The end of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be a few years away, but the start of production on Avengers: Infinity War is only a few weeks from now. In the lead up to the start of production, countless actors have confirmed their character's involvement in the superhero meet up - with Gamora and Spider-Man being two recent examples - but there are also those who have been confirmed to appear for much longer.
Benedict Cumberbatch confirmed that Doctor Strange would get involved during the press tour for Doctor Strange, but even with earlier confirmation and surely a lot of planning, he won't be available for the entire duration of filming. Instead, it will now be his regular stand-in who will suit up as Doctor Strange until Cumberbatch's schedule opens up.
Page Six is reporting that Aaron Lazar is set to be the stand-in for Cumberbatch during Infinity War and will fill the role for an unspecified amount of time. The hold-up is Cumberbatch's work on The Current War (which also features Spider-Man actor Tom Holland) and the filming schedule overlapping with the beginning of Infinity War. Once Cumberbatch is on set, Marvel will then reshoot all scenes that Lazar was in where his face is visible. Page Six's source has also made it clear that Marvel never considered digitally superimposing Cumberbatch's face onto Lazar's (so that those scenes wouldn't have to be re-filmed).
This is an interesting dilemma, as the use of Lazar effectively could prolong production. The only reason Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo would insist on doing it this way would be because other people involved with these scenes would not be available once Cumberbatch arrives. This way, Marvel can just reshoot the portions of the scenes where Lazar's face is seen, and if needed use stand-ins for the other actors who wouldn't be available.
Even though this is just now being reported, it is likely not a surprise to the folks involved. Cumberbatch most likely let them know this was going to be the case early on, which is why they already have a plan in place for his absence. However, this does go to show just how difficult it must be for Marvel to get every needed person in the same room. Many of theactors in Infinity War have multiple other projects that they're involved in, so there is a strong likelihood that like with other past Marvel projects, certain actors will never cross paths with one another until the Infinity War press tour starts. In any case, this is news that is interesting - but hardly anything to worry about.
Source: Page Six
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019