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
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Certainly better than Batman.

    I’ll take it.

    • Lol +1

    • +Another

      It would be crazy… so crazy it just might work! I doubt it’ll happen, though.

  2. (Ahem)…Chris Pine in Guardians of the Galaxy…?

    • Let the long short-list begin!

      • I caught that one too. Chris PRATT is who he meant, I think.

        • lol I think he was referring to very long short-list for Star-Lord, JGL was on.

    • *facepalm*

      Sorry, I must’ve still had Star Trek on the brain from earlier this morning. Thanks for catching that.

      It’s been corrected.

      • No biggee! Pine was in Rise of the Guardians, that’s pretty close…

  3. I’d rather have someone a little older. Someone in their forties.

    • Yeah he seems to young looking for the role. And when I think Doctor Strange I can’t see him in this role. He would be good for a Nova role.

  4. maphisto will be a great villain if they make him the bad guy of this movie.

  5. I’m totally okay with this. Does he fit the usual look of Doctor Strange? Perhaps not. That said, he’s a very talented, charismatic young actor who isn’t TOO young and if he fits the script then so be it.

    • Actually yes, he IS too young. Dr. Strange is supposed to be 80ish but looks like someone in their 50s due to sorcery. You see those gray temples? You don’t get that in your 30s and that’s part of his iconic look.

      Also Levitt doesn’t have a commanding stage presence, deep voice or the height needed. All in all one of the worst possible choices for the role.

      • Well, it’s not common, but I am a normal and healthy 31 year old, and I have white hairs that grow in around my temples. Just sayin’.

        • a few but I bet they aren’t a stark white like the good Dr. there.

  6. Idk if it fits but he is good

  7. JGL as Dr. strange.?oh, nooooo.
    Benedict Cumberbatch


    • Yes, Cumberbatch is a great choice for Strange. A great choice. Please Marvel pick him up for something, anything, before he explodes this year with Twelve Years a Slave and The Fifth Estate added onto Star Trek Into Darkness.

    • If he were 30 years younger maybe, but I’d be able to think is, “Hello. My name is Steven Strange. You killed The Ancient One. Prepare to die.” Or, “I am looking for Baron Mordo. He has six fingers on his left hand.”

      • That’s just it, I’m not buying a 30 year old DR. S.

        To be fair though, I’m not as well versed in Doctor Strange as I should be. To be fair, I’m more familiar with Strange parody Dr. Orpheus, but if your inspiration is an older Vincent Price why would you “young up” with JGL?

        How damn silly will he look with grey in his hair and beard (can he even grow a decent beard? All I’ve seen is scraggly ass BS, a real beard is required for Doctor Strange)

        Can anyone who is more steeped in Dr. S lore tell me if my assumption of age (or age appearance, since he was born in the 30s) is on target?

        • You’re assuming that the MCU’s version of Doctor Strange will look exactly like he does in the comics. While that’s understandable, I think his facial hair looks too much like Downey, Jr.’s as Tony Stark. So, I welcome some tweaking.

          • the picture up top gives him a nice full beard. it’s well groomed but it’s not a short goatee like RDJ has for Stark. And they probably want a younger actor so that they can keep using him and he won’t be a senior citizen by the time Avengers 3 comes out.

  8. I thought I read somewhere that he also auditioned for the part if Star-Lord/Peter Quill that eventually went to Chris Pratt, (not Pine).

    Actually, I think there is a better choice out there for the role of Dr. Strange. I’m not sure who, have to think about that.

    NO Nic Cage!!

  9. I like JGL but i think Johnny Depp would be the perfect choice for the role. He has the weirdness down but can be serious and who wouldnt want to see Depp and RDJ banter in future movies? if not Depp i like Cumberpatch too

    • Dr. Strange isn’t strange the way Depp is strange. He can only do weird, quirky Burton stuff. He hasn’t done anything different in a long time.

  10. I’d be very stoked for the Doctor Strange film if he nabs the lead role. Though I’m taking this less than a grain of salt. What with Bale becoming contacted for Batman in Justice League and all.

