Patrick Dempsey Wants to Play Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 3rd, 2014 at 7:40 am,

Despite being one of the more powerful superheroes in the Marvel Universe, Doctor Strange – otherwise known as The Sorcerer Supreme – is definitely one of the lesser known comic book characters, at least to the general public.

Still, Strange has his share of devoted fans, including Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey (who also has a role in the upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon). According to Dempsey, he has been lobbying for the titular role in any Dr. Strange film or TV show.

For those unaware, Doctor Stephen Strange used to be a world-renowned and utterly arrogant neurosurgeon who cared more about making money than saving lives. After a car accident irrevocably ruined his hands for performing surgery, Strange wandered the Earth looking for a cure for his condition – although I’m pretty sure messed-up hands is not a “disease” that can be “cured” – and sort of fell into the job of Sorcerer Supreme when he selflessly saved the life of The Ancient One.

So the most important attributes to remember about Doctor Strange are: He’s a sorcerer that used to be an M.D., he has dark hair that’s graying around the temples, and he has a mustache-goatee combo. Since Patrick Dempsey plays an M.D. on television, has dark hair with strands of gray, and possesses the ability to grow facial hair, some believe he’d make an okay choice for a Dr. Strange adaptation.

patrick dempsey doctor strange movie Patrick Dempsey Wants to Play Marvels ‘Doctor Strange’

According to Dempsey, courtesy of Hero Complex:

“I’ve been lobbying [to play Dr. Strange]. There’s a whole bunch of people [on the Grey’s Anatomy crew] who are into comics and Marvel, too, on the set and they’re like, ‘Doctor Strange, that’s the one you should do.’ It would be fantastic. It’d be a great TV show, especially for HBO or something like that. I don’t know if I’d necessarily do another show, a drama, that’s 24 episodes again. HBO you’re at 13 and I think that’s much better. It’s just so hard to sustain the quality after three years if you’re doing 24, 25 episodes a year. It all depends on who you have as a writing team — it’s how you set it up, what’s the tone and making sure you’re not locked into this one-season success [mentality], you can’t be afraid to think beyond that.”

Last year, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talked about several properties he’d like to see adapted to the big screen – Iron Fist, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange – and Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Conan) were hired to write a screenplay for Strange.

When asked if Feige knew about Patrick Dempsey’s desire to play the mystical doctor, Dempsey said:

“He knows what’s going on. There was stuff going on. At Comic-Con they were talking about me playing it and there was a rumor that I’d been cast. I mean, it’s something that’s kind of out there and, you know, I’ve been looking at that. It would be a fun one to do. Hopefully, doing something like ‘Transformers’ is about to show myself in an action situation where I’m not mister-weepy-doctor guy, you know, not McDreamy. You have to change that in people’s view. I’m still hungry for other things. I’d love to play Doctor Strange.”

arne starr draws patrick dempsey as doctor strange Patrick Dempsey Wants to Play Marvels ‘Doctor Strange’

Artist rendering of Patrick Dempsey as Doctor Strange, by Arne Starr

Even though Grey’s Anatomy isn’t as much of a draw as it used to be, Patrick Dempsey is a likable actor. Frankly, I think he’s a bit too “pretty,” for lack of a better word, for the role of Doctor Strange, but whoever ends up making this film (or TV show) could certainly do far worse. That said, my top choice goes to Liam Neeson, as it does for 75% of movie roles. Sorry, Dempsey.

What do you think? Is Patrick Dempsey a good choice for Doctor Strange or would you prefer to see someone else take on the role? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Hero Complex

TAGS: doctor strange

54 Comments

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  1. Wonderful choice!

  2. He still sounds like he did when he was in Can’t buy me love, poor guy.

    • Haha, it’s true.

  3. Solid choice. I wouldn’t mind.

  4. Liam can’t do everything.

    • ???

