Director Scott Derrickson's 2016 Doctor Strange is a passion project for Marvel boss Kevin Feige and will take the MCU deeper into the realm of the magical. After a long and protracted search, oft-rumored Benedict Cumberbatch was finally tapped to portray Dr. Stephen Strange, the brilliant neurosurgeon whose loss of his skills after a terrible accident sets him on the path to master the mystical arts and become the Sorcerer Supreme.
While the film is rumored to closely follow the comic book character's origin story, plot specifics have been so far kept under wraps. As Marvel focuses its attention on the upcoming releases of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, the Doctor Strange rumors mainly involve casting, with Chiwetel Ejiofor eyed for a part (perhaps the main villain) and Daniel Bruhl's Captain America: Civil War character possibly returning in a bigger role in Doctor Strange.
We now have a few more details on the big-screen incarnation of Doctor Strange from Kevin Feige himself, who sat down with MTV to discuss many aspects of the MCU's upcoming movies.
Feige explains why Captain Marvel was ultimately left out of Age of Ultron (she should have an origin story first) and was understandably vague when pressed for details on Marvel's currently-theoretical Phase 4, saying they're sticking to their current plan, which encompasses the release slate through 2019.
Feige explained that the two-part Avengers: Infinity War will not necessarily hinge on a cliffhanger ending between entries and offered only the most basic update on Thor: Ragnarok, saying: "Writers are writing." Most of the more concrete details (relatively, anyway) had to do with Doctor Strange, which enters production this November. Feige was asked whether or not the MCU would retain Benedict Cumberbatch's British accent, to which Feige replied:
"It's a good question. We have not discussed the accent with him yet, but he's Benedict Cumberbatch, so I think he can do anything we ask him."
Cumberbatch's often aloof, patrician presence and chilly charisma - not to mention his undeniable acting talent - are just a few reasons why he was high on the shortlist of potential actors for the role. The actor's celebrated turn as Sherlock Holmes contains all the arrogance and egotism Doctor Strange fans know and love about the comic book character - would it matter much either way if the character is British rather than American?
Given the England setting of Thor: The Dark World, having Cumberbatch use his native accent might prove to be a subtle yet significant tie to the existing MCU. As Feige has noted, Cumberbatch could convincingly play an American, but it might not be necessary.
Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson off a screenplay by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Jon Spaihts. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28, 2017, Black Panther on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4 2018, Captain Marvel on July 6 2018, Inhumans on November 2 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3 2019.