    • for less than*

    • When was Bale contacted to reprise his role in the Justice League?

      • I mean Latino Review reporting it. Two months later Bale reveals that he hasn’t had one single conversation about it. Than again it was a huge rumor so it was mostly my fault for believing it.

        • Oh, I didn’t even know that. Anyway, yeah Latino Review get a whole bunch of things wrong. I’m surprised people are still taking them seriously. Hardly a quarter of their scoops ever result in anything factual (and when you’re taking shots in the dark, you’re bound to hit something sometime).
          I’m sure their sources are legit, but they tend to jump the gun on things imo.

  11. Viggo Mortensen would be perfect

    • This has been my desire for ages now. Though if the news is to be believed, he is far too old. JGL has chops, I just don’t think his presence screams commanding. For the life of me I can’t think of any early-30s actors who could do it.

      • jim cavievel would be good in that role i think

    • Also a great idea… I’d be ecstatic if it was either him or Cumberbatch.

    • @ Nick

      Viggo Mortensen -yes
      Johnny Depp – no
      Liam Neeson – no
      JGL – no
      Benidict Cumberbatch – yes

      • ../change Cumberbatch for Neeson and you got it.

  12. DON’T BETRAY DC JOE!!!!!!!!!!

    • Let it go man. Let it go.

      • Never!

        • +1

          • It’s not gonna happen. Just let it die.

  13. I’d have thought they’d look for someone a little older (Viggo Mortensen or Liam Neeson are still my preferred choices), but JGL is a very good actor, so if this ends up being true, I wouldn’t mind it at all.

  14. I’d honestly love to see an older Dr. Strange and have either of these choices of actors to play him, I like JGL, but not for Dr. Strange…no way! Anyways, here are my choices:
    Johnny Depp, why? They’ve said that they want to set up Dr. Strange to take over Iron Man’s “leader role” and few people have the well-roundedness that Johnny Depp have to carry a role, let alone a team
    Benedict Cumberbatch- He’s been is some amazing roles and has a reserve in his characters that would be perfect for Dr. Strange
    Liam Neeson- come on, he’d be amazing! I’m surprised that they haven’t contacted him for an Expendables role, but I digress. Nevertheless, I think he’d be a perfect choice for Dr. Strange, and, come on guys, you’d love to hear his voice be the voice of Dr. Strange

  15. hahahaahahah hilarious

    • you know I’m right

      • Johnny Depp is not well rounded. I could get behind Cumberbatch though.

  16. I know it will never happen but Benedict would own as Doctor Strange. I could see Liam Neeson but Johnny Depp, no thanks. I don’t want a Doctor Strange doing Jack Sparrow impressions.

    • I know many people see Johnny as overrated, but if he plays it correctly….think, maybe, a less-murderous version of Sweeney Todd, I think he could do it and carry the Avengers. But I’d love Liam Neeson or Benedict Cumberbatch as well, they both are amazing actors and would elevate Marvel that much more

    • I understand your concern about Johnny Depp, and many people think he’s overrated, but if he plays it correctly….think, maybe, a less-murderous version of Sweeney Todd, I think he could do it and carry the Avengers.

  17. If you’re going to go older, I’d say cast Christoph Waltz

    • nah, not good enough

      • Christoph Waltz is a superb actor, but Strange is not the right role for him.

  18. I think Luke Evans might be perfect for this role.

    • Now he or Karl Urban, I’d love to see play Dr. Strange

      • if they wanna go the younger route, that is

      • I like Urban as well. Good thought.

      • Good call or Urban. Try this on…Richard Armitage.

        • Brilliant, 2nd best option outside Viggo Mortensen

      • Karl Urban is BATMAN! 😉

        • Nope, he’s Dredd.

          And If you ever want to see an adaptation of “Judge Dredd Vs Batman: Judgement on Gotham” it’ll remain that way. (^-^)

        • Batredd!…or Dreddman?

          and he might make a good Bat but I just don’t buy him as Bruce.

