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. JGL is awesome but would not fit for this movie. now a Night Wing movie he would be amazing in

    • JGL already said no to anything to do with batman nd JL

      • +1

  2. Because he is “ideal”, or just to steal him away so he won’t ever play in a Batman spin-off, or just because someone recognized his name? I am being a cynical devil’s advocate here, but actually, I do not want to take anything away from his good abilities as an actor. Just being a “Eeyore”.

  3. Need to see him with a goatee first.

  4. I know this may not be a popular choice, and a biased one but how about Kit Harrington as Doctor Strange?

    I think he would be an interesting under the radar actor to portray him. It also seems that his career could start to take off after GoT.

  5. For a younger Strange, Depp or Levitt.
    For an older one, Mortensen, Laurie or Neeson.
    For a middle-aged Dr, Olyphant, Caviezel or Jared Leto
    Please no Cumberbatch, at all.

    • Bring up a good point in Olyphant, didn’t think of him but he can look the part.

    • Deep is in his fifties.

      • meant Depp.

        • Toooooo expensive; it would never work.

    • Cal, while as an actor, I know it’s not how old you are but how old you can play, your concept of younger to older is… very SKEWD

      Actual ages of the actors you mention from youngest to oldest…

      Levitt – 32
      Leto – 41
      Caveziel – 44
      Olyphant – 45
      Depp – 50
      Mortensen – 54
      Laurie – 54
      Neeson – 61

      • I just find that Depp can look like he’s in his 30s or his actual age.
        By younger I meant late 20s, 30s.
        Middle aged late 30s, 40s.
        And for older 50s, 60s.

    • Why not, Cumberbatch? The role is almost tailor made for him. In the beginning Strange is an egotistical doctor obsessed with only his work. Near the end Strange learns becomes a wise wizard. He could easily play that easily. Just take a look at his past roles.

  6. They will have to make gordon look old otherwise the character not believeable
    without white hair.

    • I agree, Levitt, at 32 would make it hard to be believable. Dr. Strage is a successful surgeon at the time of his accident and then spends years in Tibet mastering the mystic arts. You could probably be a “successful surgeon” by the age of 32 after years of medical school and working your way up through the medical ranks. But to then spend years in Tibet mastering the mystic arts after that… yeah, 32 is quite a stretch. Someone in his 40′s would definitely make more sense. White hair is not necessarily a requirement (though a bit of a trademark).

  7. They want JGL because they want someone young to avoid the aging problem with RDJ… i want neeson for strange but his age will be a problem… although dr. Strange will most likely be cgi …marvel wants someone who can take the strain for a longer period… props for RDJ for portraying ironman even though he is in his 50′s

    • Robert Downey Jr. is 48

      • Yeah i know he is 48 but how old will he be during the filming of avengers 2 and 3 :)
        avengers 2 in 2015 avengers 3 20XX

        • Ah but what if they cure old age during that time? He could be twenty and they’d have to fire him for being too young for the roll.

        • Of course you knew he was 48. That’s why you said, “even though he is in his 50′s” as opposed to “even though he WILL BE in his 50′s.”. Of course, of course.

          • He will be portraying ironman in the avengers 2 in his 50′s… which he officially signed on .. i did’nt realise there was a sentence police here at the comment section

            • There are no sentence police here but your first statement made no supposition that you were speaking of RDJ’s future roles in Avengers movies, you just gave him props for playing Iron Man in his 50′s so I corrected your misinformation.

        • Do fanboys ever grow into fanmen? Or would it be fanmales?

      • That’s a time delayed post. Wait a couple years then reread it.

  8. Am I the only one that finds it ironic than someone named- Oppenheimer- wrote Doctor Strange?

    • Great line for Mordru or Dormammu. “I am become death the destroyer of worlds”

    • Nice!

  9. I always imagined Dr. Strange as having one of those great Shakespearian actor voices. Levitt would be too common sounding.

    • That is one of the MANY reasons why I vote for Neeson. He has a commanding stage presence and one of the few voices in Hollywood I could buy saying a phrase like, “By the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak I bind you for time and all eternity!” without laughing.

  10. Fact: Marvel executives know more about casting than fanboys.

    • Well casting directors might. The executives would probably want Justin Beiber. He’s young and hip you know.

  11. What about David Giuntoli from the show Grimm OR what about John Krasinski? I know Krasinski is awkward choice but I think he could pull it off.

