‘Doctor Strange’ Production Begins Early Next Year; Casting Very Soon

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Doctor Strange Marvel Art by Kyle Chaney Doctor Strange Production Begins Early Next Year; Casting Very Soon

The production of the long gestating Ant-Man - Marvel’s next new superhero solo origins film - is seemingly back on track after the unexpected exit of writer and director Edgar Wright. With a new director (Peyton Reed) and script reviser (Adam McKay) in place for an August start date for principal photography, Marvel Studios is already in pre-production to gear up for another new potential Avengers team addition in Doctor Strange.

Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige, producer of all of Marvel’s films, has made a point of listing Doctor Strange as a passion project of his for years – one that he was confident in and one that would definitely make its way to the big screen sometime after Ant-Man. Now it’s finally happening. Doctor Strange has a director and a new writer and will begin shooting sooner than you think.

Speaking with Total Film, Feige further confirmed that Scott Derrickson (Sinister) will be helming Doctor Strange and reiterated what he’s told us in the past about the character’s importance to the future growth of the MCU.

“Scott Derrickson has been announced as the director. Doctor Strange is a character that I’ve been interested in for many, many years and that I’ve talked about in interviews for probably 14 years, because I believe it’s very, very important for us to explore every nook and cranny of the comic-book universe and we’ve done the street-level heroes, and we’ve done the billionaire superheroes [on Earth]. We’ve now done the cosmic side with Thor and Avengers and most obviously with Guardians, but there’s a whole other side of the Marvel comics, which is that supernatural side – the interdimensional side of the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange is, I believe, our entry point into that other realm, which has dozens of characters and storylines all of its own.

So Strange is very, very important, not just because it’s an amazing character study, and a journey of a man who’s gone from this very arrogant surgeon to somebody who is quite zen and literally keeps all of reality together on a daily basis, but it also is going to open up a whole other side of storytelling for our movies. So we’re about to hire a writer to redo a draft, and we think we’ll be casting probably in the next month or two, and announcing an actor, and then we get into production in the spring of next year.”

They’ve already found that writer in Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). Feige told us last year that for Phase 3 they’re going to stick with the formula of two films per year, the first of each pair being a sequel to an established property and the second a new property. This year that meant Captain America sequel before Guardians of the Galaxy; next year it means The Avengers: Age of Ultron before Ant-Man; and in 2016, it means Captain America 3 before Doctor Strange. No surprises there.

Doctor Strange Marvel Comics Cover Art Doctor Strange Production Begins Early Next Year; Casting Very Soon

The question now is what happens after that in 2017 if there’s one slot for a sequel and one slot for something new? Does ThorHulk or Guardians get a followup in May 2017 before Inhumans, Black Panther or something else entirely in a later 2017 date?

With Strange casting announcements expected in the not too distant future, it’s possible Marvel Studios has already found their Master of Mysticism in one of the three rumored candidates so far: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jared Leto and Tom Hardy. Either way, this is the closest thing you’ll get to confirmation that Doctor Strange is coming July 6, 2016 until it’s made official.


More: The Timing & Magic Behind Marvel’s Doctor Strange Movie


Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!

Source: Total Film

Header edited from art by Kyle Chaney.

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  1. I know he hasn’t been linked with it in anyway but I’m still hoping they’ll go for Matt Bomer for the role.

    • Why does everyone keep suggesting this guy for stuff? Because you saw a picture of him with facial one time? No. We do not need a pretty boy actor to play Doctor Strange. There are plenty of other roles in which he’d do well but not Strange. We need an actor that can capture that Vincent Price inspiration while not seeming like he actually belongs in the 1950s. As much as I hate to admit it, out of the actors that are actually rumored to be up for the part, I think Benedict Cumberbatch would do the role the best. Having (begrudgingly) said that, I would have preferred Aidan Gillen, Joseph Fiennes (just based on appearances), or Jason Isaacs (who I reeeeeally wanted for Lex Luthor) just to name a few. But, sorry, these Abercrombie actors don’t fit hardly any of the roles for which people are suggesting them.

      • Gotta generally agree with you, Oneiros. If we are to identify with the character from the comics, it would certainly seem to me to be important to be able to recognize them, that they look like the character. Always respect the source material; it is not necessary to change every little aspect. I say let’s find a few actors that look the part, then select from them the one who best can act and cull out the rest. End result: a good actor whop looks like who he is trying to play, and lo and behold, the audience can recognize in every aspect. To do otherwise would be like trying to make a traditional cake, but leaving out half the ingredients and substituting things that normally would not go into a cake. It is therefore no longer a traditional cake, the Pillsbury Doughboy calls foul, and there is anarchy in the streets. Nope, remember canon, canon, canon…or shoot yourself in the foot!

        • That’s my thought process as well. There are a number of talented actors who look like him. There’s no need to cast someone who doesn’t look like him. Unless, I suppose, if the cost difference is actually THAT huge, but I doubt it. Canon is important. Not everything has to be the same, but if there’s no practical reason to change it, don’t.

  2. Surprised no one has mentioned Josh brolin for the role of Doctor Strange.

    • Maybe because he’s already playing Thanos?