      • Karl Urban is an inspired choice, he has all the requisite features.

        If Marvel hires him, though, I expect it will be for a more action oriented character, seeing as he has A TON screen combat experience and could play any number of heroes (Wonder Man, for one example).

    • +10

      Good call on Evans, he has those piercing eyes and presence! I still prefer Cumberbatch but Luke Evans could nail it.

  19. I know many people see Johnny as overrated, but if he plays it correctly….think, maybe, a less-murderous version of Sweeney Todd, I think he could do it and carry the Avengers. But I’d love Liam Neeson or Benedict Cumberbatch as well, they both are amazing actors and would elevate Marvel that much more

  20. Can he even grow facial hair yet? Lol

  21. The thing that somewhat scares me is how they describe Strange from the script… He’s not supposed to be Ironman but with magic. You’d think they want to give him a more edgy attitude/demeanor… Swagger? Meh.

    • He has to be arrogant at the beginning as this would be his origin and Doctor Strange started out as a neurosurgeon with a ridiculously huge ego.

      • Ah ok, u mean before the accident that messed his hands.. Ok yes thern that would make sense, though i would hope his training or whatever he goes through to become the sorcerer supreme humbles him and makes him more in line with the stoic character that he tends to be. Been a while but the Dr. strange animated origin movie some years back did it pretty well if I remember.

  22. If Marvel is going for someone younger which I don’t prefer but understand I think JGL would be an amazing choice but for some reason I just don’t see him taking it…
    Of course with my prediction track record there will be an announcement tomorrow that he has accepted the role. 😉

  23. Many of the cast members from Game Of Thrones could be good options:
    Nickolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister)
    Kit Harrington (Jon Snow)
    Richard Madden (Robb Stark)
    Heck, even Aiden Gillen (Petyr Baelish)

  24. I must say that Benedict cumberbatch does sound like he would be an ideal candidate for doctor strange.

    • God yes! His voice sounds like how I’d imagine Doctor Strange to be. I could also see Viggo Mortensen but what happened to that guy? He could of been such a huge star after Lotr but the only thing off my head I remember him from was that western film years ago.

      • Viggo Mortenson is very much still around and consistently finding work, he just chooses more personally fulfilling roles in independent films as opposed to huge blockbusters. He has delivered amazing performances in movies since LotR, Eastern Promoses, A History of Violence and The Road, just to name a few.

  25. I think Josh Hartnett would work. A bit of a household name, is in his 30’s and if he let his hair grow out, he would have the look of Dr. Strange. I could also see Adrien Brody, Stuart Townsend, or Jared Leto in the role if they go above age 40.

  26. I remember A Dangerous Method, The Road and A history of Violence.

    I think he’d make a better Adam Warlock/Magus myself. Imagine him as Warlock and Cumberbatch as Strange? Mind blown.

    • ^@deadpool87

  27. Cumberbatch honestly seems like the best choice. Neeson seems great to but he’s just to old for them to hire; he would own it but they will not get him for the role for sure. Now, Cumberbatch is the perfect young actor they can get for the role of Strange. Perfect.

    • Wait, a guy who is older, looks the part AND could PLAY the part perfectly is not right? o.O You see the complete contradiction don’t you?

      Dr. Strange is supposed to look like he’s in his 50-60s but be much older.

  28. Aiden Gillan please.

    That way, he can be a renowned surgeon without seeming too young and also be the cool, calm, wise sage of the Marvel universe and an elder statesman to all but Cap when advice is needed.

    • @ Dazz

      My first choice too, I have been campaigning for Aiden Gillen as Dr. Strange for about a year now. The guy could literally walk off the set of Game of Thrones in full costume and walk on to the set of Dr. Strange and no one would notice.

      Thing is…

      … it would appear that Marvel is looking for the next franchise to “hang their hat on” so I’m guessing someone like Gillen won’t make the cut, and they will be looking more along the lines of actors such as Joseph Gordon Levitt.