  12. Gotta boost some muscles if he ever gets the part

  13. Dr. Strange

    Someone in their 30′s Jake Gyllenhall
    Someone in their 40′s Oded Fehr or Eddie Marsan
    Someone in their 50′s Clive Owen or Keanu Reeves
    Someone in their 80′s Leonard Nimoy

    But the one that gives me goose bumps would be The ‘Illusionist’ himself.. Ed Norton…

    • Hmmm…Norton…Good pick

      I still like Jim Caviezel though. HOWEVER…Keanu Reeves = not great actor. Although I like almost all movies he is in lol.

      • While I agree he’s a good choice, I don’t think Norton will be around anything Marvel for a looooooong time.

  14. David Guintoli! Guy from Grimm!

    • Not a bad suggestion!

    • Guintoli.. DOH I haven’t watched Grimm. Now I’ll have to catch it on Hulu.

      I agree Keanu isn’t that great of an actor but he has that whole Zen thing going on that could, in the right hands… NAAH.. Ed Norton. Check him in ‘The Illusionist.’

  15. I would totally be OK with this.

  16. At least three other news outlets have already shared this with us. Now you. It makes me wonder if Disney/Marvel just sit back and measure public reactions before doing anything.

    If so..

    Get Ant-Man and Strange out there, folks. Make it as real as you can!

  17. The MAIN reason I would be skeptical is the source!! LR or should I say (El Mayimbe) is THE LAST person to believe, I don’t think that guy can give a real rumor as to what panties he is wearing!

    I know SR will say he has accurately predicted or was told by a source that a cpl of rumors he has put out actually came to fruition, but I BET many of us that have the sources or get the info that he gets could do the same!
    I have followed a cpl of his “leads or rumors” that he claimed were “ALL BUT ANNOUNCED” by a cpl of BIG studios and GUESS WHAT? he could NOT HAVE BEEN further from the truth! I honestly trust the weatherman’s accuracy more than that clowns!
    I could walk outside and ask the kids in the street playing WHO WILL PLAY Dr. STRANGE (9 out of 10 Don’t have a clue who that is) and I would trust their answers over El Mayimbe or The Man (translation)

    Maybe I should feel bad for “THE MAN” because he is consistently WRONG, BUT he just seems to try very hard! I will give him an B+ for effort but an F as in FAIL… fail to get anything correct!
    I honestly DO NOT go to LR anymore because the info is routinely BULLSH*T info!!!!

  18. i wouldn’t mind seeing Matt Bommer as Dr. Strange.

  19. How about Milo Ventimiglia from Heroes, I think he could pull it of with the right look. And he isn’t too famous right now.

  20. Matt Smith for Dr Strange?????

  21. Ah… no. Just because he looks good on paper, that doesn’t mean he’ll fit the character. Ah… no. Sorry JGL, I love his work ever since 3rd rock from the sun, but… no, not this one.

  22. Olyphant is a fairly good choice. I’m thinking Fassbender as well. They both of a good voice and great dramatic presence. Neeson would fit an older version of the character though.

  23. For an older Strange… Alan Rickman

    For a 40- something…Clive Owen

  24. … Or Garret Dillahunt

  25. Strange should be played by someone in their 40′s. The audience has to get the sense that he’s much wiser and more worldly than the other characters. He should believably fill a sort of Professor X role for the Avengers. I don’t really think JGL can do that. Olyphant might be able to do it and I like some of the other names that have been tossed around here but my personal choice would be Jason Isaacs. He’s good actor, he’s 50 and has aged very well, he has that demeanor that makes you feel like he knows something you don’t, and he has done some great character work with magic and fantasy already. He also wouldn’t cost Disney an arm and a leg to hire.

  26. I guess as long as Marvel doesn’t choose Patrick freakin’ Dempsey to play Strange I’ll be happy… what a horrible idea that was.

  27. Neeson would be the ideal choice but he’s too expensive of an actor…..Mortensen then would also be good.

    JGL is a little “soft” looking.

  28. What about johnny Lee Miller (from “Sherlock”) or Armie Hammer?

  29. Marvel has been dead on with their casting so far!!
    I remember when I heard that RDJ was gonna play Tony Stark and I was Pi$$ed!! I told my son that he was a drunk and had drug problems along with other problems, and the fact that he hadn’t acted in a while, BUT DAMN WAS I WRONG! now He is by far the best cast character in the MCU.

    I will just have to leave this one up to marvel because they have not been wrong so far!
    I don’t know the character of Dr. Strange that well but I really thought Viggo Mortenson would have been great to play the Dr. until I saw his age, not that I don’t think he could still play the part but Marvel like to have their actors for a few movies and by the time Strange roles around Viggo might just be 56 or 57 and by the time they are done with Dr. Strange he will be in his 60′s and that will not work.