    • honestly, Liam is too old for Doctor Strange

    • He does have a special set of skills…

  5. Yeah I’d have no problem seeing him as Dr. Strange.

    • @Jensketcdh, Hey Jen, I absolutely love your renderings and photos, such incredible artwork! Phenomenal stuff, and great quotes too!

      • Why thanks Ulik :D

  6. I would rather see a film than a television series. Patrick wouldn’t be my first choice, either. Let’s see… I actually like the suggestion of Neeson, he looks more like Strange than Dempsey, that’s for sure.

    • I agree. A TV show about Doctor Strange would be awesome!

      Dempsey as Doctor Strange?
      Ha!
      Hilarius!
      It would never work…

  7. I could see Dempsey as Dr. Strange…..Liam Neeson!?! i think not.

  8. I wouldn’t be against the choice, but I’d like to see someone a little older and more distinguished. If it was 15 years ago, I’d say Richard Gere believe it or not. Liam Neeson would be a fantastic choice, but I doubt that Marvel would pay him for it. An out of left field choice for me is David Tennant-yup, David Tennant.

  9. Have to admit that Patrick Dempsey probably wouldn’t be the first person to come to mind when I think of Doctor Strange, but I think he’d make a great choice. Now that I’ve read this article, I’d love to see it happen. Will definitely be interesting to see if it comes to pass.

  10. Hummm……I agree with others in that he isn’t a bad choice. I could see him working and is a better visual match than Maguire was for Spiderman. My biggest problems are, he is not that big/tall of a guy and his voice doesn’t match Strange (at least in my head).

    I will agree with Ben though and say that Neeson would be a better choice imho. Neeson is more physically imposing, has the look, is older, is a great actor and has a voice I could see working better than Dempsey’s.

    All that being said……..wasn’t Disney going to do Dr. Strange as a CGI animated short?

  11. Patrick Dempsey? Wasn’t he married to his best friend’s mom in his early 20′s? I wouldn’t want to see him as Dr. Strange.

  12. I think it would be a great idea if marvel had Dr Strange start off as a TV show. They had an animated movie a few years back and that to me was a great portrayl of the doctor. I believed in a Strange that was soley concerned on reparing his hands for surgery and exhuasting all his income in pursuit.

    If marvel was able to expand its lesser known character into a HBO series while at the same time keeping them part of the cinematic universe (small cameos or even mentions), i believe Marvel would be unstoppable. Besides Dr Strange, i think Heroes For Hire, Cloak and Dagger, Captain Marvel and maybe a black ops SHIELD (using lesser known Characters) would translate well onto the small screen.

    END RANT

    • That is a great idea, BUT, you do know that a show like “Heroes For Hire” would need a HUGE budget and there would have to be HUGE cast. IT WOULD FAIL

      Doctor Strange TV show: YES
      Heroes For Hire TV show: NO
      Captain Marvel TV show: Hell NO
      S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show: MAYBE…

  13. I’d prefer if it were a movie because I love Grey’s Anatomy and I love McDreamy and I’d hate to see it go. But I like him as Strange. I think he fits well.

    • @TheAvenger

      If Heroes For Hire used the orginal roster, the show should def fall into all budgetary limits. I would only use Luke Cage and Iron Fist ( Danny something) and focus on the private investagator side the story. Cowboy Bebop would be my inspiration. “Paying bills does not come easy b/c u have super powers” would be the tagline.

      Depending on how they play out the Avengers story line (Are the Kree involved?) i would have Captain Marvel portrayed more in a spy on a mission aspect. If the Kree are involved it could serve as possible prequel to the invasion or if not it would be a precursor for events to come. You could go so far to keep him in his human form for most the series and limiting budget constraints. The Bourne series & Jack Ryan wld be inspirstion. Some point thru the series i would have him switxh allegiance (if not already before the show started) and now he is on the run from Kree Hunters & possibly SHIELD all while attempting incognito.

