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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    • If they ever made a Captain Britain movie, I could see Hugh Laurie as “Mad” Jim Jaspers.

    • adrien brody…nuff said!

  1. Why does Hollywood have to rehash the same actors over and over again? It’s like when Jeremy Renner gained a ton of fame for “Hurt Locker” he all of a sudden was getting every roll like every one out there absolutely loved the guy.. Just because someone is popular doesn’t mean they are right for the part..

    • However if they get an actor people recognize and will actually pay to go see, you don’t run the risk of a Pacific Rim situation. It’s not about being right, it’s about making a profit unfortunately.

  2. Levitt is a fine actor, but he seems way too playboy for Dr. Strange. He’s got the “hunk” label, and that just doesn’t fit.

    Liam Neeson, on the other hand, I can get behind. He can be suave and subtle, as well as fierce and commanding. Yeah, he’s getting up there, but Dr. Strange is no spring chicken. And that’s the only boundary Marvel hasn’t broken whilst evolving the superhero genre: age. I’m sick of every hero being a young, cocky dude in their 20′s-30′s. Give us an older fellow for them all to look up to.

    • What are you talking about? Marvel broke that boundary in their very first film with Robert Downey, Jr., an actor that was already 40.

      • Also, Ruffalo is in his mid 40′s and Sam Jackson is in his 60′s.

    • Well said. Liam Neeson for Dr. Strange!

      • What about Christophe Waltz? Yes he looked old in Django Unchained, but looked youthful in Inglorious Bast*rds. Think he can be a great older Dr Strange…

  3. That’s an… interesting choice…

  4. I think if they do make an offer it is because they are trying to steal him from DC before they get the Justice League idea going. I mean, they wouldn’t want him to play Batman (very hypothetical) and Dr. Strange. We’ll see.

    • Ryan Reynolds and Chris Evans have both appeared in Marvel and DC adaptations. It’s not a deciding factor. Also, expect Bruce Wayne to be Batman, not someone who didn’t even exist in the comics (Chris Nolan’s version of “Robin”).

      • What DC adaptation was Chris Evans in?

        • The Losers

          • As was Idris Elba!!

      • Chris Nolan didnt have a “Robin” he had john blakes name be robin to make speculation with the fans as he does with all his movies he leaves u thinking

  5. NOOOO he is the Batman

    • I’m a fan and I’ve been saying Aiden Gillan for months now. He’s perfect. Amazing actor, barely known except for Game Of Thrones and homegrown British drama. Just look at a screenshot of him as Petr Baelish and tell me that isn’t Dr Strange.

      • He was also the CIA agent in the first scene of Dark Knight Rises

        • Also was the bad guy in shanghai nights.

  6. Swagger?!?!

  7. as someone pointed out, jared leto?

    in his early 40s, seems to love challenging roles (and pulls em off if you ask me) and wouldn’t look weird in somewhat longer hair and a beard, since that’s pretty much his everyday look.

  8. Cumberbatch – seems like the best choice. Has the voice and presence to pull off Strange (and his star is quickly rising if they don’t get him soon I reckon he’ll be in the ‘to high profile’ area that marvel doesn’t seem to go for)
    Aiden Gillian – would be my second choice, I reckon he looks the part, and could manage to play a convincing Doctor
    Mortenson – if they decide to go for an older looking doctor

    Neeson – would be cool to see him in a marvel film, would prefer the one of the top 2 guys for Strange though (what about neeson as the ancient one?)

    JGL for doctor strange, please marvel just no, I’m a fan of JGL as an actor but doctor strange he is not (IMO)

  9. I want cumberbatch I think do great and since I’m talking dreams I want del toro as director

  10. I know I’m one of the few.. But I can’t stand the idea of actors in DC or Marvel crossing over to the other.

    • You’re not a few, there are many, like me, that share that opinion. It just creates too much confusion

  11. My choice will remain unchanged, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange

    • Agreed.

  12. I still like Jim Caviezel as Dr. Strange.

    I think the studio is planning on revolving Phase 3 and beyond on Strange. Just like Phase 1 was more about Iron Man. Since this could be the case, they may want someone who is younger.

    By the way Cumberbatch would be better as a Mr. Fantastic. I know its a different studio but I don’t see Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange

    • Now that’s a BRILLIANT idea!!!!!!!!!! Jim Caveizel for a young Dr. Strange, Liam Neeson or Benedict Cumberbatch as an older Dr. Strange, yes, no?

      • I think Cumberbatch and Caviezel are probably too close in age. Plus Liam Neeson looks nothing like the other 2 guys so would be hard to make them seem related.

        but i’m glad you like JIM CAVIEZEL!!!!

