Doctor Strange is not yet officially a part of Phase 3 of Marvel Studios’ Cinematic Universe, though studio head Kevin Feige has all but confirmed that the Sorcerer Supreme will, in fact, be joining the MCU between the release of the second and third Avengers installments. It’s been nearly three months since reports began circulating about the shortlist of directors being considered to helm the project – and today, we can offer an update on the situation.
According to Variety, Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) has entered proper talks to helm the Doctor Strange movie, after he was previously reported to be one of the filmmakers being eyed by Marvel Studios. The talks between the studio and Derrickson are reported to still be ongoing, though Variety‘s sources claim that “a deal should be struck shortly” – and THR‘s source are so confident about a deal being reached, that the site is already claiming that Derrickson “has signed on to direct the Marvel feature,” even in the absence of confirmation from Marvel.
Indeed, it seems safe to say that Derrickson will end up directing Doctor Strange, judging by this Tweet he just posted online:
The Doctor Strange comic books, for those unfamiliar, generally revolve around the arrogant neurosurgeon Stephen Strange, who is robbed of his fine surgical capabilities, only to later gain newfound supernatural abilities, which allow him to protect Earth from a variety of danger magical threats. Many a fan of the Stephen Strange character has already voiced their support for Derrickson to call the shots on a live-action Doctor Strange film, given his experience (and critical acclaim) in the supernatural horror genre – a sandbox he played in yet again for his next movie, Deliver Us From Evil, which opens in theaters this summer.
Derrickson, among other things, has demonstrated a knack for grounding the horrifying and fantastical without removing that sense of wonder (dark and disturbing, it may sometimes be) – a skill that ought to serve him well, when it comes to adapting Doctor Strange so that it feels like his own creation and fits the Marvel Movie Universe. Indeed, Feige previously made it known that he thinks the movie “needs to be a Ditko/Kubrick/Miyazaki/The Matrix mind-trip,” so you need someone who can manage a firm grasp on that sort of “weird” dark superhero story.
Derrickson often writes the movies he directs – with the one exception to that rule, the 2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still remake, suggesting that it’s usually for the best for him to have some hand in crafting the screenplays on his films. For now, though, it’s not clear what the plan is for the Doctor Strange movie, as far as the script-writing goes – though, Derrickson’s frequent screenwriting collaborator C. Robert Cargill has commented on Twitter about this matter, saying “As far as I know, no decisions about writing DOCTOR STRANGE have been made yet.”
As for who should – or, rather, who is likely to – play the man that would be Sorcerer Supreme: depending on which rumors you believe, Marvel Studios is either more interested in casting someone in their late 20s/early 30s (a la Joseph Gordon-Levitt) or someone who’s already reached the point of middle-age (a la Mads Mikkelsen) to play Mr. Strange. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in this case, since Feige has already gone on record as saying that the Doctor Strange film doesn’t necessarily need a big-name star as its headliner.
We’re sure there are plenty of Doctor Strange fans out there who have an opinion on this matter, so feel free to let us know who your dream casting choice for the Stephen Strange role would be, in the comments section of this article.
Doctor Strange is currently without an official theatrical release date.