      What did you think about Cloak and Dagger? Maybe a street level attempt to recreate the super soldier serum? Evil Professor Watever kidnaps a large group of children. C&D survive and soon realize they r dependent on each other despite their clesr disdain for each other. A major theme wld be betrayl. Becuse of their powers everyone (Villians, Family & SHIELD) want to use them. the key is not to make this a love story but a bond closer to brother & sister. Cant think of a specifc example but the premise wld be similiar to a prison break with the main characters on the run.

      Anybody think Moon Knight would make a good show? I know its a little similiar to Batman so i would really focus on the split personality aspect. I wouldnt let the audience kno that Moon Knight and the other personalites were one character. I would go so far as to cast similiar looking but different actors for all the personalities. I think this is actually the best idea. Alot of super hero movie dont really seperate the hero personality from the day to day life as normal person. It would be ambiguous to the audience who the real super hero was until in the end u realize it was actually all of them. Fight Club wld be inspirstion b/c how they portrayed Tyler (brad pitt).

      END RANT

  14. Yeah!! I can see it! And he has that doctor character background to play off of—perfect! Just wish he was a little taller, but that’s really not a total issue.

  15. as stated, too pretty. i’d like to see viggo mortensen as strange.

    • what? your calling a man too pretty? for a role? lol

  16. I could see him as Dr. Strange…so who’s to say Strange isn’t soft-spoken? He did have most of the arrogance knocked out of him by Baron Mordo, after all…

  17. First reaction was ‘Whaaat??’, then ‘Hmm maybe, it could be worse…’ but then you said Liam Neeson and now nobody else should get the part.

  18. I think he would do the role on Marvel’s budget and with him willing to do both Film and TV for the character. It seems like a perfect situation for Marvel. Am I right?!

  19. Neeson is too old, Dempsey is a better fit. And other than Taken, Neeson hasn’t had a lot of critically-praised hits lately. His acting style is good but it seems to be going in the nic cage direction, every role feels like the last.

    let’s not forget qui-gon, ugh.

    I think if some brave director actually gave the great neeson some direction, he could however play a great Mephisto.

  20. I could see him doing it. For me, a big point in his favor is that he is a comics fan and knows/understands the character. I would rather see someone who understands the cahracter get the part. Especially for a character that is not as well known as Spider-Man or Captain America. He looks the part, likes the character, and is lobbying to play the character before the movie/tv show is even being planned. To me, it seems like he is a dedicated fan of Dr. Strange who wants to do the character justice. It could be the start of a relationship like the one Jackman has to Wolverine.

  21. @TheAvenger

    If Heroes For Hire used the orginal roster, the show should def fall into all budgetary limits. I would only use Luke Cage and Iron Fist ( Danny something) and focus on the private investagator side the story. Cowboy Bebop would be my inspiration. “Paying bills does not come easy b/c u have super powers” would be the tagline.

    Depending on how they play out the Avengers story line (Are the Kree involved?) i would have Captain Marvel portrayed more in a spy on a mission aspect. If the Kree are involved it could serve as possible prequel to the invasion or if not it would be a precursor for events to come. You could go so far to keep him in his human form for most the series and limiting budget constraints. The Bourne series & Jack Ryan wld be inspirstion. Some point thru the series i would have him switxh allegiance (if not already before the show started) and now he is on the run from Kree Hunters & possibly SHIELD all while attempting incognito.

    What did you think about Cloak and Dagger? Maybe a street level attempt to recreate the super soldier serum? Evil Professor Watever kidnaps a large group of children. C&D survive and soon realize they r dependent on each other despite their clesr disdain for each other. A major theme wld be betrayl. Becuse of their powers everyone (Villians, Family & SHIELD) want to use them. the key is not to make this a love story but a bond closer to brother & sister. Cant think of a specifc example but the premise wld be similiar to a prison break with the main characters on the run.

