Marvel is going to use someone who hasn’t played this type of role before. otherwise people will compare. they will want something fresh and not super well established.

      That’s why it wont be Cumberbatch. (plus he doesn’t fit the part)

      That’s why it wont be Bale (people will compare to Batman, wont be Neesom (too old)

      Wont be Keanu Reeves (not good enough actor)

      wont be Ion Gruffod (already did Mr. Fantastic) and not good enough

      Wont be Fassbender (Doesn’t look the part and he is pretty well established as Magneto) Will prevent possible crossover issues

  12. Dont slay me…but How bout twilight dad and star of that JJ Abrams show revolution I think…..he can pull off cocky and powerful as well as humble….

    • I know who you are talking about. Could be good.

  13. Benedict Cumberbatch?

    • he doesn’t look like Dr. Strange to me. Good actor but I don’t think he fits the bill.

      • Benedict WILL play at least one comic book character in the near future, no doubt about that.

        Wouldn’t he be awesome as Dream/Morpheus in Sandman? The project HAS come back into the spotlight over the last few days. Not to typecast, but I’m thinking Hilary Swank for Desire (AND Despair, through motion capture), Anna Friel as Death, and any of the pop starlets-gone-wild (Lohan, Bynes, Cyrus) as Delirium (it’ll be cheap, they’ll just tell them it’s for a reality show and roll camera).

        Trying to think outside the box here but I think Billy Crudup would be a good fit. He can play the arrogance and coldness of Dr. Stephen Strange and could pull off his arc of transforming into a selfless protector.

        I like Aiden Gillen for it, tremendous actor (see THE WIRE, UK QUEER AS FOLK).

        Jack Davenport?

        Max Irons if they go really young.

        Hmmmm….Matthew Fox?

  14. Hugh Laurie can make an awesome Doctor Strange ? How does that sound ?

    • Great actor….bad choice….sorry bro

  15. Slap a beard and stache on Gordon-Levitt and I think he can easily pull off the role. I actually think he’s a perfect choice.

  16. The only good logical choices that have been said are the following.

    Matt Bomer
    David guintoli
    Jim Caviezal
    Aiden Gillen
    Joseph Gordon Levitt
    Viggo Mortensen
    Billy Burke

    All other names do not fit well with dr. strange in my opinion

    • Duhhhh….Eric Dane

      • I think Eric Dean Turic might be a good call. I would still like to see some not-so-famous actor get the part. That said, I still hold out for Michael Kelly!

  17. It’s worth noting the script is probably great. Oppenheimer directed- The Act of Killing.

  18. Matt Bomer would be great.

  19. I don’t really care who plays doctor strange as long as the movie is accurate and exciting.

    • Good luck with the accurate part! Has there been an accurate adaptation from comic to film? Don’t think so.

    • That entails correct casting.

  20. I like JGL but HECK NO!
    I would like one of these actors:
    Joseph Finesse- great actor & looks the the part IMO
    Johnathan Rhys Meyers- same as above, just needs to darken his hair
    Orlando Bloom- Has grown as an actor & looks the part, made for films like this, & has star appeal.
    Zachary Quinto- could pull it off well imo

    There are a lot of actors out there that could pull it off, but IMO JGL as ggod as he is just is not suited for Dr. Strange

  21. Eric Dane would make the perfect Dr Strange

    • No depth

  22. Why has no-one mentioned Hugh Laurie? He’s a bit older, but make up is a thing. He’s got the right attitude and looks. Coupled with the fact that his career isn’t all that blown up, it seems like a smart idea. Laurie’s smart enough to see a deal with Marvel as a huge win. I don’t know, it just seems like a good fit. Hell, it even gives him a roll that can use a little of that dry humor of his.

    • Too old now. Happy medium.

  23. I think Nathan Fillion, of Castle and Firefly fame, would be a great choice. He is fairly young, tall and a fan favorite!

  24. Third Rock kid being the Master of the Mystic Arts? This would be a weak, easy-out-to-get-an-audience type of casting
    choice. The kid can truly act, but that’s just it: He’s a KID. The one
    important, reality-based feature of the character, one that is
    absolutely pivotal to his origin, is that he is a world-renowned
    neurosurgeon before he is even chosen to train to become a sorcerer.
    It’s O.K. to ask the audience to buy into sorcery when it’s a genre
    movie, but the reality elements cannot be ridiculous. Levitt looks
    barely old enough to play a medical resident, let alone a top
    neurosurgeon in his field.

  25. JOSEPH GORDON LEVITT = PERFECT DR. STRANGE!I am so excited for the Dr. Strange movie, and Levitt would be absolute gold. Hope he gets it.