        • I Cumberbatch should play Namor and Christian bale should be Dr. Strange(if there going to steal anyone steal someone who fits) or Hugh Laurie

      • Yeah, except Jim Caviezel is 8 years older than Cumberbach.

        • 8 years is not that big of a diff. Caviezel is like 44. It’s a relatively ideal age for Dr. Strange in my opinion

      • I’m a big fan of Caveizel also. he’d make a great Dr. strange. He’s got that haunted look to go with that swagger. Look carefully and you can see the same in Robert Downey.

        • Not sure whether Caviezel is my first pick, but if Marvel finally does a bit more of a serious story for Dr. Strange (the way his animated film was), I’m definitely down with him.

          I can see Jim Caviezel be a surgeon-turned-sorcerer. He’s got the authority for it. Still not sure whether he’s my first pick though.

  13. Cumberbatch or Eric Dane(Mcsteamy from Grey’s Anatomy)

  14. I actually didn’t believe Chris Evans or Hemsworth when they were cast as Steve Rogers and Thor before, but look what happened…
    Let’s not underrate an actor just by his looks and work experience and typecast him into role suitable for our own point of view. If Marvel (really) sees something in him, then I’m sure they believe he has the wit to knock his own version of Dr. Strange

    Oh, and he’s one nice and friendly guy, I definitely wouldn’t mind him to be my neural surgeoun haha

    • Look what happened? I STILL don’t buy into Hemsworth as Thor. Evans I’m okay with but still not the best of choices in my opinion.

      Granted I’m not the biggest Marvel film fan, but RDJ Renner and Ruffalo were excellent casts. As was Hidleston obviously. Evans I can accept. Hemsworth and Johansson are easily the weak links in there for me.

      Dr. Strange needs to radiate wisdom, mystery and authority. I think JGL is great, but he does neither of those three to me. Also I think Dr. Strange should be tall, JGL is a small little lad. (For that reason I don’t buy him as Batman either).

  15. Robert Knepper as Doctor Strange is so perfect, but JGL looks too babyfaced. I couldn’t take him seriously.

  16. Dr. Strange is not supposed to be likable, so JGL being one of the most likable actors in Hollywood currently is actually a strike against him.

  17. I really like JGL. He’s awesome in indie films like (500) Days of Summer and 50/50. His work in Nolan’s blockbusters is good too. I’m not sure this role would be the best fit for him though.

    If you mention the name Cumberbatch, I will gladly agree with you.

  18. I don’t understand why he’s not batman

    • Cos he wasn’t Bruce Wayne in TDKR and they won’t continue from where that film ended

  19. How about Timothy Oliphant? I think he’d be great. Not sure how old he is though.

  20. Isn’t Latino Review completely wrong half of the time.

  21. I think Justin Thereoux would be great for this. He fits Marvel’s approach pretty well I’d say.

    Also a very funny thought occurred to me. What about… (and think of his past more quality efforts, he does have them)… what about…Charlie Sheen. What if he could be convinced to really give it a serious go? They say he’s really turned around on his past ludicrous behaviour… I’ve seen moments in his work which would make me say he could really give a great performance as Dr. Strange. I think there’s a scenario in some weird dimension where it could work.

    Johnny Depp is also a possibility in my opinion.
    George Clooney would be interesting as well but probably no-one will ever dare to put him in a CB movie again.

    And of course, that which will never happen (he’s said so himself): Daniel Day-Lewis.

    These five and Cumberbatch and Caviezel, all seven I’d prefer over JGL.

  22. How about Rich Evans?

    • I never thought about Rich Evans. Probably because I don’t know who the hell he is.

  23. Robert Downey Jr !

  24. I like the choices of Viggo Mortensen, Liam Neeson, Hugh Laurie, JGL, James Caviezel and Benedict Cumberbatch.

    What about these?
    Daniel Day Lewis
    Ioan Gruffud
    Tom Hardy
    Michael Shannon
    Ewan McGregor
    Carlos Bernard (24)
    James Morrison (24)
    Keanu Reeves
    Ben Affleck

    shoot if you want to go with actors outside the racial aspects
    Dennis Haysbert

    • Daniel Day Lewis might be the best actor who works right now but he is EXTREMELY selective with his roles and only makes one movie every few years. Not only would Lewis never consider a comic book character a worthy challenge to him as an actor, it would be impossible to sign him for multi-picture deals. He is too sophisticated for a comic book movie. And I say that as a person who dearly loves comic book movies.

  25. JGL would be a great and well-fitted addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t read to comic books that much so I’m saying this strictly as a movie fan. Loved the Avengers, it’s my favorite movie. Gordon-Levitt is one of the best up and coming stars we have

  26. Johnny Depp for Doctor Strange?

    HOLY SH*T I would love to see that movie xDDDDDD