    Anybody think Moon Knight would make a good show? I know its a little similiar to Batman so i would really focus on the split personality aspect. I wouldnt let the audience kno that Moon Knight and the other personalites were one character. I would go so far as to cast similiar looking but different actors for all the personalities. I think this is actually the best idea. Alot of super hero movie dont really seperate the hero personality from the day to day life as normal person. It would be ambiguous to the audience who the real super hero was until in the end u realize it was actually all of them. Fight Club wld be inspirstion b/c how they portrayed Tyler (brad pitt).

    END RANT

  22. i think patrick would be a fantastic choice for three reasons,

    one: liam neeson doesn’t fit the role like patrick does, it seems more forced with liam and more natural for patrick. personally, i would not have picked liam for ras al ghul or joseph gordon levit for cobra commander. fortunatly, i was wrong on both counts. (kudos to joseph, by the way, for delivering a fantastic performance in an otherwise dog turd of a movie.)

    two: it’s fairly obvious that patrick really, really, really want’s the role. this could be a double edged sword though. point in case, nicholas cage is probably one of the biggest fanboys out there. (most people don’t realize that his real last name is coppalla, as in francis ford, his uncle. he chose the name cage after luke cage. that’s the truth.) this caused the “problem” with the original ghost rider movie, that being that the non-fanboys didn’t know or understand the little subtilties that he incorporated into the character to flesh him out and keep him more true to the comics. this is often very dangerous with films, as the original cut of watchmen stayed true to the book and resulted in the non-fanboy test audiences giving it lousy reviews.

    three: c’mon, he looks just like doctor strange. now i know this can be bad, such as ben affleck in dare devil, which, apparently, i appear to be the only person on earth to actually like. yet it can also work,hugh jackman as wolverine is a perfect example. every one says patrick is to short, they said hugh was to tall. i think that there really no one better qualified. get the man some lifts for his shoes and give it a whirl.

    i’m old enough to remember all of the critics eating crow about michael keaton playing batman, this could possibly evolve into a similar situation. i personally would like to see just that scenario occur myself. only time will tell.

    • “one: liam neeson doesn’t fit the role like patrick does, it seems more forced with liam and more natural for patrick.”

      And what’s your reason for saying this?

  23. Adrian Pasdar(Nathan Petrelli from Heroes) would be an awesome Dr. Strange! Dempsey isn’t a bad choice, especially cause it would bring in all the Greys Anatomy fans and he’s passionate about the character.

  24. If Robert Downey Jr wasn’t tied up with Ironman he’d be perfect for the role. A guy who’s life is destroyed. He hits rock bottom and then reinvents himself. That’s practically RDJs life story.

    • Sounds like a role for charlie Sheen

  25. I can totally see Dempsey as Dr Strange!

    Just, please, please, in the name of the unspeakable one, if the put Howard The Duck in, don’t make hime dumb, camp and F%#$ed up like the stupid movie!

  26. Wow, Doctor Strange has always been one of my favorites, but Patrick Dempsey would pretty much smother any enthusiasm I’d have for this project. I suppose if he’s that into it I could be persuaded to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I’ll be skeptical. I always imagined him as more of a Tom Selleck type circa Magnum PI.

    • Actually Tom Sellick would be a good choice as well, ok, he is getting a bit old now, but you would need that kind of “presence”

  27. I think Patrick Dempsey would be great for the role, but I think Johnny Depp would be even better. I hope they put this film into action. I look forward to it.

  28. Dempsey is perfect. They would be stupid not to take him. He won’t cost much and he’s a sold actor. After seeing the animated Doctor Strange movie, I’m really excited about a live action version. Dempsey has my vote all the way.

  29. There actually was a Dr. Strange live action tv movie back in 1978 that wasn’t that bad.

    But you could really cut loose with the effects nowdays. Dr. Strange is one character where lots of effects would not be out of place. Dormamus firey head, the Eye of Agamotto, the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, that would be some cool stuff to depict.

    I don’t know if an actor could do the finger motions from the comic without looking silly though. Heh.

    • cool, i’ll see if i can find it.

    • I actually own the VHS of that 1978 Dr. Strange movie.

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