    • He is already cast as Thanos so its likely a non starter.

    • Brolin already rejected being the new Batman; likely because he doesn’t like multi-picture deals and wants to remain diverse. So not likely he would want to be tied down to any character besides simple voice acting.

  3. Or some people just list off actors who they think resemble the characters that are up for talks, and who they think are decent/good actors. Just as some people list out actors they want for the role of certain characters regardless if they look like them or not. Being a pretty boy has nothing to do with it. Its all based on personal preference.

    • lol You didn’t click ‘Reply’ did you?

    • These sorts of empty, dismissive comments are pointless and annoying. Congratulations. You can dimly explain both sides of a discussion.

  4. What about Dermot Mulroney, Right age, pretty much has the look down pat if you add on some side burns and a goat-ee…. Would be my first choice,.

  5. Brolin is only playing the voice of Thanos, much like Vin Diesel is voicing Groot but as he’s hinted at several times, Marvel has another role in store for him… Many have suspected that Diesel will be cast as Black Bolt in the Inhumans movie.

    • #Vin4BlackBolt

  6. get keanu

  7. The best choice by far is Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Please let it happen.

    • Haha Cumberbatch would look weird with facial hair.

      • Doesnt need to have facial hair honestly.

  8. Viggo Mortensen!!!

  9. Just cast an american actor to be dr strange, jared leto, jim caviziel, viggo mortensen or
    Keanu reeves would all be great casts but leto is the one who probably needs first 100
    Million hit of his career.

  10. Bruce Campbell as Doctor Strange

  11. Cast nathan fillion.. Because according to the interwebs hes perfect for EVERY role.

  12. The thing what only some people on this comment thread are understanding is, Doctor Strange is not a popular character. Which is why they need to cast a popular actor! I only know about Doctor Strange because when I was a teenager, my uncle’s family moved back from US to Bahrain, and because my cousin did not need them anymore, gave me this whole box of old comic books as I was the family reading freak. That is how I know about most of the Marvel characters apart from SpiderMan and Hulk of course, every one knows about them both.

    Marvel is going to cast someone with star power and acting chops to wear Doctor Strange. Strange is risky I bet you all that at least 90% audience going into the movie will not have a sliver of an idea what the character in the comic books looks like or is like and only will get to know Strange through the movie itself. Any awareness of the character that comes to general public will be post-release, and will create a great momentum for the sequel.
    SO, only if the movie is extremely successful, will it work out for what Marvel hopes to do in future. Also, Doctor strange will be replacing a sole IronMan movie in the MCU plan so it has big shoes to fill.
    Which is why Marvel needs an actor who can carry that kind of pressure. Benedict Cumberbatch will be the ideal choice for that, he has the ability to physically transform himself into anything and he has that IMPACT, that affect, that Downey Jr. has on audiences and I am not just saying that because they have both done Sherlock Holmes. Though that would make an excellent point for trivia.
    Would you believe if I told you, that Benedict Cumberbatch right now is more popular internationally as an actor than he is in the US? He is a big deal in all of Asia and even as far as Australia, and of course Europe.
    Marvel movies as we know Kill it in overseas market. And they always keep overseas audiences under consideration. And Benedict’s reputation is not too shabby in US either.
    Jared Leto would be a good second choice though he is sort of sporadic in his work and to me comes off as more artsy choice, also every 2-3 years he keeps giving up on movies to do his music so I don’t know how that will work. As for Tom Hardy, I find him hard to digest in most roles. He has yet to convince me in a slick, charismatic, smooth talking role, he does aggression and heavy breathing superbly, but… I don’t think so and yes, I have seen that glimpse of him in Inception.

    Of course Marvel can take no risk at all and make Leonardo DiCaprio Doctor Strange and won’t that be a kick in the head? =D

    OR they can really kick us in the head, as in literally, and make Ethan Hawke, Doctor Strange, and I will not lie, that thought keeps me up at night sometimes…

    • Thank you for pointing out general audience will not know Dr. Strange, which is why Cumberbatch would be best choice of the rumored actors. He has a growing fan base in the U.S too.

  13. Ill try post this for the 4th time. I think Dermot Mulroney would be an ideal pick. He is a well known actor, A lot of people know his face. He can act, Has played a surgeon/Dr before. And he looks the part, Not to young, Not too old, Already has the grey hair and beard streaks. I watched him in JOBS not too long ago, Before Dr Strange was even under consideration and thought he would be the perfect choice for that role.

  14. Has Mads Mikkelsen been mentioned yet? I guess he’d be able to work around his Hannibal schedule.

  15. So Doctor Strange on July 8 2016 and Avengers 3 on May 5 2017?

  16. I’m not too excited about the Doctor Strange movie even though I’m liking to director and writer choices
    The only things I don’t want:
    1. Stephen Strange is a scientist which is being rumored.
    2. None of these actors being cast; Viggo Mortensen, Nathan Fillion, Benedict Cumberbatch, Keanu Reeves.

  17. Niceer cant wait to see doctor strange movie they should gey johnny depp

  18. I just saw “The Last Ship” . Eric Dane is perfect for Dr Strange!